HIGH CRIMES by Joseph Finder


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 Turning from international intrigue (The Zero Hour, 1996, etc.) to courtroom drama--think A Few Good Men starring a wife defending her husband--Finder spins his tightest web yet. When the cops run the prints in Tom Chapman's Boston house-- a routine procedure after a burglary there--they make an electrifying discovery: Fair-haired broker Tom is really Sgt. Ronald Kubik, an Army deserter wanted for the massacre of 87 unarmed civilians--the entire population of the El Salvadorean village of La Colina--during a botched covert operation back in 1985. At least that's what the FBI and the Army say. What Tom tells his wife Claire Heller, a rising star at Harvard Law, is that although, yes, he's Kubik--and that everything he's ever told Claire about his past is therefore a lie--everything else about the official story they're booking him on is a setup designed to hide the guilt of his detachment's former commanding officer, Colonel William O. Marks, now General Marks, the Army's Chief of Staff, who's been determined to scapegoat Kubik, if only the Army could find him. Can Claire believe Tom (actually Ron) this time? As she and her dogged co-counsels on Tom's top-secret court-martial dig deeper into the case, there are ominous traces of a coverup: vanished exculpatory documents, fortuitously deceased witnesses, glaring inconsistencies between the stories Detachment 27's men told in 1985 and on the stand. Yet so successful is the coverup, and so unyielding the regulations concerning national security, that Claire, stonewalled again and again despite her brilliant handling of the government's witnesses, despairs of clearing her husband by confronting General Marks (an obvious Jack Nicholson role) with his perfidy- -unless she can somehow make the iron procedures of military justice work for the defense. Rattling good entertainment right to the final inevitable twist. Tri-Star should blow A Few Good Men right off the map. (Film rights to Tri-Star; author tour)

Pub Date: Feb. 4th, 1998
ISBN: 0-688-14962-6
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1997


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