Violent Ward

Author: Len Deighton

Release: January 1, 1993

Tagline: If America is a lunatic asylum then California is…

Publisher: Harpercollins

Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Fiction

ISBN-10: 0060179384
ISBN-13: 978-0060179380

Main Character(s): Mickey Murphey, Sir Jeremy Westbridge, Zach Petrovich

Synopsis: A hard-boiled Los Angeles criminal lawyer copes with a son in trouble, a passion for his biggest client’s wife, and cops who want to pin a murder on him

Declassified by Agent Palmer: Hollywood Hatred Aside, Violent Ward Plays Out Like a Great Film

Quotes and Lines

I suppose only someone permanently out of touch with reality tried for the movie big time in Hollywood.

Prayer, sermon, confession, and atonement: in that order. I figure the whole process of consulting an attorney should be a secular version of the mass.

And anyway, what does joining the service do to solve anything? It just gives you a million new and terrible problems to add to your old ones.

They were as crooked as you can get without ski masks and sawed-off shotguns.

Oh, well, I hate crooks. I should never have become a lawyer.

Talk about fly by wire–I’d guess Petrovitch would rather die than let anyone know what he was really thinking.

I hate exercising: I hated it even back when I was on the football team; that’s why I do it before I’m fully awake.

“You are funny, Mickey,” she said, without giving any sign of being amused. “One of these days someone will take the things you say seriously.”
“There’s no sign of that happening so far,” I said.

“And too many kids from film schools. Every last lousy college in the country has got a film school. Usually run by some dumb nerd with a subscription to Variety who learned about movies by doing the Universal Studios tour.”
“You should see the guys teaching law,” I said.
“They know all the shots: ‘We’ll take the umbrella scene from Hitchcock, the baby carriage sequence from Eisenstein, the sunrise from David Lean, the horsemen from Peckinpah.’ The trouble is they haven’t got one original idea in their head; all they know is camera angles.”

“Honey . . . being together again would save you money,” she said.
“No. Lay off me, Betty, will you? I’m real low on conjugal motivation these days.”

“I’ve got to have a neat place to take executives and the talent. Clients need the reassurance prosperous-looking representation provides. The kind of clients I’m interested in don’t want an agent who works out of a cocktail lounge with a mobile phone.”

The beneficial interactions of urban American life only succeed because we don’t know what to believe. If we knew what to believe, we’d be beating our neighbor’s door down.

“Why can’t you ever tell the truth, Mickey Murphy?”
“The truth always makes me look like an idiot,” I said.
“Yes. Well, there’s nothing I can do about that,” she said, and blew me a kiss before driving away.

None of these rich people were real–they were just poor folks acting.

Budd was glued to the TV again, his fear mingled with pride. “Hollywood! Where else in the world could you have half a dozen airborne cameras filming killings and arson from just a few feet away from the action? This is terrible.”

“Well, I’ve always been interested in directing,” said Danny.
“Of course you have,” I said. “Being interested in directing is as near as anyone can get to being jobless without the stigma of unemployment.”