Jove, Jan 2001, 6.99, 336 pp.
Eight years ago, an assailant attacked Teresa Harnett in her kitchen. The culprit smashed her head with a bottle, rammed her head on the floor several times, raped her, and left a calling card of a broken bottle end inside her vagina. The vicious individual left Teresa for dead, but she was rushed to the hospital and with the help of her loving and caring spouse physically recovers.
However, Teresa's nightmare begins anew because the defense lawyer Brenna Kennedy demands a new trail for her convicted client Carmen DellaVechhio. DNA evidence destroys much of the proof the DA used the first time around. The presiding judge releases the incarcerated individual pending final dismissal of all charges. Teresa begins to wonder if she helped place the wrong person behind bars. Neither Brenna nor Teresa realizes what heartache and murders await them as this case moves into the final stages.
Martin J. Smith is one the most under-appreciated thriller writers on the market today. He consistently provides chillers that deserve a vast audience. His latest winner, STRAW MEN, is loaded with surprises and revelations mostly frightening because they feel real yet are unexpected. Characters from other books by Mr. Smith have evolved as if they share real time with the reader, which adds to the feel of chilling reality. This novel is a thumbs-up legal thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner