The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

March 12, 2014

Huntsville lawyer pens legal thriller

By Lora Scripps

— Southern civil defense attorney turned author Robert Bailey will make his way to Athens Saturday, March 8, to read and sign his debut legal thriller “The Professor.”

The Huntsville native will be at Pablo’s on Market from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

“The Professor” — a story of betrayal, excitement and Alabama football — has been described by some of the South’s great authors as “gripping” and full of “Southern flavor.” The novel has been described as “brimming with suspense and courtroom drama” with “surprising twists and turns.” 

Bailey uses his alma mater — the University of Alabama — as his backdrop and introduces readers to Tom McMurtrie, a former attorney who accepted a job teaching law at the university at the request of his mentor and close friend, coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

After four decades of working at the university, he finds himself forced into retirement.

Then, he learns that the family of one of his oldest friends has been killed in a terrible crash with an 18-wheeler.

One of Tom’s former students, Rick Drake, is heading up the case in court and turns to the retired professor for help. That is when Rick discovers there is much more to the case than meets the eye — arson, bribery and greed.

Winston Groom, the author of “Forrest Gump,” has said, “‘The Professor’ is that rare combination of thrills, chills and heart. Gripping from the first page to the last.”

“Robert Bailey is a southern writer in the great southern tradition, with a vivid sense of his environment and characters that pop and crackle on the page,” said William Bernhardt, author of the Ben Kincaid series. “This book kept me hooked all the way through.”

Bailey’s “The Professor,” published by Exhibit A Books, is the first book in a series featuring the legal team of McMurtrie and Drake.

Bailey graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1999. He lives in Huntsville where he is married with three children and practices law with the law firm of Lanier, Ford, Shaver and Payne.

To find out more about Robert Bailey, visit