Morrow, May 2003, 24.95, 437 pp.
Although the prime suspect is a close friend, Philadelphia attorney Victor Carl believes that lawyer Guy Forrest killed his live-in lover in a crime of passion. When Victor arrived at the rainy scene, he found Guy sitting naked outside the house he shared with the victim, holding a gun. Inside Hailey Prouix had been shot dead. Guy, who left his family for Hailey, swears he did not kill her, but Victor thinks otherwise.
The police arrest Guy for murder. Although Victor is the defense attorney, he has his own agenda pushed by his personal obsession for Hailey, whom he slept with too. Even while he wants his client locked away, Victor investigates the couple. He learns that the two lovers were on opposite sides of a medical malpractice suit leading to his wondering if his client might be a victim of a seduction in order to win massive damages for her patron. He looks elsewhere for a clever killer, which leads Victor ultimately to Hailey's West Virginia hometown where secrets and murder reside in the gene pool.
This is an exciting legal thriller that brazenly steps off the edge, but never lands into free fall due to the energy of the vigorous story line. The two lawyers are interesting characters sharing in common besides the law a need for the deceased. Victor is especially intriguing as he plans to hang his pal until the evidence confirms that his client is a victim too. Hailey and her roots (no literary pun intended) provide a nice spin. Though gimmicks are the only flaw, they are not fatal to a gratifying legal thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner