POWERS OF ATTORNEY by Mimi Lavenda Latt


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 Finally, a distaff legal thriller--attorney Latt's debut--in which the male bodies are as lovingly described as the female: three law-school classmates duke it out, in and (mostly) out of court, over the murder of fabulousy wealthy James D'Arcy. Classmate #1, Kate Alexander, is the politically minded defender hired, through her married lover and Manning & Anderson mentor Charles Rieman, by D'Arcy's ancient, iron-willed mother to defend his young, beautiful, foul-mouthed widow Sandra. (Not that the D'Arcys are terribly enthusiastic about the defense--especially after the revelation that Sandra was carrying on with grimy Tommy Bartholomew, whose footprint at the scene makes him the obvious police suspect.) Classmate #2, Madeline Gould, is the assistant D.A. determined to nail Sandra, though she tries to maintain her friendship with Kate throughout. Not so classmate #3, poisonous Texas belle Lauren Cunningham, who begins as Kate's leading competition for the vacant partnership in Manning & Anderson and then gets down and dirty when she thinks Kate's stealing her beau Andrew Stewart, Tommy's attorney. There's less action in the courtroom than between the sheets, as Andrew takes Kate to bed en route to quizzing her about a possible plea Sandra may be copping, as Kate agonizes about a future as Charles's other woman, as Madeline hesitates between her unexciting boss Philip and her erratic, passionate colleague Gary, as Andrew and Lauren (back in his muscular arms again) take turns satisfying each other's innermost fantasies. Eventually, Kate uncovers a background of abuse against Sandra that suggests a burning-bed defense--but then an even more ideal (and readily foreseeable) resolution turns up. Despite its title, this isn't much of a courtroom drama, or much of a detective story--but if you can't decide whether to pack a mystery, a legal triple-decker, an Ecstasy romance, or a soap opera, it'll take up less room than the four of them together.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-671-78708-X
Page count: 512pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1993