Set in 1987, this workmanlike legal thriller from Thriller Award–finalist Dugoni (Damage Control) pits inexperienced trial lawyer Peter Donley against the eager prosecutorial team of San Francisco DA Gil Ramsey and Ramsey’s chief prosecutor, Linda St. Claire. On trial is Fr. Thomas Martin, who’s accused of fatally stabbing Andrew Bennet, one of the homeless teenage boys his shelter was supposed to protect. Since Donley’s uncle and boss, Lou Giantelli, is sidelined by a heart attack, Donley steps into the breach. Dixon Connor, a corrupt police detective, has stacked the evidence against Martin, and the likable, persistent Donley has to play for time in the courtroom while he and PI Frank Ross try to learn what really happened. In the process, they uncover a sex scandal, political corruption, and the tracks of the utterly ruthless Connor. Donley’s memories of his abusive father add emotional depth.
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