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Interest of Justice
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Sleeping with a cop would seem like the last thing a judge under investigation for dating a defense attorney should do, but Lara Sanderstone is such an intelligent, finely detailed character that even the unlikeliest plot twists work in this absorbing legal thriller by the author of Mitigating Circumstances. When her sister and brother-in-law are brutally slain, Lara's orderly life begins to fall apart. She inherits responsibility for their troubled teenage son Josh, who may have been involved in the murder; she is accused of judicial impropriety (for protecting her brother-in-law as well as for succumbing to the charms of a self-centered lawyer); and after fellow judge Leo Evergreen convinces her to release a defendant in one of her cases, the man's fingerprints are found in her ransacked house by Sgt. Ted Rickerson. Lara's budding romance with Ted, her attempts to win over her sullen nephew and crisp courtroom scenes combine to create an exciting narrative, related in propulsive yet unobtrusive prose. The ending is something of a letdown, but the novel is so generally entertaining that this seems only a minor flaw. Literary Guild main selection; film rights to Citadel/HBO; author tour. (Oct.)

Lara Sanderstone is enjoying a successful career as a judge in Orange County, California. However, her world falls apart when her sister and brother-in-law are brutally murdered. Not only does Lara find herself with a mystery to solve but also with the responsibility for her 14-year-old nephew, Josh. Bitter and troubled, Josh proves to be quite a handful for Lara as the two try to communicate, get to know each other, and deal with their grief. The tension in the story builds effectively as the investigation unfolds and Lara and Detective Rickerson discover that a judge may be involved in the bizarre homicide. Rosenberg, an ex-police officer and author of the best-selling Mitigating Circumstances ( LJ 12/92), offers another irresistible page-turner that has already been sold to Citadel/HBO for a miniseries. Readers will be quickly caught up in Lara's hectic life as she struggles to uncover the truth. Recommended for most fiction collections. Literary Guild selection; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/93.-- Maria A. Perez-Stable, Western Michigan Univ. Libs., Kalamazoo

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