Putnam, Apr 2004, 24.95, 384 pp.
In a Midwestern city, attorney Shelly Trotter works for the Child Advocacy Project by representing troubled students in court. Because she has never worked a capital case, Shelly asks Paul Riley to defend Alex Baniewicz, accused of killing police officer Raymond Miroballi. Paul prefers Shelly lead the defense, which she reluctantly agrees to do.
Already having doubts that she can provide an adequate defense, Shelly learns that Baniewicz may be the son she gave up for adoption following a rape. Made public that revelation could destroy her conservative father's reelection for state governor. The case turns even more complex when federal agents inform Shelly that Alex was working undercover for them trying to find evidence that martyred heroic cop Miroballi sold drugs. As she continues to develop the defense, Shelly investigates the link between her client and a vicious gang of reported drug dealers, the Cannibals. Her probe leads to Alex's friend Ronnie Masters, who not only may be a cop killer, but seems more likely the infant that she gave away.
The twists in this incredible superb legal thriller are amazing (there are plenty more to come than what was described above) yet each one feels right though the megatons are at hydrogen bomb level revelations. That along with a solid cast makes for a terrific terse tale that will make David Ellis a household name. Even the street punks come across as real making a JURY OF ONE the must sub-genre read of the year so far.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner