Joe Turner trusts his gut in Good Lookin’
Criminal defense attorney Joe Turner faces the gangs of inner-city Oakland head-on in Good Lookin’: a Joe Turner Mystery by T. L. Bequette when he is hired to represent Darnell Moore. With all the evidence pointed against him, it seems as if Moore enters the trial for murder with his fate sealed. Luckily for him, Turner prides himself on defending the innocent and demands respect for the presumption of innocence. When he meets Moore for the first time, he believes his client’s easy smile and calm demeanor reflects that very innocence.
Not everyone believes his young client is innocent until proven guilty. For example, Turner reveals how police reports are written in a manner that justifies the arrest, meaning they usually do not contain evidence that would prove one’s innocence. The report describes the events that occurred on March 22, 2021, when Cashtown gang member Cleveland Barlow was shot while loitering outside his gang hangout. Most people would place the blame on the IceBoyz gang who often made new members earn their spot by participating in “initiation”. Moore’s car is spotted on camera in that same intersection seconds before the shooting.
With his work cut out for him, Turner begins the process of entering a plea of not guilty and building his defense. To do so, he inspects initial police reports, photographs of the crime scene, drafts a discovery list for the D.A., and recruits his friends Andy Kopp and Chuck Argenal to help. While they may not seem like much, Andy’s expertise as a personal injury attorney and Chuck’s vast connections as a private eye prove crucial to Turner crafting a strong defense.
Even as a criminal defense lawyer, Turner still admits that it is more fun to defend the innocent and argue a worthy cause; he prefers to fight on the side of justice. Working with a client who insists he knew nothing about the murder that landed him in jail, Turner realizes this will not be his usual run-of-the-mill case. He thinks of this case as a rare opportunity, the chance to fight for someone who is factually innocent.
While reading Turner’s perspective on the murder trial, this book simultaneously follows a storyline from the perspective of nine-year-old twins Damon and Jesse. Their mysterious link is one of the many questions the author hangs in suspense until the latter half of the story.
Even though the author also keeps the trial in constant suspense, he makes it clear that to the world of criminals, there is a big difference between a murder case and a homicide case. Between sucking up to incompetent judges and heckling with the prosecutor Nathaniel Winston Didery, the author shows how each player has their own agenda. Turner undergoes the task of sorting through the mess, while dealing with his own psyche. We read firsthand the frustrations of being a criminal defense attorney and are taken for a ride through the ups and downs of the criminal justice system. The suspense of Good Lookin’ will keep you rooting for Turner’s success and waiting for Moore’s freedom. Find your copy of Good Lookin’ on Amazon now.