Robert Heilbrun Offer of Proof

ISBN 13: 9780060538132

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A riveting thriller, the debut novel of a high–profile Manhattan public defender with a gift for writing about the law in ways that are vastly entertaining, witty, sardonic and wise.

A beautiful young businesswoman is murdered on the streets of New York after shopping for art in Chelsea, and in her final words to the police, she identifies her assailant. Or does she?

Arch Gold, dedicated public defender, gets the biggest case of his life when he's assigned to represent the accused killer, Damon Tucker, a young black kid from Harlem. Damon claims he's innocent, and Gold puts his reputation on the line to save his client and find the real killer.

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About the Author:

Robert Heilbrun has been an attorney since 1985. He lives with his family in New York City, where he is a staff attorney with The Legal Aid Society.

From Booklist:

Experience counts, especially when it comes to the courtroom. Like John Mortimer, Scott Turow, and John Grisham, Heilbrun, an attorney since 1985 and a New York City public defender, brings irreplaceable experience--actual hours logged as an attorney--to his brilliantly crafted debut novel. (Genes count, too; Heilbrun is the son of Carolyn Heilbrun, who writes the Kate Fansler series as Amanda Cross.) Heilbrun's hero, Arch Gold, is also an NYC public defender. His character has some heft behind it, too, in the form of an intriguing disconnect in his professional life. Gold, son of a bookie, graduate of Yale and Harvard, left the high-paying corporate-firm track after one year to pursue the pure grit of defending down-and-outers with no access to an attorney. From the first sentence, "Say your life breaks down . . .," Heilbrun draws the reader into his world, filling it with hard-won details--e.g., what it's like to ride in the attorneys' bus to Rikers Island, the world's largest penal colony, or what it's like to be left in lock-up overnight. He captures the desperation of his clients, especially that of the young black man at the center of the novel, arrested at the scene of the murder of a wealthy woman, who identified him as she lay dying on the sidewalk. Taken with the young man's plight, Gold crosses the line into investigation, pursuing the possibility that this "one-witness ID" (with a dead witness) results from cops trying to make a bad arrest stick. A guided tour through the criminal courts, with nail-biting courtroom scenes and a sock-o ending. Terrific. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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