Leisure, Oct 2004, 6.99, 368 pp.
Assistant District Attorneys Jordan La Fontaine and Jerrod Wresler compete for the position of Chief, Homicide Division Bureau, but the former believes being a black female works against her while the latter believes that gives her an edge. Jordan currently works the case of a Portland homicide detective killing his former wife. If she gets a conviction she has the promotion. This is an open and shut case because the police officer was found in his ex-spouse's bedroom covered in blood and holding the murder weapon.
Jordan's son Trevor is charged with killing two acquaintances. The police have not found the murder weapon, but have an eyewitness who claims seeing the suspect leave the crime scene and a victim's blood is on Trevor's clothing. Others claim he had a fight with one of the dead victims and said the guy was going to die. Defending Trevor in what also appears to be an open and shut case is Simon, former partner of the suspect's dead father and his mother's lover. Unable to remain on the sidelines, Jordan conducts her own sleuthing independent of the official investigation.
Jordan received the cop case because she and the detective are black; the victim being white apparently is irrelevant. What is interesting is how concealed the race element is yet how significant it effects all aspects of the legal system, but is kept silent for fear of reprisal.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner