The 15-year incarceration of a Salvadoran doctor prompts legal action by scrappy Boston lawyer Scott Finn, back from Dark Harbor (2005).
Whisked out of El Salvador during the 1980s revolution via his family’s high-ranking connection to a Salvadoran gang in Boston, Vincente Salazar was convicted of shooting the INS officer in charge of his deportation case in 1992. But Mark Dobson, a do-good attorney for the New England Innocence Project, persuades high-profile courtroom dramatist Finn that there is a great deal of doubt surrounding the conviction. Fingerprints on the gun used to shoot young cop Madeline Steele clearly belonged to Salazar, but he had a solid alibi, and scrapings of blood and skin from underneath Steele’s nails were never tested for a DNA match. Finn gets a judge to reopen the case, but then Dobson is murdered. Beleaguered Finn, along with PI sidekick Tom Kozlowski and law-school assistant Lissa Krantz, takes up the case in earnest, now convinced that the upright, honorable Salazar is innocent. Police handling the case block their investigation; wheelchair-bound Steele won’t give an inch of helpful information; and the DNA results are damning. Hosp does a thorough job of bringing the reader inside the action on all fronts, playing effectively on Boston’s ethnic diversity. He even provides a touching romance involving Lurch-like Koz and gutter-mouthed Lissa, who steal the show from their street-smart leader, still pining for D.C.-bound girlfriend Linda Flaherty.
Smoothly handled suspense.