Score: 92/100 (9.2 out of 10)
Veronica Lane is dead.
Charlie Calvin Clements, the man believed to be responsible for her murder, sits on the verge of death row. Veteran lawyer Duncan Pheiffer, the one and only man who the defendant believes can save him from the electric chair, is found strangled and burned to death in his own vehicle, killed by an unknown assailant.
It falls to the other attorneys of the city of Town to find the evidence to try to acquit Clements and solve the mysterious murders of both Veronica Lane and Duncan Pheiffer.
Leading this valiant and seemingly hopeless effort is Duncan's long-time friend and colleague, Barclay Griffith, the assistant district attorney.
It is a long, arduous, twisty-turny quest for truth and justice in the face of increasingly worsening odds. Along the way Barclay and company confront many painful truth and shocking discoveries. They fight to live by the mantra that Duncan lived by—his “Hero Rule” to “do the right thing for the right reasons” even when it seems easier just to solve the case based on the apparently-clear evidence and take the big paycheck.
This book does a very good job exploring many of the dark (and gray) sides of the legal system.
How often do defense attorneys encounter and represent people they know are guilty, yet they still represent them out of obligation (or for a paycheck)? How often do prosecutors know that the person they're prosecuting is innocent, yet they still do everything in their power to prove that they're guilty? How much do things like bias, racism, and prejudice play into courtroom decisions?
How often are court cases decided by who can afford the better lawyer? How often do we see travesties of justice?
How often do we see court decisions be based on what seems to be the simplest and most straight-forward conclusion (i.e. Occam's Razor)? How often do courts, for the sake of brevity or shear laziness, avoid digging deeper for the truth?
It made us think about the attorneys of these mass-shooters or serial killers who have a truly unenviable job of representing and trying to defend these absolutely terrible people, some of whom you wouldn't even want to be alone in a room with.
It also made us wonder about things like reasonable doubt and probable cause.
This book is really phenomenal as a sort of murder-mystery and courtroom thriller.
Check it out on Amazon!