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Lust, incest, and murder form the backdrop of this novel where Kaitlin Devers, a beautiful seventeen-year-old woman, is charged with murdering her mother. The trial seems to be an easy one for the two prosecutors who have been assigned to the case. After all, Kaitlin has confessed to the crime, her fingerprints are on the murder weapon, and just thirteen hours before Stacy Devers was murdered, Kaitlin told her uncle that she was going to murder her mother.

The reason for Kaitlin’s animosity towards her mother is that two days before Stacy was murdered, she had found out that Kaitlin was having a torrid affair with Lance Hansen, her twenty-eight-year-old uncle. The day after Stacy discovered this, she barged into Lance’s house, put a gun to his head, and threatened to kill him if he ever came close to her daughter again. Lance considers the death threat to be very real, and the next morning, he meets Kaitlin and tells her that they will have to stop seeing each other for a while.

Kaitlin is convinced that Lance is trying to end their relationship, and she tells Lance that she is going to murder her mother. And then, just thirteen hours later, it is Kaitlin who discovers her mother’s dead body and calls 911 with the most bizarre 911 call that the detective investigating the case has ever heard. Two days later, after Kaitlin’s fingerprints are found on the murder weapon, she is arrested, and within a half hour, she makes a full and voluntary confession to the crime.

By the time the trial begins, Kaitlin has renounced the confession. This is not simply the action of one who is hoping to escape justice; rather, there are a number of things in the confession that couldn’t possibly be true, so it throws the validity of the confession into doubt. But after a contentious preliminary hearing to decide whether the confession will be admitted into evidence, the judge rules in favor of the prosecution. This has the practical effect of making Kaitlin’s defense very difficult, and it becomes much more difficult for Kaitlin when she decides to take the stand and attempt to explain her actions on the night of her mother’s murder. Despite being extensively coached by her lawyer, Perry Dixon, Kaitlin loses her composure, and her time on the stand turns out to be nothing short of a train wreck.

But Perry Dixon has one more card to play. And this card is the black swan. Originally, back in the 1800’s, it was felt that there were no black swans in existence. But then, one fine day, someone discovered a black swan. This might seem like a minor, if vaguely amusing event, but beginning in 2001, a man named Nassim Taleb began publishing a number of books that concerned the problems of randomness, probability, and uncertainty. Basically, he used the metaphor of a black swan to describe an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. To put it very simply, a black swan event is an event that no one saw coming.

Perry’s black swan is definitely a black swan. But will it be enough to save Kaitlin?

Misterio y suspense
29 de mayo
Robert Trainor

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