Warner, Jan 2001, 25.95, 448 pp.
Though the suspect comes from wealth, the case against Randy Bingham is as tight as a glove on a hand. Los Angeles police detectives Virgil Sykes and Dan McNeil immediately upon arriving at the crime scene in the Hancock Park section of town realize that someone sloppily tried to change a murder into a suicide, making the homicide even clearer. The culprit shot Shelli Dietz in Randy's home. Shelly's preadolescent son testifies that Randy killed his mother.
Deputy District Attorney Nikki Hill sees holes in the case that her lover Virgil and his partner provide to her, but continues with the prosecution against Randy. As she gathers more information, Nikki finds her own office hoping she will fail in this headline case. Also causing credibility problems for the prosecution is IA looking into Dan's recent killing of a prostitute. Still, the predominance of the evidence clearly points towards Randy even if Nikki begins having reasonable doubt.
The second Hill legal thriller is an exciting tale that keeps the octane flowing at its highest levels. The story line is fast-paced, filled with action, and never slows down for a nanosecond though readers will need to keep an open mind about the facts in the case. The relationship between Nikki and Virgil crumbles too easily due to misconceptions, misinformation, and miscommunication and adds little but unnecessary tsurus to the plot. Still Christopher Darden and Dick Lochte provide an enjoyable tale that sub-genre fans will appreciate because of its insider's look at the system at a supersonic pace.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner