William Tucker, number twelve, was the senior quarterback for the Texas Longhorns. He was born to play football, especially for a quarterback. He was big; he was strong, and he was fast. William was proud of his fame as a star footballer, and everyone considered him a role model.
While he was enjoying his time with one of the cheerleaders after winning a game, the police came and arrested him with the charge of rape and murder. At first, he thought the arrest was nothing different than the three previous arrests. But when a policeman told him that his DNA was left on a murder scene two years ago in Texas and he will be charged and sentenced to a death penalty, the panic started to hit him, and he has no idea what to do and who to call.
The story brings us back to ten years ago when William was 12 years old. The focus slowly shifted to his father, Frank Tucker who was a prominent criminal defence lawyer at that time. The harsh fact of life for criminal defence lawyers is most of their clients are guilty, and they have to defend the guilty. Frank Tucker plays his role differently. He only defended the innocent.
When William was 14, a college scout talked to Frank about paving William's career to be an NFL star in the future. Frank was hesitant as he still believes in education and other professional careers but not athletes. At the same time, he doesn't want to take away William's dream if William wants to be a footballer, and he is gifted with the talent. William transferred to a public school, which is one of the best school for footballers. Frank tried to stay positive when William had changed due to stardom and fame.
Every lawyer takes a risk when he takes a case that the client might be lying. When Frank found out that one of his famous clients, Bradley Todd, had lied to him two years ago, he started to drink. He suffered tremendous guilt for the second victim, Bradley's ex-fiancee. He felt he was responsible for her death and eventually became a drunkard and got fired by his firm after a year. His wife filed a divorce, and the children had left the house to pursue their dreams. And the worst part was Frank appeared on William's game in a drunk state, causing an embarrassment to William. William lost his focus in the game, experienced a concussion, and the team suffered a humiliating loss.
When the story takes us back to the present time, Frank is in Rockport, Texas and still drinking his past away. The state bar association suspended his licence, his wife had left for another man, and his children no longer answer his calls. One day, he receives an unexpected call from someone that he never talked for two years. A phone call from his son from jail.
What a heartwarming story! I loved the storyline and every character in the story, although certain scenes seemed dramatic but still tolerable for me. The only thing that I wasn't interested and have no understanding is American football, but I understand that it was necessary for the story. I wonder how much of the story is true about the footballers, the fame, the money, the career path, and the scholarships. I know American football is a major sport in the US, but I never thought it's more tremendous than I can imagine. Is that true the footballers really act like a superstar? Wow. Maybe they are really "special" in their state, but if they leave their country, they are nothing to anyone. Well, perhaps for someone with that level of fame and fortune, they don't have to leave their comfort zone.
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: The Case Against William.