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After just a few hours on the job, a new lawyer lands his first murder case.

It’s Ben Kincaid’s first day as an associate at corporate giant Raven, Tucker & Tubb, and he’s ready to start the long climb up the ladder to partnership. But he’s barely cleared the first rung when a body trips him up.

Ben’s first task is to arrange an adoption for one of the firm’s biggest clients—a bit of grunt work that becomes interesting when he meets the child in question. Emily suffers from Korsakov’s Syndrome, a rare disorder that prevents her from forming memories, and Jonathan and Bertha Adams want nothing more than to raise her as their own. But Kincaid has just begun getting the paperwork together when he gets a chilling phone call: Jonathan has been found dead, hacked to pieces in an alleyway. Investigating the killing will take Kincaid down a fearsome path, leading him to wish that, like Emily, he had the power to forget.

PRIMARY JUSTICE is available from Mysterious Press.


“An appealing mystery with a wry perspective on corporate law. . . . High adventure.” – Publishers Weekly

“Bernhardt skillfully combines a cast of richly drawn characters, multiple plots, a damning portrait of a big law firm, and a climax that will take most readers by surprise.” – Chicago Tribune

“An insider’s view of corporate lawyering. Cynical, suspenseful, and fast-paced.” – Lia Matera, author of Where Lawyers Fear to Tread


William Bernhardt (b. 1960) is a former attorney and author of thrillers. Born in Oklahoma, he began writing as a child, submitting a poem about the Oklahoma Land Run to Highlights—and receiving his first rejection letter—when he was eleven years old. Twenty years later, he had his first success, with the publication of Primary Justice (1991), the first novel in the long-running Ben Kincaid series.

The bestselling success of Primary Justice earned Bernhardt a reputation as a promising young talent, and he followed the book with seventeen more novels starring the idealistic defense attorney, including Murder One (2001) and Hate Crime (2004). His other novels include Double Jeopardy (1995) and The Midnight Before Christmas (1998), a holiday-themed thriller. In 1999, Bernhardt founded the HAWK publishing group as a way to help boost the careers of struggling young writers. Besides writing and publishing, he teaches writing workshops around the country. He lives with his family in Oklahoma. You can find his website at this link.