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Hoping the resolution of a child molestation case will further his reelection campaign, District Attorney Mark Blackwell is discouraged when the confessed perpetrator recants and the victims cannot identify him
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It only begins when the fat lady sings, as San Antonio D.A. Mark Blackwell (Fade the Heat, 1990) learns in this crackling tale of a child-abuse confession too good to be true. Forgetting the maxim never to trust a freebie, Blackwell allows his old boss Eliot Quinn to talk him into accepting Chris Davis's surrender on charges of having kidnapped and molested two young boys. Standing before the judge, though, Davis recants his confession, and when Blackwell tries to cobble together a case from the boys' testimony, one of them positively identifies the perp as Austin Paley, Blackwell's old friend and Davis's lawyer. At the same time, a third boy, seeing Paley on TV news, spontaneously announces that this was the man who abused him in an incident he's kept secret for two years. More witnesses don't make a stronger case against an opponent like Paley, however, as Blackwell realizes when he ties Paley to an old coverup of urban development gone murderous--and sees just how capable Paley is of calling in favors to the powers that be in his desperate attempt to stay out of jail: one of the witnesses suddenly refuses to testify--an obvious beneficiary of a big payoff--and another begins to get cold feet. As if the political chicanery doesn't make the terrain slippery enough, Blackwell also has to cope with ethical reservations when Quinn gives him the details of Paley's own abused childhood (a secret Quinn has been covering up on his own) and sees how closely Paley's childhood--and the neglect of his star witness, Tommy Algren- -mirror his own distant relationship to his son David. Brandon proves unexpectedly canny about the devastating appeal of molesters to their young victims, and shows again that nobody, not even Scott Turow, can outdo him in blow-by-blow courtroom suspense- -even though once the verdict is in, you may wonder what all the fuss was about. (Literary Guild Selection for Winter) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Booklist:
In San Antonio, a twisted sexual deviant confesses, then recants. A victim then identifies another player--attorney Austin Paley--as the perpetrator. It falls to DA Mark Blackwell to sort out the highly publicized case. Quick scene shift to the trial, comprising half the text, pitting Austin Paley's word against the victim's and showcasing Brandon's clear talents for the drama of cross-examination. Brandon slowly scales up the tension, producing surprise witnesses and withholding the consequences should Paley be convicted; Paley is a powerful string puller and could tell of the whereabouts of a number of buried bodies. But Brandon drops this plot line, content to skillfully construct his courtroom dialogues, missing in the process an opportunity to portray corruption at city hall. Brandon delivers for his numerous readers by maintaining doubts until the jury's verdict; perhaps he's saving the corruption angle for a more daring plot next time, for his alter ego Blackwell is now his serial protagonist. Brandon has all the props for a legal thriller (see also his Rules of Evidence ), but he needs to swing for the fences to break into legal mysterydom's big leagues. Gilbert Taylor
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Book Description Pocket, 1994. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110671760335
Book Description Pocket, 1994. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0671760335
Book Description Pocket, 1994. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0671760335
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-0671760335
Book Description Pocket, 1994. Paperback. Condition: New. English Language. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0671760335n