by Mary Louise C. Hopson
Busy lawyers are not known for having vast amounts of free time, especially as the holiday season approaches. But if you can squeeze in a book for a little leisure reading, you should check out a new novel written by Dallas Bar Association member Hubert A. Crouch III. Published earlier this year, Cried for No One is a fictional Texas courtroom drama that will engage lawyers and anyone else who appreciates a suspense-filled page-turner.
The novel, which provides a glimpse into the world of Texas law firms, the people who run them and the intricacies of our state’s legal system, was inspired by a case Mr. Crouch handled several years ago. He won the real-life case on a pretrial motion, but the strange crime, which involved a body stolen from a cemetery, was never solved. The perpetrator was never identified, and the reason it happened was never known.
The case continued to nag at Mr. Crouch, who in his “day job” practices at the firm he co-founded, Crouch & Ramey, L.L.P., in the areas of toxic tort, personal injury and commercial litigation. He decided to write a work of fiction in which he would create the characters and solve the crime. The novel is not intended to solve the crime that actually formed the basis for the actual lawsuit; the only common thread is that a young co-ed’s body was stolen and a lawsuit followed.
With his busy law practice, it took Mr. Crouch 15 years to complete the novel, his first published book.
In the fictional story, a University of Texas co-ed’s body is removed from her grave in the middle of the night, only to be discovered later, marked with a pentagram and left on the altar of a small church. The girl’s parents hire flamboyant Fort Worth lawyer Cal Connors, who sues the cemetery and looks forward to winning his next high-profile case. The cemetery hires high-powered Jace Forman to defend the case, thrusting him into the world of dead bodies and the places that hold them.
Who could have done this horrific crime, and why did they do it? And, as the details of the case continue to change almost daily, with all sorts of new information and complicating factors, how will Jace get ready for trial within the judge’s “rocket docket” timeframe?
The story is set primarily in Fort Worth and Austin and features real-life local landmarks. Rich with dialogue and well-developed characters, the tale reveals surprising twists and turns all along the way.
Lawyers who work on the corporate side of the law will find this book an interesting glimpse into the world of courtrooms and criminal and defense law. Trial lawyers may even find a new idea or two. And anyone who has ever worked at a law firm will enjoy reading about the relationships between co-workers and other professionals, and the constant challenge to get the work done.
If you are looking to put off your holiday shopping for a while, grab a copy of this book and take a ride through its gripping plot, intriguing characters and shocking conclusion, all seasoned with a hearty dose of Texas flavor.
The book is available in print form from Amazon (where it is rated five stars by readers) and Barnes & Noble by order, and in digital format on Kindle, iBooks, Nook and Google.
Mary Louise Hopson is a longtime member of the Publications Committee and former Co-Chair. Her background includes a journalism degree, corporate paralegal work, and law firm marketing. She helps clients with marketing, communications, writing, and editing. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.