FATAL CONVICTIONS by Shari P. Geller

FATAL CONVICTIONS

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A lawyer who's worked with sex offenders taps into a deep strain of fantasy in her first novel, about a female vigilante who's going around L.A. executing sex offenders. Based on the scant physical evidence, Detectives Jack Larson and Jennifer Randazzo theorize a killer who's a blond woman- -somebody who has a particular grudge against pedophiles who've abused their own daughters. While he's waiting for a break, Jack begins a cautious romance with blond Rebecca Fielding, the assistant D.A. who prosecuted all five of the victims, only to watch them plead out to probation at Oakwood Manor, where they learn to adeptly pretend to be reformed so that center director Dr. Robert Hillerman can go on raking in lucrative referrals. No wonder Rebecca's so tightly wound, thinks Jack, cheering her decision to do a live TV interview on wrist-slap sentencing for incest--then learning in horror that as she left the studio parking lot, she was kidnapped by a sex offender whose hurt feelings ended abruptly when Rebecca shot him dead. Having Rebecca in jail, her signature on a tearful confession, is the golden opportunity for assistant D.A. Diane Covington to hang the other five homicides on her. And all of a sudden the physical evidence doesn't look so shabby: The LAPD matches Rebecca's handprints at one of the crime scenes, and an eyewitness loudly identifies her. Responding to Rebecca's pleas for help, Tom Baldwin, her former colleague in the D.A.'s office, leaves his job and his wife, and promptly starts to make a shambles of her defense. And that's not all that's a shambles, as the characters swap insights (``Your judgment is being affected by your penis, as usual'') that seem to have been borrowed from the subtitles of Godzilla movies while they wait for the final whammy. Fumblingly crude in its handling of the hot-button issue of abuse, but written with all the outrage and primal power of Justice Comix. ($45,000 ad/promo; author tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-06-039181-2
Page count: 352pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1996