Kensington, May 2004, 24.00, 320 pp.
Raising two children alone and attending law school part-time would fill up most people's days and nights, but Ventura County probation officer Carolyn Sullivan also is overworked with a caseload of over two-hundred offenders. However, the media and the public do not care about her workload when one of her probationers, Eddie Downly rapes an eight year old girl. Everyone at work suggests a low profile until the media feeding frenzy calms down.
Carolyn is too dedicated of a civil servant to hide. Instead, she wonders if her latest assignment, schizophrenic parolee Daniel Metroix might be innocent of the murder conviction that put him behind bars for over two decades. While someone wants Daniel dead; Carolyn makes inquiries into what happened to the victim, the son of the former police chief. Soon Carolyn reconsiders, wondering if her investigation is worth the lives of her children as someone wants to stop her from learning the truth.
Legal thriller fans will enjoy Nancy Taylor Rosenberg's latest tale that focuses on a hard working, caring person trying to do the right thing amidst an overwhelming inhuman caseload. Readers will appreciate what the media and the politicians blithely ignore when they place blame on the bureaucracy that many of our government employees work impossible jobs hampered by ridiculous laws. The insight into the parole system is a close look at what an officer deals with. Though the investigation is fun, it seems off kilter for someone who has no time and must worry about the threats to her children. Still melodrama aside, SULLIVAN'S LAW is a terrific glimpse of a broken system.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner