Ballantine, Jul 2003, 25.95, 320 pp.
Seven years ago Tulsa attorney Ben Kincaid failed to obtain a not guilty verdict for his client, food chemist Ray Goldman. Now the convicted killer of multiple murders, in which he killed eight members of the Faulkner family removing their eyes, faces execution by lethal injection unless Ben can get a stay with with last appeal.
Shockingly, Erin Faulkner, the only eye witness survivor whose testimony condemned Ray, tells Ben she made an error as she had doubts, but folded under immense pressure from the ADA to attain a conviction. Before Ben can use this new information, Erin is found dead, an apparent suicide. When a second person is killed who was coming to Ben with information, the lawyer tries to get more time but fails in a system in which justice is so blind that it appears that an innocent man will die.
Though surprisingly Ben has little to do with solving the case, fans will enjoy this death row legal thriller. The angst-laden story line works at its best when the pressure on Ben becomes unbearable especially when the hero desperately pleads with the court for more time. Though the office of the DA is painted to an extreme, with its only interest in attaining convictions even in death row cases, William Bernhardt is at his marvelous best with this delightful mystery.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner