A thoroughgoing trial case does not have any of the sizzling courtroom appeal of Anatomy, Act or Twilight. Most of its interest centers on its defense attorney Julius Grubb, a practical, shrewd, combative trial lawyer whose method of attack is often close to contempt throughout the proceedings. But the case itself, sorry to say, is not very interesting. Earl Stacey, recently paroled, has just killed without provocation Gehringer-a known crook, pimp and killer. What remains to be seen and proved is whether Stacey had been ""kidnaped"" by Gehringer and pressured into a recent robbery while heading west. A secondary issue, race prejudice, involves Ira Hart, Grubbs' associate and the narrator here, and there are the incidents of his border warfare with his neighbor in this small Wyoming town... While the case is explicit and the handling straightforward, it would have benefited from the editorial gavel. Bier has a penchant for peculiar word forms (more than those he deliberately puts in the mouth of his prosecuting attorney- i.e. ""whelm""-""complexified""-""heroifies""-etc., etc.) and abstractions (i.e. ""with the same sagged, ecstatic regret, and the pluralism and simultaneity and familiar remoteness"".) They are disturbing.