TRIAL by Clifford Irving


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Irving (The Angel of Zin, etc.) spins a deceptively laid-back tale of a Texas defender's nightmare: his client in one of his cases turns out to be the guilty party in another. Pulling for jobs after a softhearted mistake has led to a year's personal and professional probation and put his marriage to newscaster Charmian Kimball on the line, Warren Blackburn leaps at the chance to defend drifter Hector Quintana on a felony murder charge--even though he hasn't got a chance of winning--and to join (and shortly take over) the high-profile defense of hard-bitten topless-nightclub owner Johnnie Faye Boudreau, who insists she shot her current lover in self-defense. It isn't long, though, before Warren realizes that Johnnie Faye should be sitting in Quintana's cell, and that his evidence against her is all privileged by their attorney-client relationship. Bedeviled by hostile Judge Louise Parker, abandoned by Charmian, and reluctantly seduced by leggy court-reporter Maria Hahn, Warren struggles to defend one client he feels sure is guilty and to exonerate the other without getting disbarred--all the while sorting out his messy private life and squaring his behavior with his fading vision of justice. Except for the connection between the two cases, there's nothing new here, but the appealing hero's predicament is both suspenseful and charming. Only complaint: Why didn't Clifford call this Two Trials?

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1990
ISBN: 1117420485
Publisher: Summit/Simon & Schuster