Peter Hale is a young attorney struggling to make his mark in his father's venerable law firm. When his father is taken ill in the midst of a big money case he decides to pursue it, against his father's wishes, seeing his chance to prove he's the whizz-kid lawyer he knows himself to be. In his zeal to prove himself he loses the lot - the case, his ...
Peter Hale is a young attorney struggling to make his mark in his father's venerable law firm. When his father is taken ill in the midst of a big money case he decides to pursue it, against his father's wishes, seeing his chance to prove he's the whizz-kid lawyer he knows himself to be. In his zeal to prove himself he loses the lot - the case, his job and his father. Unemployed and disinherited, Peter takes the only job he is offered - that of a public defender in a small Oregon town. He hope to make good there and re-instate himself in his father's good books. However, once gain his ambition gets the better of him when he takes on a death penalty case, representing amentally retarded man accused of a brutal murder. It's only when he realises that his greed and his ego may end up killing his client that he understands what it means to be a good lawyer - and to become a man
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Publishers Weekly, 1997-06-09 A fatally ambitious lawyer, a brutal murder and high-stakes adultery are just a few of the ingredients in this legal thriller PW noted for its "intricate plotting and warp-speed suspense." (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1996-07-22 Unlike the protagonists of Gone, But Not Forgotten and After Dark, the hero of Margolin's latest legal thriller is male. But the intricate plotting and warp-speed suspense that drove those earlier novels up the bestsellers lists are here in force. With his father, a high-powered Portland, Ore., attorney, in the hospital, young and arrogant Peter Hale recklessly takes over and then fumbles a case that costs a badly crippled woman her only chance for medical care. Enraged, Peter's father disowns his son, banishing him, for one last chance, to the backwoods practice of an alcoholic public defender. Peter reluctantly agrees, but it soon becomes evident that he still has a lot to learn about humility. In Oregon, Peter gets involved with the case of Gary Harmon, the mentally retarded brother-in-law of Peter's former law school classmate Steve Mancini. Gary, who's accused of murdering a college co-ed, is also the prime suspect in a series of similar killings. Although Peter is totally without experience in a capital murder case, the ego-driven young attorney is seduced by the opportunity to redeem himself when Mancini convinces him he can become a star if he takes the case and wins. When Mancini reveals himself to be a wife-beater given to sudden rages, the atmosphere thickens as his wifeŠthe accused's sisterŠturns to Peter for comfort. Complications pile up with an undercover investigation of a campus cocaine ring, and a shady, fly-by-night real estate venture. As usual, Margolin's prose is workaday and his characters boilerplate, but the man knows how to tell a legal thriller that will remind readers of the best of Erle Stanley Gardner. 150,000 first printing; Literary Guild Main Selection, Doubleday Book Club featured alternate; Reader's Digest Condensed Book; author tour. (Sept.)
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