NAL, Jan 2003, 24.95, 368 pp.
Mercer Early is a junior partner in the law firm of Carter and Hansborough, one of the most powerful and well respected companies on the west coast. After obtaining a not guilty verdict for his client, he is assigned a case involving a male LAPD officer who shot his male live-in lover. When Mercer goes to talk to his client, the man is incoherent and clearly not in his right mind. The victim is the District Attorney's godson so Mercer knows he has to have an awful case.
Two other LAPD police officers have also killed their significant others sharing in common paranoia, incoherency and clearly not in their right minds. The three men are tied to a shoot out in which a police officer shot another cop who was ready to kill him. A black box was taken out of the victim's car and given to someone high up in the LAPD. Federal agents are also involved in the case and warn Mercer off which makes him only more determined to find out what is going on and exonerate his client.
LAWLESS is one of the better conspiracy thrillers this reviewer has read in a long time and I have read a lot of them lately. It is hard to tell the heroes from the villains because both groups wear the label patriot and sincerely believe they behave in a responsible manner. Mercer is an honest, likeable person who believes in justice; his determination to win his client's freedom by trying to find a link to all the interested parties endears him further to the audience. Christopher Darden and Dick Lochte score big time with this exciting investigative thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner