Jove, Aug 2003, 7.50, 352 pp.
In Baltimore, a close friend offers attorney Val Covington an opportunity to open her own practice that would include office space in a former church owned by Rob Smith. Val leaps at the chance and offers a job to her sometime paralegal assistant at her old firm. Kendra Brooks accepts on the condition that Val represents pro bono her former lover and father of her child, a death row inmate that the assistant insists is innocent.
Seventeen years ago Daniel Monroe was convicted of killing a cop. His appeals are running out and soon the state will execute him unless a miracle occurs. Though believing that Kendra is seeing her beloved through the rose colored glasses of love, Val agrees to work the case. Surprisingly, Rob has investigative experience and skills and assists Val as they seek a smoking gun to prove her client's innocence while falling in love with one another.
TWIST OF FATE is a powerful legal thriller that assaults the current capital punishment system that focuses on convictions not guilt or innocence in a due process in which the prosecutor is always right. The story line contains a romantic subplot, but is clearly a call for action, not against the death penalty, but to insure that the wrong person is never executed. Though Rob's skills are too convenient as the cost of an investigator is extremely high (a key prosecutor advantage), the cast is multi-dimensional especially the courageous lead couple and Kendra. Mary Jo Putney condemns a blind system that often fails to catch the guilty by expeditiously going after a convenient victim.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner