Top positive review
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Entertaining, literate and eminently enjoyable!
on October 24, 2004
Marty Nickerson doesn't want to say no to Harry Madigan, her lover and law partner, so she agrees to defend Harry's old flame in a murder case. Louisa Rawlings admits she was considering divorce when her husband disappears and when his body gets washed to shore. She protests her innocence convincingly, yet District Attorney Geraldine Schilling won't budge. Louisa's fingerprints turned up on what seems to be the murder weapon. Louisa was named sole heir, disinheriting husband's daughter.
Marty wishes her client would agree to some kind of plea bargain, but Louisa claims she can't name an accomplice because she's not guilty. And she wants Marty to help her find the real killer.
The courtoom characters comes across with lively humor: an eminently fair African-American judge and a stubborn prosecutor. Realistic? Well,most judges are ex-prosecutors and this judge actually respects the defense. And prosecutors are quick to accuse family members and don't like to back down.
In spite of herself, Marty begins to admire the defendant's spirit and she's slightly envious of Louisa's ability to charm everyone she meets, including the prison matrons. And she really wants to see this woman go free.
Conners creates suspense because we, as experienced mystery readers, know Louisa can't be guilty. And she piles on the danger, revealing incriminating evidence that seems unshakeable.
Louisa seems headed for a maximum security prison until the very last section of the book. We realize something's got to happen, and it does -- right in the last few pages. Conners does an excellent job of ending the story in just a page or two at the very end.
The human interest subplots add to the interests. Kydd, the near-perfect young associate lawyer, may be headed for an imperfect romance. Marty's son Luke seems ambivalent about college. These stories, along with the author's gift for explaining complex courtroom maneuvers, will keep us watching for the next volume in the series.
A good read...for a cozy winter evening, a long plane trip or just a Great Escape from the tedium of the tube.