Andy Carpenter is a rich lawyer who inherited cash, but is itching to get back to work. When a reporter is accused of committing a crime because the killer talks to him, Andy steps in to defend him. He's not sure he's innoncent, but soon becomes convinced that he's not guilty. But he's not sure who did it...someone in organized crime. Several friends of the reporter offer to help, but all of a sudden during the trial another murder takes place and the journalist is off the hook. andy thinks he's won, but then realizes one of the friends who offered to help set up the journalist, and then he's in grave danger.
This report prepared by liz doran
Mysterious Press, June 2004, 24.00, 261 pp.
Women in North Jersey are panicking because a serial killer is on the loose, a sociopath who strangles women from behind with a scarf and then cuts off their heads. His victims have been an elderly grandmother, a prostitute and a businesswoman. A reporter on Patterson's local newspaper Daniel Cumming is the only person who the killer communicates with and he has become a part of the story as much as he reports it.
Daniel's editor, Vince Sanders, is overjoyed because the circulation of the paper is rising at a fantastic rate but something is bothering him so he calls lawyer Andy Carpenter to represent the paper and Daniel. When the killer informs Daniel where to find the next victim, he races to the area but he gets hit on the head and loses consciousness. When he awakens the police treat him like a suspect and after they find two hands and scarves with blood on it, they arrest Daniel. Vince begs Andy to represent his reporter and he acquiesces even though he isn't sure Daniel is innocent.
There are many surprising twists in this exciting legal thriller which the author handles with panache and a sense of stark realism. The characters are off beat originals especially the protagonist who has inherited $22 million dollars yet his idea of a good time is spending a day watching football, playing with his dog and having fun with his significant other. He is a high profile lawyer who usually wins cases but this one means calling in favors. The ending is a surprise that readers will think about for a long time.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner