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At this writing, I’m seventy years old. Some might think this is an age where one really shouldn’t be launching a writing career. But maybe it’s a better time. It has been a long life – a long, eventful and revealing life. Maybe others could have come across what I did without living it, but, even if that is so, there still seems to be a value in actually doing it.
My most important years were spent in San Francisco – forty of them. Those included attending law school at the University of San Francisco, time as a longshoreman and, at the pinnacle of my ambition then, as the Administrative Assistant to Harry Bridges, President of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Still, the center of those years was my thirty two years as a practicing trial lawyer, beginning April fool’s Day, 1971 and ending in January of 2005. It was on this latter date that the California State Bar placed me on “inactive” status. I am breathless walking from one fence line to the other on this little plot of earth, but also when I realize that in those thirty two years I appeared and handled cases in jurisdictions all around the country and outside California, from Rhode Island and New York to Montana and Arizona. When I finally threw in the towel, my wife and I returned to the Portland area, where we had attended high school. There, we settled into a failing little farm and took to raising two Labrador pups. Finding farming very hard and hunting season short, I spent some time mulling over and writing about my practice as fiction. After all, being in San Francisco from 1965 until 2005 was like trying to enjoy a good bottle of wine and some pasta in the middle of a battle field.
on Oct. 11, 2011 :
J.M. has written a beautifully intelligent, irresistible legal
thriller, full of energetic and lively characters. The "good guys"
are real people, with flesh and blood fears and hopes. There is
hard-work, lots of plot machinations that draw the reader deeply into
the story, and take the reader across the country and back again.
There is love fulfilled, and old lust enjoyed in remembrance and in
denial and loss.
There is perseverance and perspicacious deducing. There is
indefatigable pursuit of justice, using both brains and brawn, both
incorporating some sneaky maneuvering. There is a plethora of
weapons available to all characters. There are gun shot wounds, and
all this is in the pursuit of justice.
The best part of the yarn may be the tackling of a conspiracy,
luckily involving Mississippi and a variety of those who have promised
to use the shield of justice for the public good.
Add all the legal excitement, the crime-solving puzzle, and the
sex toys, and you have a riveting read that is hard to put down.
This is a great book for a long airport wait, for a wonderful stay
at the beach, or when waiting for court to begin. It is exciting,
absorbing, legally compelling, and basically covers the Seven Deadly Sins---and then some!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Oct. 01, 2011 :
From: John Davids, San Francisco Trial Lawyer
As a lawyer who practice in San Francisco for thirty years, I find Mr. McCray's novel a most enjoyable and excellent read. His understanding and knowledge of the craft of the civil and criminal trial lawyer is evident throughtout this fascinating story. He weaves a gripping tale of mystery and machination. The characters he has created fairly jump off the pages. By the time you reach the surprising conclusion you feel that DD O'Neil and all of the principle actors in this dramatic story are familar friends and acquaintances.
Although the matters presented in this tale of legal intrigue are at times complex, Mr. McCray's facility for telling a good story make it all eminently readable and understandable. From jury tampering to blackmail to murder, this novel has it all. While the wisdom in this fine novel may be elusive it is certainly enlightening and compelling.
I highly recommend Elusive Wisdom to anyone who enjoys a fine mystery wrapped in compelling human drama.
(reviewed the day of purchase)