Monday, October 21, 2013

An Unfortunate, Probably Accurate, Look at our Judicial System

A drive-by shooting leaves a drug dealer and a young mother dead. Alex Torricelli, a cop, gives chase. He manages to grab the driver of the car, but the shooter gets away. The police arrest a black drug dealer, but is he guilty?

The US attorney is looking for a capital murder case to impose the death penalty. This is the chosen case and Judge David Norcross is put on the spot. The star witness is the sixteen-year-old driver of the car. He's been in and out of trouble all his life and is strongly connected to the gang responsible for the shooting. The question is whether he's telling the truth. If he's lying, and innocent man could be sentenced to death.

In this highly emotional novel, we see the trial from all points of view: the judge, the attorneys, the cops, the defendant, and some of the witnesses. The author has done an excellent job of bringing these diverse characters to life. It's the highlight of the novel.

The setting is very well done. The author is, after all, a US district judge. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the trial from so many points of view. I do have one criticism, however, the ending, although the author did a good job of foreshadowing, seemed contrived. Still, it's an excellent read. I highly recommend it if you enjoy courtroom drama.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.