Ben Kincaid Series
View list of "Ben Kincaid" novels in chronological order
In one harrowing day, lawyer and former senator Ben Kincaid enters the eye of an international storm, a crisis with consequences beyond calculation. Kincaid is in a meeting with the president in the Oval Office when Washington suddenly explodes into chaos. Facing an imminent threat to the White House, Kincaid is whisked, along with the president and his advisors, to the underground PEOC–Presidential Emergency Operations Center–built to withstand a nuclear blast, but vulnerable to another kind of attack.
Insane with grief, Professor Dennis Thomas blames Detective Christopher Sentz for the death of his wife and wants to kill him. In fact, Thomas shares his revenge plans with Ben Kincaid. Then someone fires seven bullets into the police officer. Against all advice and going on instinct, Kincaid decides to represent the troubled professor, who faces a charge of capital murder. Meanwhile, Kincaid's personal private detective, Loving, starts prying loose pieces of a shocking secret. Working in the shadows of the law, Loving risks his life to construct an entirely new narrative about Detective Sentz, Joslyn Thomas, and madness in another guise: the kind that every citizen should fear and no one will recognize–until it is too late.
Oklahoma defense attorney Ben Kincaid has found himself smack in the middle of more than a few controversies and deadly predicaments–and the unexpected leap from his modest Tulsa law offices to Washington, D.C.'s Senate chamber hasn't taken the edge off Ben's knack for stepping into the line of fire. Now the idealistic junior senator is plunged into the thick of lethal intrigue when a shocking campaign of terror against key government officials rocks the nation's capital.
When Oklahoma attorney Ben Kincaid came to Washington, D.C., to defend a senator caught in a red-hot sex scandal turned murder case, he never dreamed he'd end up trading the courtroom for the senate chamber. And after his not-so-distinguished client stepped down, Ben found himself appointed to complete the sullied senator's term. Now, having barely gotten his political sea legs, he must rise to yet another challenge: advising the president's next Supreme Court nominee during the sometimes thorny confirmation process. Luckily, Judge Thaddeus Roush's popularity on both sides of the aisle looks to make him a shoo-in. Until he decides to out himself on national television–igniting a Beltway uproar and setting the stage for a bare-knuckle partisan brawl.
I thought sending Ben to Washington to represent a senator charged with murder and several other scurrilous crimes would be an interesting change of pace. Turned out readers thought it was a good idea—as I write this in early 2007, this is my bestselling hardcover ever, which is why the next soon-to-be-released Ben book also contains "Capitol" in the title (but I promise there won't be nine "Capitol" titles).
Ben travels to Chicago to represent a man charged with a hideous gaybashing murder—at the request of the defendant's mother. Ellen was mentioned in the first book in the series and many times thereafter, but readers never knew why Ben's college relationship with her scarred him so—until this book.
I think this is the best book in the series; it's still the one I recommend first to new readers. Ben, a vocal long-time opponent of the death penalty, represents a man on death row in perhaps the most desperate of his cases, and in the process, learns something important about life that changes him forever. I love this book.
I wanted to call this book "Bad Faith," a legal term from contract law that also encapsulates the theme of the book, which is Ben's exploration not only of religious faith, but faith in the law and other matters even closer to home.
Christina graduates from law school, just in time to represent Ben when he's charged with murder. This is another of my favorites, and it's the first Ben book not to have the word "Justice" in the title. I had argued for this for some time, but was told a title change might impact sales. It did—for the better. This was my first book to hit the New York Times bestseller list.
This is the only Ben book that centers on a civil suit rather than a criminal case, although the civil case turns out to be not all that civil, and as you might expect, the case is tainted by murder. Since I was primarily a civil trial attorney back when I was still practicing, this was a lot of fun to write.
My first of several books with an environmental theme. Ben travels to the Pacific Northwest and soon becomes embroiled in a conflict between loggers and environmentalists. This was my second book to win the Oklahoma Book Award.
Readers learn a lot more about Ben and his past in this entry, not to mention his (and my) musical taste. This book also introduces Paula Jones, later to be Jones's wife, and reveals that Christina has been secretly going to law school at night. My mother called the ending "sublime"—one of my all-time favorite reviews. This book won the Southern Writers Guild's Gold Medal Award.
Another strong entry, especially for fans of courtroom drama, or readers wanting to know more about Ben's stormy relationship with his father. Ben represents Tulsa's mayor who has been charged with murdering his wife and children. Some superficial resemblances to the O.J. Simpson trial attracted too much of the critics' attention when the hardcover was released, but it was fabulously successful in paperback, possibly because it's a good book, or possibly because the title contains the word "Naked."
The best book I had ever written at the time, and still one of the very best in the series. Ben is involved in an illegal adoption that culminates in murder. Harry had just been born, so it is perhaps unsurprising that this book is, in the words of Publishers Weekly, "a meditation on good fathers, bad fathers, and fathers never known."
My first hardcover was inspired by my involvement with HateWatch at the Poverty Law Center. It was my first book to win the Oklahoma Book Award. Ben goes head-to-head with a white supremacist militia group in a small town in Arkansas. This book was published more than a year before the Oklahoma City bombing. At the time it was released, many critics scoffed that I had made too much of these "backwoods bullies." After the bombing, no one ever said that again.
Ben tries working as in-house counsel for a large conglomerate, but murder still follows him even in corporate America. I was leading an Explorer Post when I wrote this, and my experience on the ropes course figures prominently in the book. I did only slightly better than Ben does.
I must admit that, at the time I wrote it, I didn't perceive Primary Justice as the first of a series, but after it started hitting the bestseller lists, the publisher wanted a sequel. This book finds Ben launching his own practice—and Christina is his first client, accused of murder. It also introduces Jones and Loving to the regular cast. Despite the grim plot description, this is possibly the funniest book in the series.
This is the book that started it all. Young Ben Kincaid, fresh out of law school, joins a large Tulsa law firm, meets a spunky young legal assistant named Christina McCall, and is soon involved in mystery and murder. This book went through eight printings in the first three months of publication and fulfilled my lifelong dream of being a published writer.