Riverhead, April 2003, 24.95, 320 pp.
He is a junior lawyer at Madison & Vane, a very prominent English firm, helping one of the senior attorneys working on a brief that would advise UKI on the refinancing of two of its subsidiaries through U.S. investors. Lewis Penn is a very methodical, by the book lawyer who is successful because he doesn't make mistakes. At the meeting, he makes a very good impression but he makes what will ultimately prove to be a fatal error when he walks out without taking the file.
Instead of admitting his blunder, he sneaks back into the meeting room and takes the file and makes a copy to be sent to his counterpart in the United States. When he gets a chance to look at the file, he realizes it is the wrong one. It contains criminal information that the client would never give away and when they learn of the error they make it plain to Lewis that he must return the file or suffer the very real consequences.
THE IMMORTAL PART is the story of a decent man who makes the wrong decision to keep from getting into trouble with his company. One small error in judgment plunges him into a whirlpool leading to additional poor indiscretions and the comission of some criminal acts. The protagonist learns too late that every action has its consequences that often can't be fixed or changed. Christopher Wakling has written a masterful work of psychological suspense.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner