A tiresome potboiler in which an appeal to the US Supreme Court sets off a killing spree that produces enough corpses for each justice to go one-on-one. Rufus Harms was put away for murdering a little girl, and for 25 years that was okay with him because he thought he was guilty. But now, by dint of bureaucratic snafu, he learns the real story. On that horrific night, he was drugged--for reasons of a sketchy nature--by a group of wicked conspirators; ergo, he had no control over his behavior. Rufus is no mental giant, yet even he can see he may have an out. He contacts his lawyer, the reluctant Samuel Rider, and intimidates him into filing an appeal before the Supreme Court. One fateful morning, then, Michael Fiske, the brightest and best of the Supreme Court clerks, opens the Court's mail, spots the Rider-Harms document, and decides to steal it, hying himself off to the jailhouse to offer Rufus help. This very act tips off the suddenly wary conspirators, and, naturally, they kill Michael. Enter John, Michael's brother, a former cop, currently a somehow idealistic defense attorney, who vows to search out the perp, in turn making himself a suspect. And then, naturally, there's Sara, a superbrilliant, incredibly beautiful lawyer, whose faith in John is immediate and unshakable. Together, they sniff out clues, a process that takes them into the cloistered chambers of the highest court in the land, where, according to Baldacci (The Winner, 1997, etc.), the justices behave like ill-tempered children--except for the lone woman on the Court who behaves and talks like a character out of a romance novel: ""Sara respected your brother,"" she tells John, ""but her heart lies elsewhere."" In the final, bloody act, the villain is revealed and denounced amid a Hamlet-like body count. Just another big, silly book about lawyers.