A disbarred Houston attorney is offered one more chance at the gold ring if only he can manage to lose the case that’s his ticket back.
And it looks like an easy case to lose. Donald Willis, whom the police caught inside a house in which socialite Diana Greene says she was held against her will, has already served eight years for kidnapping a football player’s son. He’s eager to have Edward Hall, whose performance in that earlier case he believes won him a light sentence, represent him again. Even though Edward has since lost his license over his defense of his sister on a murder charge (Against the Law, 2018), Harris County D.A. Julia Lipscomb makes him an offer he can’t refuse—to reinstate his credentials for this one trial, with a more definitive return contingent on his performance. And Edward knows exactly what kind of performance the district attorney, who just happens to be Diana’s sister, would like him to give: One that ends in resounding failure. The case seems so hopeless that losing it should be a cinch. Donald’s story that Diana’s husband, wealthy River Oaks developer Sterling Greene, had hired him to serve as a bodyguard for his wife’s trip to a dubious neighborhood to pick up some equally questionable jewels sounds weak from top to bottom, and the evidence against Donald can be measured in tons. Edward’s only hope seems to be to tie the alleged abduction to another possible crime that very day: the fatal shooting of Antonio Alberico, the painter who’d recently completed a portrait of Diana Greene. Putting together the pieces, a task so difficult for Edward, should require considerably less effort from most readers, who are well advised to stay the course anyway for a satisfying double twist at the very end.
Highly accomplished midgrade work from a pro.