UNFIT TO PLEAD by Frank Palmer


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All the evidence assures Inspector Jacko Jackson (Testimony, 1993) that Sammy Pattinson, a retarded car-cleaner for Trent Vale Enterprises who already has a record for molesting a girl when he was only 16, has kidnapped and killed Michelle Robinson. Sammy, found unfit to enter a legal plea and submit to a trial, is locked away again; Jacko's lover, Jacqueline Cruickshank, gives birth to his son; and five years pass, marked by three more disappearances of young girls from the pit village of Moorwood, before accusations against an attendant at Sammy's first mental hospital reopen his case. Jacko swiftly realizes that the real culprit is tied into TVE's Crime Catchers program -- but which of the vipers at TVE, from the president's son to the program's oily host, has added buggery, satanism, and multiple murder to his rÉsumÉ? Knotty, passionate, and powerful, with a typically British grasp of the social issues that set his characters at each other's throats. Jacko's a rising star who's well worth catching early on.

Pub Date: March 2nd, 1994
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: St. Martin's