Simon & Schuster, Jul 2001, 24.00, 367 pp.
In 1997 in Seattle, highly regarded painter Laura Arcand is rushed unconscious to Harborview Hospital after trying to commit suicide. While the staff feverishly worked to save her life, Laura awakens for a moment screaming that she killed the two of them.
Not long afterward in nearby Kitsap County, the corpse of Laura's husband is found near her mother's home. Someone shot Laura's husband Mark Talbott. Prosecuting Attorney Judith Watkins firmly believes the heathen Laura killed her husband. Besides the ER confession, other evidence points towards Laura as a murderer.
Her mother's lover attorney Ed Hauser plans to defend Laura, who he loves like a daughter. He brings in family friend forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Hatton to help and assigns much of the research to his top young lawyer Mary Slattery. With a religious fanatic representing the county going after Laura with an inquisition like vengeance, the defense team has its work cut out for them in what seems like an impossible case to defend.
SHADES OF JUSTICE is a powerful legal-medical thriller that never slows down even when introducing the key players. For instance Will is met by the reader while testifying in Texas and Mary at the scene of the crime. This technique allows the audience to understand the defense team better while moving forward a strong story line. Fans of the combined sub-genre will want more works by Fredrick Huebner after completing this fabulous tale with a few surprising twists and turns even when the case is a sure shot win for the prosecution.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner