Score: 90/100 (9.0 out of 10)
Who would've thought that being a lawyer and spending all those years in law school might do your bottom dollar more harm than good? “Diminished Capacity” follows a sorta-broke and somewhat desperate Arizona lawyer named Larry Ross as he picks up two huge cases with the promise of turning his life, finances, and career around. Millions are potentially at stake! But in both cases, Larry is caught between the promise of money and “winning” or doing the right thing.
In Larry's first case, an unscrupulous automobile company called Galaxy is accused of knowingly distributing vehicles with defective parts. This led to a tragic accident that claimed the lives of both of a family's (the Newman's) two young children. However, despite the case being worth millions, even if simply settled, the family of the deceased are instead seeking publicity against the company and an apology rather than just money. This puts Larry in a compromising position as his livelihood hinges on winning this case and taking a cut from it.
In the second case, and the focus of the book, Larry represents Tom, a man accused of murdering his business partner, Art. Interestingly, Tom comes across as generally a good guy who may have had a bad day while more and more information comes out on what a scumbag Art was—even involving sexual abuse and exploitation of workers. But does that excuse potential murder? Was Tom acting in self-defense, craving revenge, or simply frustrated with his partner's antics? Also a huge part of this case is Tom's mental state and “temporary insanity” or the eponymous “diminished capacity” which may have caused him to forget the event.
“Diminished Capacity” never ceases to be interesting. It's a courtroom drama akin to the works of John Grisham. There are always more sides to each story, and there are always surprises to uncover. It will challenge your moral compass as it does Larry's.
Get it on Amazon!