The Least Among Us

Stress, both personal and professional, rises to an all-time high for public defender Julia Geary in The Least Among Us, the second installment in the Julia Geary Legal Thriller series by Gwen Florio (The Truth of It All). Professionally, Julia is handling her first murder case; it involves one of her favorite clients, Ray Belmar, a homeless man accused of killing another homeless man. But Julia's boss doesn't trust her to be in charge, so he assigns a hotshot attorney to join the case; plus, Julia is saddled with an arrogant, know-it-all intern. Personally, Julia's boyfriend, Dom Parrish, ends their relationship because his teenage daughter walked in on the couple having sex. Dom fears his ex-wife will use this incident in their custody battle. Julia and her five-year-old son, Calvin, must find a new place to live: her mother-in-law, in whose home they have stayed since her husband was killed in Iraq, plans to marry. These pressures strain Julia but also galvanize her to work harder. When other homeless people mysteriously die, Julia takes a closer look at the homeless population and how they are treated by the police and the general citizenry of the small town of Duck Creek, located in an unnamed state.

The appealing, intelligent Julia taps into newfound ambition for her legal career and activism for the homeless. Julia's strong relationship with her mother-in-law gives balance to her life. Florio skillfully merges an emotional domestic story with an engrossing legal thriller in The Least Among Us, while delving into issues around the exploitation of the homeless. --Oline H. Cogdill, freelance reviewer

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