A CINDERELLA AFFIDAVIT by Michael Fredrickson


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A legal thriller so savvy and so well-written it’s hard to believe it’s a first novel. They were sort of having fun, those Boston cops involved in what they had every reason to believe was a routine drug bust. Small-time, uncomplicated, it felt like a boys” night out. And then suddenly the shooting started. When the smoke cleared, one of the cops was dead. From that point on, things escalate in a hurry, and a minor-league drug dealer named Danny Li finds himself the object of intense and unwanted attention—from both sides in a major-league courtroom struggle. Not that anyone believes that this slight, wispy Chinese-American is a cop killer. It’s just that since he was the snitch who triggered the ill-fated bust, everybody believes he has light to shed. But “I talk, I die,” a frightened Danny tells Matt Boer, his lawyer, who is more than a little scared himself, a disquiet rooted in inexperience. Matt, a young corporation attorney, is way out of his depth here and knows it. Still, Danny feels comfortable with him, clings to him, and deprives Matt of choice in the matter. Inevitably, Matt makes a mistake, his client pays dearly, and Matt, as a result, is psychologically devastated. When he regroups, however, he’s no longer the floundering rookie he once was; not only has he been toughened by battle, but he has a cause. Puppet-masters, he’s certain, have been jerking his strings, and, whether they’re cops, the Chinese mafia, or culprits much closer to home, Matt wants them exposed and stopped. A twist too many, perhaps, and 20 or so pages too long. But that’s just carping. The dialogue is literate, often funny—and all the characters live and breathe. (75,000 first printing)

Pub Date: May 17th, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-86723-9
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1999


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