Jake Hines (Seventh-Inning Stretch, 2002, etc.) revisits an age-old question: Do juries get it right?
Most people in Rutherford, Minnesota, disagree when the jury exonerates Big Bad Benny Niemeyer of killing popular Shelley Gleason, whom he’d kidnapped. Someone, though, was disturbed enough to lure him to the skateboard park donated by the wealthy Aldrich family, whack him with a skateboard, and dose him with a combination of Valium and roofies. Jake Hines, captain of the Rutherford Police Department, has his job cut out for him: find the skell’s killer, a task that takes precedence over the spate of skateboard thefts, estate burglaries, and mobile drug buys currently occupying the department. Or does it? As Jake’s search develops, it leads from the Spartan digs of Kylee Mundt, who disappeared rather than testify at Big Bad Benny’s trial; to the antique-laden Aldrich manor, where a granddaughter lives between rehab stays; to a pair of nabobs, one with a coke habit and another with expensive tastes. At every turn, someone had noticed Big Bad Benny or heard him brag about his schemes. With an assist from his girlfriend Trudy, a DNA expert, Jake ultimately ties the strands together and puts someone other than Benny in the car the night poor Shelley was kidnapped, proving, somewhat surprisingly, that the jury was right all along.
Good trial detail and small-town ambience. And congratulations are in order for Jake, who is about to become a papa.