About the Devane characters
There are four principal characters in the legal thrillers written by Jeremiah Healy under the pseudonym of "Terry Devane."Mairead O'Clare
The "first among equals" is Mairead O’Clare, a young, Irish-American lawyer whose first name is pronounced "Muh-RAID." She had a rough childhood: Abandoned by her natural parents because of hemangioma (the "port-wine" birthmark) staining her from fingernails past the elbows on both arms, Mairead was raised in an orphanage by some cruel nuns (including Sister Angela, who referred to Mairead’s marks as "stigmata") but also some kind ones (including the late Sister Bernadette, who still "speaks" to Mairead internally).
Despite, or maybe because of, these obstacles, Mairead took up ice hockey, starring for a boys’ team in high school and a women’s team in college. After graduating from New England School of Law, she begins her career with the prestigious Boston firm of Jaynes & Ward. However, she quickly becomes disillusioned with its large, corporate-law practice and decides (in UNCOMMON JUSTICE, the first book in the series) to join an older, criminal-defense attorney named Sheldon A. Gold in the defense of an Irish "hermit" accused of killing another homeless man along the city’s Charles River.Sheldon Gold
Shel grew up in a rough neighborhood, hanging with a street gang of
other "tough Jews" (including a gangster he defends against a murder
charge in the second book in the series, JUROR NUMBER ELEVEN). After
failing as a professional boxer, he went on to Harvard Law School,
married, and even became the father of a baby boy.
Mairead and Shel are helped in all three cases by Billie Sunday and Pontifico "The Pope" Murizzi.Billie Sunday
Billie is the small law firm’s receptionist-cum-office manager. The mother of three sons, her husband, Robert, was killed by a drunk driver. Thanks to the settlement negotiated by Shel, Billie can maintain a house and raise her family, but she is a bit suspicious of Mairead ("the child is a little hard to take, kind of like a puppy who’s just realizing what its big feet are for"). Billie also is "spooked" by the Pope.The Pope
Murizzi is the firm’s sometimes private investigator. He served on the Boston Police Department’s Homicide Unit, "making cases" against suspected killers, including a young man who commits suicide in the face of a prison future filled with homosexual rape. Just weeks after that happens, the real killer is apprehended, and the Pope takes early retirement to become a private investigator, working for lawyers like Mairead and Shel on one condition: Murizzi has to be convinced that the defendant involved is innocent.