TRIAL by Parnell Hall


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At long last, attorney Richard Rosenberg stops chasing ambulances long enough to take a criminal case, and his investigator Stanley Hastings is catapulted into the highstakes defense of Anson Carbinder, who swears he didn't kill his wife. (Carbinder's floozy, nude pinup Connie Maynard, doesn't even bother to swear she didn't help.) Carbinder's defense: He was playing poker with six buddies who'll give him an alibi. Terrific, thinks Stanley, whose job is to interview the buddies and compare their stories. Only the D.A.'s people, determined to stonewall the defense, refuse to reveal their best estimate of what time Barbara Carbinder died; the alibi sounds almost too thorough to be true; and very gradually under Stanley's comically exhaustive questioning--you've never seen so much dialogue devoted to a crucial hand of poker, or most likely any other single plot point, in your life--the defense starts to fall apart. But though Richard is left with no backup defense except reasonable doubt, Stanley, helped out by his redoubtable wife Alice, brings down the courthouse with a memorable, though far-fetched, climactic scene. Longtime fans of this rollicking series (Movie, 1994, etc.) will be glad to know that Stanley talks Richard into giving him a hefty raise, which he earns every penny of.

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 1996
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Mysterious