Scribner, July 2004, 24.00, 272 pp.
At the request of her partner Harry Madigan, Marty Nickerson agrees to take on the case of Louisa Rawlins, whose husband is presumed dead because he never came home after using his boat. The insurance company does not want to pay out the $1 million dollar claim; instead they ask authorities to investigate. Marty is a bit uncomfortable representing Louisa because her lover Harry was once Louisa's lover.
Certain that there is no evidence to arrest her, Marty agrees that she and Louisa should meet with District Attorney Geraldine Schilling at the client's home. On the day of the meeting, the police arrest Louisa on charges of second-degree murder. A fisherman found Herb Rawlings's body his hands and leg tied together with rope. He had a head injury and later the police find evidence of blood in the bathroom that matches that of Herb. A brass swan faucet, which the authorities think is the murder weapon, is found with Louisa's fingerprints and Herb's blood and hair on it making it seem like the prosecution has an airtight case. Even Marty begins to wonder if her client is innocent.
Rose Connors is brilliant at portraying courtroom scenes yet she humanizes all the characters so that nobody is stereotyped. She also injects humor into the storyline so that the audience becomes further delighted with the characters witty repartee. The accused is a charming refined and gentile woman who engages the sympathy of the audience so that readers hope she is not the killer. MAXIMUM SECURITY is one of the best legal thrillers of the year.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner