Bantam, Aug 2001, 24.95, 387 pp.
San Francisco District Attorney Prentice “Skipper” Gates III held a campaign rally for his bid for reelection at the Fremont Hotel that ended late. He stayed at the hotel overnight only to wake up with a male corpse sharing his room. The police arrest Skipper for murder and he then calls Mike Daley, his former partner in the Simpson and Gates law firm to get him out of jail and defend him in such a way that this campaign and his future efforts at statewide office are not damaged.
Besides courtroom rivals in recent years since Mike is a defense attorney, the duo had bad blood when they worked together. Still, a reluctant Mike accepts Skipper as a client though he feels the man is guilty or at least hiding something. As the prosecutors pursue a death penalty conviction, accompanied by his partner, his ex-wife Rosita Fernandez, Mike begins making inquiries throughout the Bay area to learn what went down that night.
Sheldon Siegel brings back the effective legal team of Daley and Fernandez (see SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES) in another captivating legal thriller. The story line provides a wonderful tour of San Francisco inside a strong courtroom drama that enables readers to follow Mike's thought processes. The INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE against Skipper and his attitude makes Mike and Rosita's work much harder and this much more enjoyable for the reader. Sub-gene fans will want more tales from Mr. Siegel starring his dynamic duo, but perhaps Rosita can take the lead so that the audience can understand her thinking better from more of her perspective than that of Mike's.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner