Whitbread Award-winning novelist Brady (Theory of War) has crafted an action-packed, densely woven thriller set in Springfield, Ill., about a blind attorney and the young man who may or may not have murdered him. David Marion, 33, who spent his teens and 20s in prison for the murder of his foster brother and foster father, is now the prime suspect in the brutal murder of Hugh Freyl, the lawyer who reformed Marion in prison. As a trusting relationship blossomed between the two men, Hugh realized how smart, decent and innocent David really was; the story of their friendship is told in flashbacks. At the start of the present-day narrative, "gate-crasher" David ducks into Freyl's funeral tent to pay his respects, much to the horror of the other guests, mostly condescending high society types like Hugh's mother, Becky. But as Hugh and his personal assistant Stephanie Willis had discovered before Hugh's death, David was probably never a killer. More digging reveals prison torture, child abuse and serious flaws in the original case against David. Meanwhile, positive evidence proves David had nothing to do with Hugh's death, and he shifts into fierce detective mode with Stephanie's help and some cash incentive from shifty Becky, discovering "overcultivated orchards of corporate fraud" within Hugh's slick law firm. After Stephanie and David sift through several backstabbing crooks, the real killer is flushed out at the conclusion of this satisfying if somewhat long-winded novel. Agent, George Lucas. $100,000 ad/promo. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
When blind attorney Hugh Freyl is savagely murdered, many in Springfield, IL, assume that his protege, David Marion, is guilty since he was convicted as a teenager of killing his own foster father and brother. But no less than Hugh's friend Supreme Court justice Samuel Clark provides an alibi-and Hugh's mother subsequently hires David to find the killer. An unlikely alliance forms between Hugh's former lover, Stephanie Willis, and Samuel, both of whom strongly believe in David's integrity; and Hugh's mother (who doesn't) still lets him dig into his mentor's private papers and bank records. After several harrowing twists and turns, the team untangles a nasty thread of financial fraud that leads right into a national political campaign. Whitbread Book Award winner Brady (Theory of War) tears into the criminal justice system while unveiling a labyrinthine plot fraught with intense psychological tension. The two points of view-Hugh's first-person narrative from the grave (yes, it does work) and David's-give both characters full personalities. Like Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent, this is much more than a can't-put-it-down thriller. Highly recommended for most fiction collections.-Teresa L. Jacobsen, Santa Monica P.L., CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.