The Trial of Connor Padget follows Jack as he must defend his friend in a murder trial that has life changing consequences. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing story?
As a trial lawyer, I often thought of the forgotten Atticus Finch. How might he react to our modern world? I created Jack as a man who has experienced the dangers of combat and the demands of loyalty. I wanted to portray him as a successful lawyer with all its worldly trappings. How would he react when his way of life was unexpectedly challenged? How much would he risk in order to stay loyal to a longtime friend?
I enjoyed the backstory to Jack Carney and the depth of his character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
An unexpected event forces Jack to reassess his life. He loves the practice of law but wonders if he hasn’t begun to go through the motions of handling cases in an automatic way. He misses his time of flying missions in the Air Force and questions the man he has become. Defending his friend in what seems to be a hopeless case brings him a sense of freedom he didn’t expect.
This is an exceptional legal drama that asks some serious moral questions. What were some themes you wanted to capture in this book?
Jack sees a parallel in defending one’s family and defending one’s country. He is grateful for the chance to come to the aid of a family facing fallout from our, now transient, society which puts our children at risk.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The title is The Rise and Fall of the Pink Alligator: Jack’s T-shirt shop located on the beach in St. Augustine. Four other shopkeepers share a strip mall with Jack and, though they are all new friends, they spar over most everything – especially parking. A suspicious fire causes concern about a possible arsonist in their midst. The story explores the dream of a new life.
I hope to finish the first draft in seven months, but new ideas will appear to offer more depth to the writing, and I don’t like to tie myself to a strict schedule. Writing to me is a discovery process and to put it into a strict time frame would ruin that. I am now reading The Life of Pablo Picasso and hope to get some new ideas from his story to add to my characters’ lives. The spirit of modernism fascinates me and provides a contrast to the unique history of St Augustine, the oldest city in our country.
Jack Carney’s life is unexpectedly put on hold. He is not a criminal lawyer, but his friend needs help. He remembers his time in Japan flying covert missions against the Russians. What would his flight crew think of him now? By comparison his legal career lacks purpose. If he defends Connor, there will be consequences: his firm does not allow involvement in criminal cases.
This is the story of a trial that changes the lawyer’s life. If you like a bit of legal intrigue laced with a touch of Southern culture and the drama of a trial, you’ll like this story.
Jack Carney, an Air Force veteran, is now a lawyer specializing in civil cases. Jack’s life takes an unexpected turn when his friend, Connor Padget, shoots a man at the Baton Rouge Airport live on the five o’clock news and gets charged with murder. Although Jack decides to defend his friend, it comes at a price. Jack does his best to justify what Connor did and bring to light the reason he had to kill: he was protecting his family. But will it be enough? Can he save his friend?
The Trial of Connor Padget by Carl Roberts is a fantastic legal drama that describes the everyday life of an attorney and the ins and outs of the legal system from the commission of the crime to the verdict; all punctuated with military and religious elements. All the while readers get an insight into the complexity of a criminal case. The story of Connor Padget, and how he comes to shoot someone who kidnapped his son, is interesting and raises some serious moral questions.
The novel contains a wide range of characters, but there are big differences in their development and portrayal. I felt that the novel focuses on the description of the legal process, rather than on deep character building. However, the narrative for the main character Jack Carney is very well developed. He is a successful lawyer, but he is loyal to his friend, which causes some problems at the firm. The reader is treated to many details about his former profession in Air Force personnel; which will peak the interest of any military fan. With his private life causing turmoil, Jack is left to balance his profession with his personal life.
Although some details from Connor’s past are shown, his life – except some basic facts – and his characteristics stay a mystery until the end. Connor’s wife, Mary Beth and their son, Scot play a big role during the trial, yet in some cases, the motives of Mary Beth’s behavior were unclear for me.
Carl Roberts’ book is a fantastic addition to the legal drama genre. The main idea of the book is intriguing and creates a strong base for a stunning story.
Pages: 215 | ASIN: B07RC95PZZ
Black and White is contemporary novel focused on interracial couples and the stigma they endure. Why was this an important novel for you to write?
I felt with everything going on in the world today, this book was needed. I want this book to help improve the world or at least get people to start talking and create a dialogue for change. The world can be an ugly place and I wanted to show that ugliness so that people can also appreciate the beauty.
The story is set in a city filled with crime and focuses on the animosity between black communities and the police. You take a balanced perspective in your story, do you feel that is something that is lacking today?
I feel there is mistrust on both sides when it comes to the Black Communities and the Police. I feel that both sides need to work on change and the only way that can happen is with dialogue. I want this book to help. I’m an NYPD Detective and I feel that it’s important that Cops acknowledge that there are some cops who are prejudice and pray on minorities but at the same time it’s important that minority communities don’t assume that every cop is corrupt and prejudice. I feel society forgets that cops are people too. I feel that sometimes some cops become so calloused from the job that they began to see minorities as bad. Balance is the key to everything. Understanding each other helps also. I talk to communities often and sometimes after I explain certain situations to the crowd, they understand things better and have less animosity. Sometimes the community members help me see things differently than I do through the lenses of being a cop. In order for the world to get better, we all have to change.
Did you put any personal life experiences in this book?
I put some personal life experiences in all of my books. “Ben”, “Ebony”, and even “Bill” and “Becky” are all parts of me. At times I felt like Ben where I felt my own race believed I wasn’t “Black” enough and I was too “Black” for some White people. I know the struggle of dealing with the public at protests like Ebony. I’m an NYPD Detective. Like Ebony, before I became a Cop, I hated cops and I became one to make a difference in the world. I’m heavily involved in urban communities and I’m in an interracial relationship. I’m similar to Becky because I wrote this book to change the world. I wouldn’t want to alter it or tone it down. I love this story the way it is and my writing is important to me. I’m similar to Bill because I grew up in Queens Bridge. Despite growing up in a low-income family, I didn’t let my environment hold me back. I’m also a huge basketball fan and play regularly. Some of the situations and even dialogues in the book I have actually had or have been involved with. I like to put some of my real experiences in my stories because I believe it helps them feel more authentic.
What is one thing that you hope readers take away from Black and White?
I want readers to understand that we all have biases, we all have assumptions and stereotype, but it’s important not to base our actions and decisions on these things. It’s important to get to know people and not assume that a certain race is all the same. I want people to read this book and understand that love is love. It doesn’t matter what race your partner is, be with anyone you love. I also want people to feel comfortable in their own skin. Ben and Simone were examples of two characters that struggled with that and it’s important to know that until you have love and appreciation for yourself, you can’t truly do the same for someone else.
What is the next novel that you are writing and when will it be available?
My next novel will be a story celebrating the strength of Mothers. I’m writing a story about three different types of Mothers in three different situations and I’m calling it “Mothers.” I hope to have the novel out in time for Mother’s Day.
When the prestigious law firm of Wayne, Rothstein, and Lincoln catches two major cases—a rape case where a White NBA star allegedly raped a Black stripper, and a murder case where a Black rapper allegedly killed a gay couple and two policemen—Bill O’Neil and Ben Turner are tasked to handle these racially charged litigations. The cases hit emotional chords with the two lawyers and force them to reckon with their interracial relationships and families. Will the racial tension of their cases destroy them or make them stronger?
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