Andy Carpenter, the most famous lawyer in Paterson, N.J., goes to bat for a reporter who’s blamed for a brutal series of murders.
What’s worse than being the mouthpiece for a crazy killer who chooses to tell his story to the world? Daniel Cummings finds out when he chases a call from the informant, who’s taunting him with the imminent prospect of strangling and cutting the hands off his fourth victim, and gets knocked out for his trouble. When he comes to, Daniel’s talking to the cops, who, dissatisfied with his story about how he came to be on the scene, get a search warrant for his premises and car, where they find the hands of gubernatorial hopeful Linda Padilla, media-star whistle-blower. Daniel’s editor at the paper, who has a special interest in him, hires amusing Andy and his lover/investigator Laurie Collins (First Degree, 2003) to get him off, and soon enough, Andy has a promising lead: a jailed client who says he knows who had “the rich one” murdered and insists that the others were only “window dressing.” But the snitch gets snuffed; there’s no evidence against the button man he’s incriminated; and the mob boss Andy hopes to drag into the case indicates in no uncertain terms that he’s the one who does the dragging.
Several big surprises are still in store, but the biggest have to wait till after a trial that does little more than mark time.