Monday, December 16, 2019

Books: "An Equal Justice" By Chad Zunker

An Equal Justice
By Chad Zunker
Thomas & Mercer; paperback, $15.95; ebook, $4.99

An Equal Justice takes you inside the halls of a prestigious law firm, where a rookie lawyer is pulled into a maze of lies and violence.

David Adams, an ambitious graduate of Stanford, has begun a fast-track career at Austin's biggest law firm. This is a personal victory for the rising superstar, making it a satisfying reversal from his impoverished and despairing childhood. 

"David Adams arrived in Austin at dusk on the first Saturday of fall," Zunker writes.

"Downtown was bustling with its usual energy as he slowly cruised the streets. The party crowd was as thick as ever in the bars along Sixth Street. David had enjoyed the bar district immensely the previous summer during his so-called internship. Lots of parties, live music, good food and drink, pretty coeds, and late nights. David knew those days were mostly behind him.

"Hunter & Kellerman's palatial law offices were on the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh floors of the pristine Frost Bank Tower in the heart of downtown, just six blocks south of the Texas Capitol building. Parking his truck at the curb along Congress Avenue, David sat there and listened as the worn-out old engine let out a deep sigh. Before leaving Palo Alto, David had asked a local mechanic to check out his truck and let him know if he thought it would even make it all the way to Texas. The old guy had actually laughed and told David he'd better say an extra prayer. With a satisfied smile, David thought about calling him up and saying, 'How you like me now?'

"Getting out of the truck, David felt physically exhausted fro the two-day drive but emotionally energized. He was finally here. Was he smiling like an idiot? Because he felt like it. The offer from Hunter & Kellerman had been 20 percent more than his his other two offers, which came from big firms in San Francisco and New York. Plus a $20,000 signing bonus. The bonus check was more money than his mother had earned most years while raising him and his sister in Wink, Texas, a small town of a thousand just west of Odessa - the middle of nowhere. A check worth even more than the dump of an RV trailer where they'd lived nearly his whole childhood - minus the four months they'd secretly slept in the parking lot behind the old Baptist Church because his mom had missed too many trailer payments."

David now has all in life he's always wanted, including an extravagant salary, a high-rise condo, a luxury SUV, and no limit to how far he can go in the eyes of the top partners.

It all changes when a fellow associate commits suicide, after he offered David an ominous warning in his final hours. This leads David to feel the pull of powerful forces behind the corporation's enviable trappings, and leads him to discover a secret enclave of the city's homeless, where he can't help but feel an affinity to these outcast souls. 

David can't ignore the feeling that they hold the key to the truth behind a dark conspiracy. Those doubts about his new employer shift into a dark reality when one of his new street friends is murdered.

Now torn between two worlds, David must surrender all that he's achieved to fight for a larger cause of justice, and in the process, become his firm's most dangerous acquisition.

About the author: Chad Zunker studied journalism at the University of Texas, where was also on the football team. He's worked for some of the country's most powerful law firms and invented baby products that are now sold all over the world. He has wanted to write full-time since he took his first practice hit as a skinny freshman walk-on from a 6'5," 240-pound senior All-American safety, which crushed  both him and his feeble NFL dreams. He lives in Austin with hie wife, Katie, and their three daughters, and he is already at work on his next novel. Check him out on the web at

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