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Thomas Benigno Books In Order

Publication Order of Good Lawyer Books

The Good Lawyer (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Criminal Lawyer (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Thomas Benigno is a legal thriller author best known for the writing of the Good Lawyer series of novels. Benigno is a practicing lawyer that graduated from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and is currently resident in Long Island, New York. He was one of the best lawyers ever to study law at Benjamin, and proved his proficiency very early in his career when he was made Associate Attorney at the recommendation of his New York Legal Aid Society Law Clinic Professor, Barry Scheck. While he was an associate attorney, he took up some of the most complex, intricate, and high profile cases and was the attorney for the infamous “Spiderman Rapist”. Asked why he took up cases that sometimes involved rapists and child molesters, he answered that he was hungry to prove himself and that everyone deserved legal representation.

A year before he left the clinic to go private, he made The New York City Legal Aid Society’s two page spread feature for his proficiency in winning what most would deem open-and-shut guilty cases. The society organized a party in his honor and presented him with a beautiful plaque for representing a teacher’s aide that had been found innocent in a child molestation case. After spending three years at Legal Aid, a period during which he won all of his cases, he left to pursue private legal practice. He no longer does criminal law, deciding to practice business and real estate law. During his free time, he loves to act in staged productions in his neighborhood of Long Island. He has acted in two films including a short award-winning one and even acted as co-producer in another titled “Burn the Floor”. He is married to the woman he met shortly after he completed his law degree with whom he has three kids. His novels are drawn from his experiences while he was a Legal Aid Society attorney, working in the Bronx.

The Good Lawyer series of novels have been favorably compared to the early legal thrillers of John Grisham, which is high praise indeed. Inspired by real life events of Thomas Benigno’s early career, the author portrays an insider’s perspective and knowledge of the workings of the defense system in New York. Given Benigno’s experience as an attorney, he writes the novels in a casual manner even if the legal issues are sometimes intricate and complex. In highly intriguing stories, he paints a picture of 1970s and 1980s New York City, which can simply be described as hell on earth. The author paints a fascinating picture of the bad and good guys that makes a clear delineation of who the reader should like and who they should hate. His experience as a lawyer who worked on many similar cases in the Bronx gives the novels the authenticity that readers die for in any legal thriller. Packed with mysterious motivations, rape, murder, and a dash of romance, the unpredictable twists and turns make for one roller coaster of a ride.

The lead character in the novels is Nick Mannino an open-minded, kind, outgoing, and brash young lawyer employed by the Bronx Legal Aid Society. Nick is an American Italian with strong family ties to the mob through his uncle Rocco, a mob boss. Nick is a believable and likable character that is in love with a rich female attorney named Eleanor, though he has fears of embarrassing social situations with his future in laws, given his background. As such, he has kept his felonious uncle and childhood benefactor a secret from his fiancé and her wealthy family. Despite his ties to the mob, Nick works for a legal aid clinic and defends persons that cannot afford legal representation. Given that he normally takes the cases that nobody else would touch, he frequently finds himself in the public eye through his highly publicized cases that involve some of the most despicable of suspects. Nick works to defend the likes of child molesters, murders and rapists that he for the most part believes are innocent of all charges proffered against them.

“The Good Lawyer” is the explosive first novel in the Good Lawyer series of novels. Nick is a young ambitious lawyer determined to prove himself better than his father, who left the family while he was young. He also needs to show himself worthy of the mother that struggled to raise him despite the draw of mob life that he had grown up in. He works for a Bronx legal aid clinic and through his work has learned how to work the system and has never lost a case. It is now 1982, and the most famous serial rapist nicknamed “The Spiderman” is abroad causing terror in NYC. When one of the Spiderman’s victims commits suicide, he is so outraged that he takes a complex case of a teacher’s aide awaiting trial accused of sexually assaulting three students. He believes his client is innocent and proceeds to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case. Things turn interesting when one of the children suddenly dies, making Nick believe that his client just may be connected to Spiderman, the serial rapist. But his investigations reveal that his family may have more to do with Spiderman than he could ever have imagined. His deepest fears may just be realized, as he faces the prospect of embracing his family’s murky past to become judge jury and executioner, or follow the legal channels that would risk his relationship with the woman he loves.

“The Criminal Lawyer” is the fascinating sequel to the first novel in the Good Lawyer series of novels. A serial killer has been dumping the south beach of Long Island with burlap bags full of the bones of his female victims. Nick Mannino, he of the mobster family background and South Bronx Legal Aid attorney takes up the case, determined to get to the bottom of the mysterious murders. As the story unfolds, it is clear that Maninno’s battles in court are about more than the case. He is also in a race to try to deny or hide a discouraging truth about his family that he now knows have been involved in the commission of unspeakable crimes. Then things become even more complicated as the serial killer suddenly becomes interested in him and even goes after his family. The novel is a combination of a mystery and thriller and provides the riveting plot line with themes of family secrets, unforgivable crimes, and a romance.

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