As dawn breaks east of Boston, a timebomb lies waiting to explode. A misplaced comma, or a billion-dollar fraud? An innocent man caught in the headlights of coincidence, or cold-blooded murder? The suspect is ex-attorney John Shepard.As dawn breaks east of Boston, a timebomb lies waiting to explode. A misplaced comma, or a billion-dollar fraud? An innocent man caught in the headlights of coincidence, or cold-blooded murder? The suspect is ex-attorney John Shepard.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-05-06 Weak characterizations, overblown prose and predictable plotting spoil Willet's debut, a legal thriller set in the rarefied financial and legal circles of greater Boston. The premise, though, is simple and sweet: as maverick attorney John Shepard closes the biggest deal in the history of Freer, Motley & Stone, no one notices that an error in the documents allows the recipient of the $840 million mortgage that supports the deal to pay it off with $840 thousand. The horrified partners learn that they may face hundreds of millions in malpractice liability. Soon the senior partner is dead, and Shepard is arrested for his murder. Two weeks from trial, Shepard fires his high-profile defense attorney and persuades his friend Ed Mulcahy, a litigator at Freer, to take the case. Ed does, and promptly loses his job. With little time to prepare, limited trial experience, a difficult client and Boston's legal and political establishment arrayed against him, Ed thus must win this case as much for himself as for his client. Willett fills the narrative with tired genre turns, such as how the stress of the trial draws Mulcahy and his assistant together romantically. His dialogue is equally cheap (a black youth: "He a strong muhfucker. Wipped yo' ass"; a P.I.: "Shepid? I heard aboudim"). Off the street and inside boardrooms and courtrooms, Willett's atmospherics seem authentic-he is himself a partner in a Boston law firm-but it's hard to accept the incredible confluences of incompetence and na?vet? from his cast of high-priced lawyers. An unsatisfying denouement proves a poor reward for those who hang on to see how the story's many loopholes are closed. Simultaneous Random AudioBook. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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