NOTHING PERSONAL by Seymour Wishman


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Ruthless, hot-shot Manhattan criminal lawyer acquires a moral conscience--in a half-authentic, half-ridiculous first novel that sacrifices all else to make its message crudely dear. Rick Casey has just finished the successful defense of a white-collar rapist; Rick brilliantly badgered and humiliated the ballerina victim when she took the stand. Rick moves on to other cases, is deep into squabbles with his ever-so-moral wife in Westchester, but the ballerina won't let him forget. She follows him and silently, hypnotically--utterly implausibly--lures him into raping her. Then, as if the point hasn't been made, the ballerina's boyfriend rapes Rick's wife in front of their daughter. Only then does Rick realize what a cold phony his law-firm mentor is, what a bad person he himself has been to be inhuman in the courtroom: ""I've treated people like that myself, but they were people I didn't give a damn about. Suddenly, a chilling realization. . . ."" It's unclear at the close just how Rick's courtroom strategies will be altered in the future; and, despite some nicely gritty courtroom-corridor chat, one doesn't care anyway, because Rick is less a character than a stick figure in a preachy, melodramatic, and unconvincing parable.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1978
Publisher: Delacorte