The pattern was set with The Trial of Mary Dugan; a new approach was developed with Anatomy of Master. But in each there was a surprise twist at the end. Possibly the surprise here is that there is none. The end seems fore-doomed. And yet in the process of development, each phase of the trial as viewed through the mind of the Judge -- or the Counsel for the Defense -- or Elith Nolan, Callista's closest friend -- or Callista herself, the whole panorama of what happened is revealed. And in final summation, the reader finds his (or her) own approach to a murder trial put to the test. What in this due process of law? How sound is the use of a jury or one's peers? Is evidence- as elicited virtually under a kind of duress- reflective of the facts, or only the facts as they appear? Is this democracy? What of the presumption that the person on trial is innocent until proved guilty? What of capital punishment? All these facets emerge as the story unfolds of adultery -- pregnancy -- the will to suicide -- circumstantial evidence pointing to planned murder -- and the death of the victim. And yet the unanswered question remains:- What is guilt? Philosophical overtones for a suspense story.