Unlawful Greed: A Short Story

Featured in the Anthology, The Funeral, this fast-paced short story wastes no time pulling the reader into a fascinating whodunit. When a prominent L.A. lawyer is found dead in his office, the detectives assigned to solve the crime search high and low for clues. What they discover at the lawyer’s funeral, may well lead them to his killer. But will the murderer turn out to be among the usual suspects?

Read an Excerpt Below!

The jury has reached a verdict.

Vernon read the text message, then placed his smartphone back on the table and finished the last of his lasagna.

As he looked around for Lisa, the only waitress at Milan’s that he allowed to serve him, his gut churned and he could feel his pulse begin a slow ride uphill. Few would presume that Vernon Jackson Jones ever had an attack of the nerves. And he rarely did. But there was more than money riding on this one.

In the thirty-two years that he’d been practicing law, victory had come to be expected of Vernon. Not just by his clients and admirers, but from Vernon of himself. After tasting that first win so long ago—a personal injury case against a wealthy drunk driver—he had decided that he would always win. And for the most part, he had. That skill had gained him a national reputation and many millions of dollars as well.

Vernon drained his coffee cup. There was really no need to rush. The judge would not—could not—commence the proceedings until he arrived. In Fuller v. CGD Industries, Vernon was as much a part of the spectacle as his injured client, a sixteen-year-old honor student who didn’t just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but in the wrong lifetime. He’d been walloped by a steel beam while strolling through a construction site that should’ve been cordoned off. Vernon wanted to avenge that wrong.

Lisa finally appeared.

“Thanks,” he said, tossing a fifty-dollar bill on the table and lifting his jacket from the back of his chair.

Lisa eyed the generous tip and smiled. “I have my fingers crossed for you.”

Vernon responded with a grateful nod.

He was a regular at Milan’s not only because the food was great, but because it held special memories for him. He’d met Robin, his third and current wife here. He and his law partner had closed down the place many, many nights. And when his spoiled son needed money and Vernon was ignoring his calls, Vernon, Jr. could always find him sitting at the bar on the third seat from the left.

Vernon did not want to think about the only real family he had. All of three of them had disappointed him greatly, forcing him to finally make some tough decisions he should have made years ago.

He squirmed into his jacket. Victory awaited.