LABYRINTH by Henry Denker


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After his courtroom tactics win acquittal for a client who goes on to kill again, celebrity lawyer David Kirk is ordered by Judge Aaron Malachi to atone for his complicity with the legal system's moral myopia by defending actor Christopher Cory, accused -- with tons of supporting forensic evidence -- of killing his former live-in, Alice Ames. It's an ironic penance, since defending Cory will drop Kirk into a nightmarishly false position; but Kirk, who's a tad naive for such a high-profile lawyer, doesn't appreciate that irony until long after he's in the thick of the insanity defense he's presenting over his client's protests. Insanity -- because multiple-personality specialist Dr. Michal Scott has teased a murderous alter ego named Max out of Cory. The defense is so pat -- Max crows to Scott and Kirk about killing Alice Ames and framing Cory -- that you have to wonder what's wrong with this picture, and eventually even Kirk begins to suspect that he's being set up. Could Max be just a triumph of acting invented to get devious Cory off?. And if he is, how can Kirk, forbidden by Malachi from withdrawing from the case, impeach his client without betraying the attorney-client privilege? Slick hackwork that doesn't demand any more attention from you than it apparently got from babe-in-lawland Denker (Mrs. Washington and Horowitz, Too, 1993, etc.). The climax, however, is one of the genre's most treasurable scenes: Kirk really does get a chance to turn this courtroom into a circus.
Pub Date: Nov. 18th, 1994
ISBN: 0-688-13700-8
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1994


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