DEATH BY JURY by John Lutz


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Lutz's last few novels (Burn, p. 111, etc.) have put small casts through increasingly intricate arabesques, and this one is no exception. Abrasive, fast-talking lawyer Lawrence Fleck wants St. Louis shamus Alo Nudger to find evidence that Fleck's client, banker Roger Dupont, either did or didn't kill his missing wife, Karen. Fleck doesn't care which way the evidence points--if it incriminates Dupont, he can encourage him to plead his murder charge out--and neither, it seems, does diffident Dupont, whom Fleck and Nudger agree (it's the only thing they agree on) is hiding something. Nudger interviews the few interested parties and finds nothing, the case goes to trial, and Dupont is acquitted. Months pass, and in due time, Karen Dupont's body turns up. Was she killed by an affectless husband who banked on the double jeopardy rule, or did somebody else pull the trigger? And if the killer was Dupont, how can the law touch him now? Unfussy, professional work from Lutz, who could probably turn these stories out in his sleep.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1995
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's