REDEMPTION by Howard Fast

REDEMPTION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A courtroom drama, courtesy of the tireless civil libertarian and novelist, whose recent home runs include The Trial of Abigail Goodman (1993), about the anti-abortion movement; and An Independent Woman (1997), a sixth-volume wrap-up of the Immigrants series. Seventy-eight-year-old Ike Goldman, a retired Columbia University contract law professor, has been a widower for three years when he saves a 40ish woman from jumping off the George Washington Bridge, takes her home, lets her sleep over, treats her to a fairly fancy dinner the next night, and, despite all mason, quickly finds himself falling in love. As it happens, Elizabeth Hopper is the estranged wife of multimillionaire William Sedgwick Hopper, a Wall Street partner neck-deep in scandal. The story moves along sedately in Fast's most relaxed style ever, with the author of Citizen Tom Paine and Freedom Road plainly enjoying and indulging himself in this smoked salmon of romantic fantasy, adding plot dollops to keep the reader alert. A depressed artist terrified of her husband, Elizabeth took a part-time job as a shoe clerk right after the annulment came through. She calls herself a battered woman who wants to help other battered women. But is this the whole truth? Within six weeks Ike wants to marry her, and she agrees to his proposal. But then, three days after her acceptance, detectives appear at Ike's door with a search warrant: William Hopper has been shot to death, and Liz is jailed for the homicide. Subsequently, Ike spends $100,000 hiring a female criminal lawyer to defend his love, who has been indicted on essentially circumstantial evidence. The eponymous redemption will not result from anyone's change in character, but rather from an event out of left field involving a previously unknown character. Readable, though far from stylish and not as gripping as some of our lawyer novelists. Still, Fast's followers won't be disappointed.

Pub Date: July 6th, 1999
ISBN: ---
Page count: 292pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace