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by Barry Reed

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1994
ISBN: 0-517-59433-1
Publisher: Crown

Reed (The Choice, 1991, etc.) varies the David-and-Goliath scenario that's worked so well in his previous legal thrillers by making David just a little more powerful and setting him an even tougher goal. Maverick defense attorney Dan Sheridan's job is not just to get the client off, but to avoid the indictment that will destroy his livelihood and good name. Did prominent surgeon and IRA supporter Dr. Christopher Dillard kill his frequent companion, Angela Williams, and dump her body miles from her opulent apartment? The police and the DA's office (senatorial hopeful Neil Harrington and his avid top prosecutor, Mayan d'Ortega) say he did; a lie-detector test that Harrington and d'Ortega refuse to accept or duplicate says he didn't. No sooner has Sheridan, already no friend of Harrington, taken Dillard's case than the DA enlists the Feds in an attempt to link Sheridan and Dillard to Boston kingmaker Sonny Callahan in a series of indictments for conspiracy, bribery, and racketeering. An old friend in the DA's office manages to warn Sheridan that his phones are tapped, but not that his new legal secretary, Sheila O'Brien, is actually an undercover FBI agent. Watch Harrington and Co. cook up scheme after scheme to catch clean-cut Sheridan taking a bribe. Watch Sheridan and O'Brien falling for each other as she sees what he's made of. Watch d'Ortega convene a grand jury that'll rule on the merits of the prosecution's case without the benefit of any evidence or cross- examination by the defense. And watch (Reed's hallmark) the pressure mount on two lone innocents, the cop who finds out a fix is in at the DA's office and the green pathologist who slowly convinces herself that her alcoholic boss is lying about the cause of death. Although the IRA apparatus is unconvincing and the ending drags, eavesdropping on these legal eagles trying to one-up each other to death is still sinfully entertaining.