JUROR NUMBER ELEVEN
Putnam, June 2002, 24.95, 320 pp.
Even a gangster deserves a proper legal defense and Shel Gold agrees with that principle when he agrees to represent his childhood friend Ben Friedman on a murder charge. Shel and his associate Mairead O'Clare manage to convince the jury that their client is innocent but during the testimony and the reading of the verdict, JUROR NUMBER ELEVEN constantly stares at Mairead.
When that same Juror Conchita calls Mairead to visit her at her home on a matter unrelated to the trial, the lawyer reluctantly agrees. When she arrives at the home, she find Chita's lifeless body hanging from a rope. The police rule it a homicide and when they find the victim deposited $10,000 in cash into her savings account, they think that Ben tampered with a juror and then killed her to keep from talking. When Ben is charged with Chita's murder, Shel and his associate must find the actual killer if they hope to gain a second acquittal for their client.
JUROR NUMBER ELEVEN is a very realistic legal thriller starring characters it is very easy to like. Readers get to see what is involved in preparing for trial and what is involved in presenting a case. It is even effortless to like the self-admitted gangster because the reader feels the police and the district attorney's office are using his reputation against him, making seem loke a scapegoat. Terry Devane is a new and shining light in the legal thriller constellation.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner