THE HALLS OF JUSTICE by Lee Gruenfeld

THE HALLS OF JUSTICE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Gruenfeld (All Fall Down, 1994; Irreparable Harm, 1993) returns in top form, this time delivering a first-rate courtroom thriller with a twisty two-track plot that will keep most readers guessing right up through the denouements. Deputy D.A. Sal Milano, who heads L.A. County's Santa Monica office has what he believes is a slam-dunk case. A bush-league hood named Vinnie Rosamund has abducted and raped the lovely Pierman twins. When brought to book, however, the surprisingly well- connected Vinnie beats the rap on an outrageous technicality, and southern California's feral press corps effectively puts paid to Sal's hopes of running for higher office. The story goes national when one of the wronged sisters, either Diane (an aggressive defense attorney) or Lisa (a softer-edged caterer), shoots Vinnie to death in a chichi restaurant before a dozen or more witnesses. Sal (an admirer and perhaps more of Diane's) faces the unwelcome prospect of prosecuting two beautiful women whom the public believes committed a crime no worse than justifiable homicide. Duty-bound as a credibly obedient servant of the law, Sal sets the wheels of justice in motion; since neither sister will talk and no one knows who pulled the trigger, he does his best to stack the deck with conspiracy and obstruction as well as murder charges. At trial, Sal maneuvers with cunning and finesse enough to convince defense counsel (Diane's law partner) that it's time to plea bargain. The resultant deal, which helps expose corrupt judges who have rigged the outcome of several high-profile proceedings, satisfactorily seals the fate of the accused and revivifies Sal's political ambitions. A worldly-wise legal shocker. (First printing of 75,000)

Pub Date: June 24th, 1996
ISBN: 0-525-94130-4
Page count: 464pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1996




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