Morrow, July 2002, 23.95, 320 pp.
Though a very tiny earthquake occurred along the San Andreas fault that hardly registered on the richctor scale, the damage to the newly built Fairmont Hospital left sixty-three people dead, forty of them children. It was discovered that the building was not built to specifications because the builders skimped on earthquake prevention fortifications by bribing building officials and inspectors to sign off that it met the code.
The prosecution says that known criminal Nicholas Balagula was the mastermind behind the tragedy that led to the calamity. The Feds brought him to trial twice and failed to get a conviction. Now they are trying again and true crime writer Frank Corso is the only journalist allowed to witness the proceedings. Corso wants to see justice served but the case abruptly becomes personal when his ex-girlfriend is almost killed by two goons in the pay of Balagula.
G.M. Ford is an excellent writer who tells quite a story. His enigmatic protagonist is a likable chap content with being alone. Still he strives to do the right thing for the only person who means anything to him while not expecting any payment or even a return favor. The interesting plot is filled with unexpected yet reasonable twists and turns that compels the audience to drive this vehicle in a one sitting pleasurable ride.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner