. Scott Finn is a well-known criminal attorney and when a lawyer from his old firm asks for his help on a case, he agrees to get DNA evidence admitted then withdraw, but when the lawyer who recruited him turns up dead, he has to continue on with the case and has two weeks to gather other evidence that will prove his client, Vincente Salazar, is innocent.
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The story opens 15 years earlier with an undercover cop getting slashed with a machete. She scrapes the face of her attacker with her nails, and the police violently arrest the man they believed was her attacker.
15 years later, Finn meets an attorney from his old law firm in an elevator and the lawyer talks him into visiting a man in prison to see if he, too, believes he's innocent, hoping to get him on board to argue for testing DNA evidence that was never used at his trial. Finn brings his PI, former Boston cop Tom Kozlowski. After they leave the prison, Finn agrees to take the case not knowing the role Tom played 15 years earlier. He was a cop who told the undercover to leave the area, just before she was attacked.
Finn appears at the DNA hearing and the Judge reluctantly agrees to allow the DNA evidence. Finn tells the lawyer he's withdrawing after the DNA evidence hearing, but shortly thereafter, the lawyer is brutally murdered with a machete. Finn is stuck and can no longer withdraw since he's made an appearance, so he is forced to investigate the case. He talks to the detectives who were in charge and feels something isn't right and then Tom gets him in to talk with the officer who had been attacked who is now in a wheelchair, not knowing the history between them. Tom says she might shoot him so he'd better be careful.
Finn talks to Vincente's family about him, his history and the night he was arrested. But then he looks into whether he was a member of a street gang from his native Nicaragua that was in the Boston area, and he begins to doubt his client's innocence. The police said he was a member and showed him pictures of him associating with them though his family said he was never in he gang. He also learns that his client was a doctor in his home country and was here illegally. The cop who was attacked was on an illegal immigration task force and was building a case to deport him, which, of course, was motive.
Not knowing whether Salazar is guilty or innocent, nonetheless, Finn is bound to defend him. Then Finn is attacked, and Salazar's brother, now a doctor, treats him. Then Finn gets Salazar to tell him what made the young lawyer who was killed go into a godforsaken neighborhood in Boston and Salazar tells him that's where the street gang is doing business. When Finn and Tom go to investigate, all hell breaks loose.
Finally, the DNA results come back and are not what is expected and Finn again doubts his clients innocence, but his investigation also uncovers police and prosecutorial misconduct and despite the DNA evidence, the judge is considering giving him a new trial when a few surprises happen in the courtroom making everything crystal clear.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked that until the very end, you had no idea if the guy was innocent.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was when Finn approaches Tom about seeing the wheelchair-bound cop who was attacked and Tom is very reluctant. We find part of it is because they are trying to free the man who attacked her but also because Tom effectively abandoned her after the attack because he couldn't handle it. He was her mentor and he didn't protect her. So he tells Finn she might shoot them to try to dissuade him, but it doesn't work. Their banter is very entertaining.
Opinion about the main character:
I liked that despite the fact that he waffled back and forth between believing in his client's innocence, he gave him the best defense he could which his job.