Newly elected San Antonio D.A. Mark Blackwell gets put on the spot when his son David goes on trial for rape--in this steamroller from the author of Predator's Waltz (1989). Mark can't believe David, a smart, successful computer executive, would turn from his beautiful wife Victoria to assault 40-ish black maid Amanda Jackson, but David's story--Mandy walked into his office one night, ripped off her clothes, and screamed rape--is equally incredible, especially since there's been no blackmail pitch, no request for money or a political payoff from Mark. It's not until after Mark's juggling to keep David's case from going to trial without mining his own career has broken down in the nightmare of the trial itself (exhaustively and suspensefully presented) and conviction, and until after David's been raped himself in the federal pen, that the pitch comes--putting Mark and Assistant D.A. Linda Alaniz, his sometime lover, on the trail of sleazemaster Clyde Malish, under indictment for a drag-related burglary. Brandon's characters--stunned David, hard-nosed Linda, Medusalike prosecuting attorney Nora Brown--are too single-minded and his prose too clunky (""For any practicing lawyer the courthouse is inescapable. For criminal lawyers it is a daily fact of life"") to offer serious competition to Scott Turow, but once his plot kicks in you'll be too caught up to care. High-tension, nonstop courthouse thrills, with a satisfyingly unexpected final twist.