In my last post I reviewed Escape Velocity by Susan Wolfe. It is an excellent book. In that book I loved Georgia Griffin. She was the best character I have read in legal mystery fiction since Sebastian Rudd in Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham.
Her determination is humbling. She is living in her car when she arrives in California. Until she receives her first pay cheque Georgia is stretching every dollar:
She’d found a second outfit at Goodwill, and another shirt for her pantsuit, so she would never have to wear anything more than twice a week. Hard to keep her clothes decent with her car for a closet, … Did they have an iron at the homeless center? Lousy having no refridgerator, but she was pretty sure they had one here (work) in the kitchen she could use, and four nights a week they served a hot dinner at church on First Street if she could get there on time.
Even when she starts being paid she plans to stay living in car until she has enough money to bring her teenage sister, Katie-Ann, from Arkansas to California and rent an apartment for the two of them.
The enthusiasm Georgia and Katie-Ann have for a simple apartment in a shabby building is powerful. They are grateful for the chance at a new life.
Almost as striking and certainly as impressive is the head of the legal department, Ken Madigan. He is the type of lawyer real life lawyers aspire to be in their lives. Ken does his work with integrity and determination. He treats his staff well and inspires confidence.
At the same time Ken and his wife are friendly to Georgia and want her to do well. Finding out she desperately needs a few hundred dollars for Katie-Ann’s bus fare they loan her the money. It is a pleasant fictional surprise that people can simply help someone in need with no ulterior motive.
Ken is strong willed but not aggressive and certainly not as ruthless as Georgia.
Georgia’s background has left her a driven personality. She is not driven to seek promotions. She is striving to be indispensable to ensure she can keep her position as a paralegal. The security of a job is more important than advancement in the company. She does not want to keep living in her car.
Equally wanting to keep the company successful so they need paralegals she decides to use family skills for the betterment of Lumina Software.
She is a master manipulator having been thoroughly trained in conning people. Her father is a skilled con artist though not skilled enough to avoid being in jail.
Georgia puts in a word with the possessive wife of the supervisor of the Always Pigheaded (Accounts Payable) obstructionist lady. She somewhat subtly suggests the AP lady is interested in her supervisor. Within days AP lady is gone from the company.
At the same time Georgia is risking dismissal if her manipulations should be detected.
She is not a saint. Some of her schemes have more serious consequences than losing a job. Georgia has a limited moral compass. There is more than a touch of the vigilante in her personality.
What a concept for a legal team – a clever woman and a principled man – working together to solve challenging legal issues while maintaining a genuine personal friendship. I would look forward to reading more books featuring Georgia and Ken.
Wolfe, Susan – (2014) - The Last Billable Hour; (2014) Who is Susan Wolfe?; (2017) - This is Susan Wolfe; (2018) - Escape Velocity