Ballantine, Apr 2001, 23.95, 336 pp.
In Tulsa, Ben Kincaid defends stripper Keri Dalcarton against a charge of brutally killing police officer Joe McNaugton in a bestial manner left for public viewing. The trial goes badly as witness after witness provides testimony insures Keri's conviction. However, Ben notices that the two search warrants used to look inside Keri's car and home were illegal, forcing the judge to throw out the case on a technicality. The cops are outraged, as Keri is not only free, but also protected under the Double Jeopardy clause of the Constitution.
Officer Arlen Matthews, who looked incompetent on the stand, persuades his cohorts to pull the “blue squeeze” on Kincaid. With a legal search warrant in hand, the police rummage through Kincaid's office to find the McNaugton murder weapon. Initially Ben is accused of obstructing justice, but then the charge is changed to MURDER ONE. Ben's legal assistant now a lawyer of two days serves as his defense attorney with more trouble awaiting Kincaid.
The previous Kincaid legal thrillers were excellent novels, but the newest tale, MURDER ONE, is superior to even that high standard. William Bernhardt grips the audience with a thriller that never eases up until the final twist and turn. Kincaid and his crew remain fun to observe as they struggle with this too personal case and the potential second round in the Dalcarton defense in spite of the Double Jeopardy clause. Mr. Bernhardt has written a fabulous story that if justice were simple would lead to the top of the best seller lists.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner