Putnam, Apr 2001, 24.9, 320 pp.
Just a few months into her career as an associate lawyer at Boston's Jaynes and Ward, Mairead O'Clare finds herself totally bored. When her boss catches her daydreaming during a “seminar”, he not only lectures her, but also warns her that her future (and perhaps the Western World) is at stake. Feeling no remorse, Mairead already loathes her role in the firm so she goes to the Commons to think about her future. There she meets criminal lawyer Sheldon Gold, who offers her a job with an office and lots of hard work at much less pay.
After quitting her current job, Mairead accepts Sheldon's employment offer. He immediately sends her to the courthouse on a criminal case where they will represent Alpha, a homeless person accused of murdering a peer Old Man River. Alpha is intelligent and friendly, but refuses to fully cooperate with his attorney. As Mairead continues to obtain information, she gains an on the job education that thrills her even if the case is proving difficult due to the attitude of her slick client.
UNCOMMON JUSTICE is a criminal legal tale that demonstrates why author Terry Devane is an award-winning writer. The key characters which include Sheldon, Mairead, their office assistant, and Alpha seem so genuine readers will believe their part of the case. The who-done-it seems obvious, but the twists and turns of the story line prove that there is more to justice than the obvious. Sub-genre fans have an uncommon treat with this intelligently written novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner