FINAL ARGUMENT by Clifford Irving


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 Hell hath no fury like the women Irving's lawyer heroes love and leave. This time, Ted Jaffee, a former prosecutor now growing fat at a Sarasota partnership, will rue the day he ever laid hands on Connie Zide, whose wealthy husband Solly was supposedly killed by a man Ted prosecuted 12 years ago--but who, new evidence suggests, may be innocent. The unsavory source of the new evidence is Elroy Lee, a.k.a. James Lee Elroy, who tries to barter his way out of a coke possession charge with the admission that his testimony against fellow-inmate Darryl Morgan was bought and paid for by crooked cop Floyd Nickerson, the man who also testified that Darryl had confessed to him even though Darryl denied in court he had done so. With every reason to avoid returning to the scene--he'd broken off with Connie even before her husband was shot; his realtor wife Toba is going through tough times and doesn't need the revelation of his old affair; his son Alan is just starting on the drug-using road that could make him another Elroy Lee unless he gets prompt, decisive help; even his partners in Sarasota make it clear they disapprove--Ted is nonetheless drawn to the sullen man he'd put away for a dozen years, and vows to reopen his case. Key witnesses who haven't disappeared stonewall or suddenly die; Ted's mentors and colleagues are aghast at his switch from prosecuting to defending Darryl; and Ted's own client, on first meeting him, tries to kill him. If you think all this slows Ted down from seeing that justice is done, you haven't read many books like this. Not as fresh or resourceful as Irving's last take on a similar subject (Trial, 1990), but still a potent threat to your reserves of midnight oil.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-671-74868-8
Page count: 356pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1993