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Dyslexic Denver attorney Jackie Flowers (Blind Spot, not reviewed) defends her universally disliked law professor in a particularly sordid murder case.

University of Colorado freshman Amy Lynch escapes from the mountain cabin where she’s been held, collared and cuffed, just in time to attract the attention of a romantic couple—but not in time to recover from the pneumonia she’s contracted from wandering naked through the snow. When the cops trace both the handcuffs and the cabin to US District Judge Glenn Ballard, already notorious for his proposal to tax Internet porn, he insists that Jackie defend him, though back in law school he’d held her abilities (compromised, in truth, by her frequent inability to read) in contempt. Jackie responds by raising a whirlwind of activity—digging up unpleasant truths about how much Amy’s wealthy parents had known about her liaison with porn producer Derek King, raising the possibility of unseemly jockeying in the race for the next Chief Judgeship, identifying suspects who might have had motive for planting bondage videos and ketamine in Ballard’s home and chambers—and gets some additional help from a reformed arsonist who goes up in smoke for his unsought efforts before she brings the crime home to a perp as surprising as he is unbelievable.

Sturdy intrigue in and out of court with an especially sharp eye for the riptides of power running just beneath the legal quiddities.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7432-4556-3
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2003