A tense second round of legal maneuvers and courtroom spectacle from Florida attorney Sheehan (The Mayor of Lexington Avenue, 2005).
Sheehan brings back his charitable protagonist Jack Tobin, a lawyer who made his fortune defending insurance companies. Tobin has since committed himself strictly to defending men sentenced to Florida’s death row. The conscientious objector to the death penalty now has his hands full: He must help free a black convict, Henry Wilson, convicted of murdering a drug dealer 17 years ago. In the midst of proving Wilson’s innocence, Tobin must also face the possibility of losing his beloved wife, Pat, to a life-threatening illness. Along the way, Tobin also takes on the seemingly unwinnable case of small-time lowlife Benny Avrile, thought to have shot oil tycoon Carl Robertson. Sheehan has an assured and elegant narrative voice that elevates this nontraditional legal thriller. While some elements, like Jack’s frequent flashbacks to his rose-colored adolescence, feel like holdovers from the first novel, the smart balance between Tobin’s unpretentious courtroom presence and his contemplative reflections gives the book a certain dignity.
A suspenseful, respectable courtroom thriller.