Foreword Reviews

Trials of a Dead Lawyer's Wife

A True Story

Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

Trials of a Dead Lawyer’s Wife is a noir-hued memoir about a suspicious death in a Southern town.

Maggie Redmon’s compelling memoir Trials of a Dead Lawyer’s Wife concerns a death in the family.

Redmon once had an ideal life with her second husband, Scott, a reputable Georgia lawyer. But when Scott descended into the throes of addiction—a situation that led to a felony charge, his disbarment, the loss of the couple’s financial nest egg, and an affair with a nurse—she began divorce proceedings. When Scott died from a supposed overdose, Redmon felt that the circumstances surrounding his death didn’t add up, including the fact that he bequeathed the nurse a half a million dollars the same day that he died. Redmon so began an investigation into her husband’s death—and into the nurse’s background.

This survivor’s tale is moved along by its narrator’s anguish. Redmon describes growing up in a dysfunctional family, only to watch the pattern repeat when her husband seemed bent on self-destruction. This tone is embellished by the book’s Southern noir details, with elements including a dead man, a mistress seeking wealth, and a mother who seemed too eager to learn the contents of her son’s will. Redmon encounters lawyers and sheriffs who embody regional stereotypes, too.

Redmon’s narration is dramatic and tense, but also sometimes dishy, as when she records meeting with an information technology expert to look at her husband’s laptop after the nurse was seen deleting files from it. Her voiced explanations of what she needs meld with her internal thoughts, which better convey her cynicism and frustration with the situation. Indeed, Redmon often holds her snark in; she leads her conversations with others, whose replies are partially shared, and partially summarized by Redmon herself. Other documentation comes in the form of court transcripts, text messages, journal entries, and letters.

Though the book is over reliant on exposition at times, it includes a number of colorful descriptions that bring its true crime tale to added life. Of a heated exchange between her husband and his mistress, Redmon writes: she “had a hard glint in her tobacco-brown eyes as she smiled thinly and delivered the news in her little girl voice.” Such details are evocative.

Trials of a Dead Lawyer’s Wife is a noir-hued memoir about a suspicious death in a Southern town.

Reviewed by Katerie Prior

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Load Next Review