THE EDGE OF EDEN by Dick Pearce


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While this won't go the distance of Anatomy of Murder, or even Twilight of Honor, it proceeds from the same venue and has much of their voltage as it processes a courtroom case first, an inquest a few years later, and traces a young lawyer's hot-headed fight for justice against power, social prestige and politics. These are largely vested in the hands of Tom Trock, who keeps his ""edge of Eden"", a California valley, untouchable, save for a few old residents who are privileged to live there- among them the Stillmans. Halliday in his first year in practice comes up in court against Mrs. Stillman as he undertakes a losing defense of an innocent man. A few years later Halliday returns to the valley to probe Trock's restraint-of-trade controls, and then finds himself again involved with the Stillmans when their daughter, Anita, commits suicide. The absence of a suicide not points to murder just as her relationship with Trock's son, with an unstable history, indicates that he may be the murderer. Halliday, tricked and threatened, will not be silenced and he is able to shatter the patriarch's dangerous benevolence and prevent a further tragedy.... A story which has many popular salients- and some experienced showmanship to put it across to the audience as indicated above.

Pub Date: June 14th, 1962
Publisher: Lippincott