A young mother is unjustly jailed, and San Francisco attorney Dismas Harvey—at his most engaging here—battles to spring her, only partly because she’s his wife. Well, all right, mostly because she is. But, no question, the jailing is a travesty. Back up a step for perspective. There’s Assistant District Attorney Scott Randall: ambitious, obnoxious, a man on the make in any season. When Bree Beaumont, brilliant, beautiful, and six months— pregnant, gets shoved from a penthouse window, Randall has the front-burner case he’s been waiting for. —The grand jury’s my vehicle,— he tells colleagues. —I—m riding it and taking no prisoners.— Which is where poor Frannie Hardy comes in. Because she and Ron Beaumont, Bree’s estranged husband, are friends, Randall, blatantly fishing, has her subpoenaed. He demands to know what the two talked about during a recent lunch. Frannie stands on principle, insisting that what they talked about has nothing to do with anyone’s murder. Moreover, she gave her word not to tell. Randall pounces and has her cited for contempt simply because he has the power to. Never mind that her two small children are waiting for her to pick them up at school and that, in effect, he’s kept her incommunicado for over eight hours. Dismas, furious, goes to work, digging relentlessly into the shadowy circumstances surrounding Bree’s murder. His primary object, of course, is to get Frannie out of jail as soon as possible. But he won—t forget how she got there, and in a rousing courtroom showdown, he proves several closely related matters—among them, that Ron couldn—t possibly have committed Bree’s murder and that revenge can be sweet indeed. A little long, though so well put together that you won—t mind much. As for brash yet appealing Dismas—in his fifth appearance (The Mercy Rule, 1998, etc.)—he is at last a true star in the lawyer-hero firmament.