THE BEST PEOPLE: A Tale of Trials and Errors

| November 19, 2019 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

In a stunning debut novel, Marc Grossberg portrays post-millennium Houston as it is, a glitzy place full of larger-than-life characters where anyone can make it. It is the landscape where the country-club and café-society sets clash amidst clever legal maneuvering, big law firm politics, a Ponzi scheme and judicial corruption. Only someone withthe experience of being a lifelong Houstonian and a veteran of fifty years of practicing law could have pulled it off.

 

THE BEST PEOPLE: A Tale of Trials and Errors(Greenleaf Book Group Press; October 8, 2019; ISBN:978-1-62634-655-0; $23.95 hardcover) is a legal drama and social satire set in Houston which offers a glimpse into a world in which you can’t always tell who the best people are.

 

Patrick “Paddy” Moran, age 36, fresh from being sworn into the Texas bar, begins a wild and rocky journey fueled by his fierce desire for recognition and respect. In a county where some 40,000 civil cases are filed every year, Paddy is sure he’ll get his share of the good ones, sooner or later. After sputtering through mindless uncontested cop divorces and a spate of questionable cases of cops getting rear-ended by luxury cars—and surviving one near career wreck—his luck changes. Paddy Moran’s first victory—a $500,000 settlement from a hospital—comes with a sweet bonus: the genuine friendship of his well-connected, classy dame client. Dressed for success and driving a Mercedes, Paddy finally begins to stand out for more than his imposing physical size, red hair, and New York moxie. He’s become one of Houston’s celebrated Best People. After a second big win—against one of Houston’s biggest law firms—Paddy gets another valuable asset: a young law partner, Will Marshall, a life-long Houstonian with social cred who’s just as hungry to succeed as Paddy. Dubbed the “M&M boys” by Texas Monthly, Moran and Marshall keep attracting media attention and rich clients in juicy divorce cases.

 

And Paddy’s still a good guy, but visions of winning a high-profile trial with a huge fee lure him into making a very bad judgment call. Then, one dirty deed leads to another…

 

The Best Peopleis also the story of Pilar Galt, a sensuous, intelligent single mother from the Houston barrios, for whom a temp assignment evolves into a relationship with the richest man in town. Her path intersects with Paddy’s and eventually converges during a pivotal time in her life when she must overcome self-destructive tendencies to survive.

What followsis a cautionary tale for anyone who thinks power, money, and a winning outcome justifies unethical means.

 

Impressive new author and seasoned lawyer Marc Grossberg is witty and bright and ready to talk about:

 

  • The social mores and dividing lines between the country club set and the nouveau riche café-society and what that says about social and economic mobility in glitzy cities, like Houston, and others across the country 
  • His insider perspective on the role of lawyers in highly acrimonious and expensive divorces—the high cost of leaving
  • The problem with the idea that justice is truly blind and that courts apply justice equally without regard to wealth, power or other status 
  • What he really thinks about Texas and whether its reputation as a free-wheeling state with lax laws and regulations inspires hucksters and Ponzi schemers to dupe people out of large sums of money 
  • Houston as THE destination for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and a vivid imagination
  • The challenges that women still face when trying to succeed in business and law and why many wives in the upper echelons of society, despite beingcollege-educated and intelligent, resign themselves to hosting parties for their husbands’ business clients, raising babies, “doing lunch,” and worrying about their looks and what they wear
  • Lies and deceit–his expert view, as a legal specialist in tax controversies, on whether anyone can keep getting away with not paying taxes and hiding their assets in foreign accounts.
  • Are rules meant to be broken?Our society’s obsession with professional and economic success and how it often leads to the blurring of one’s sense of right and wrong

 

Grossberg’s writing, referred to by some as the new unofficial voice of Houston, acts as an outlet for us, his readers, who are both curious and outraged by the mores, privileges and escapades of the jet-setting elite and those who aspire to join its ranks. 

 

MARC GROSSBERG has practiced law in his native Houston for more than 50 years. A product of Houston public schools, the University of Houston, and the University of Texas School of Law, he has a passion for books that entertain and provoke him. 

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