PROBABLE CAUSE by Grif Stockley


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Former Arkansas Public Defender Gideon Page (Expert Testimony, 1991), fired from his new firm, lucks into a high-profile case: defending black psychologist Andrew Chapman on a charge of manslaughter after Chapman tries aversive shock-therapy--without following institutional procedures, and with a cattle prod--on self-abusive teenager Para Le Master, who shook off her orderly, Leon Robinson, and grabbed the inadequately insulated prod, killing herself. Though Gideon will have to deal with his share of revelations--Leon turns out to be a white supremacist who might have acted maliciously; Chapman had a long-standing affair with Pain's snow-queen mother Olivia; Olivia herself had already lost custody of an earlier child she may have abused--this is less a mystery than a down-home Burden of Proof, a novel about what it's like to be a small-town southern lawyer with a dicey case headlining a dozen other subplots. Gideon's homespun warmth and wry charm are the real stars of this understated courtroom drama.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster