A Los Angeles church, considered by some to be a powerful cult, charges Rich Baxter with embezzling millions. Rich reaches out to former colleague and star trial attorney Parker Stern to come to his defense. Parker despises the cult, but he hasn’t entered a courtroom since developing severe stage fright after his mentor, Harmon Cherry, committed suicide. Rich claims that Cherry did not kill himself—he was murdered by someone connected to the church. At first, Parker doesn’t believe it . . . until disturbing events force him to question what’s really happening. As the case takes an unexpected turn, Parker surprises himself and agrees to take on the church. But to represent his client and uncover the truth he must overcome his own long-buried secrets. From the Trade Paperback edition.
L.A. lawyer Parker Stern, the hero of Rotstein's fine first novel, hasn't set foot in a courtroom in the 18 months since the suicide of his mentor, Harmon Cherry. Stern mostly hangs out in the West Hollywood coffee shop run by his ex-colleague and occasional lover, Deanna Poulos, who informs him that Rich Baxter, once his colleague and anything but a friend, needs his help. Baxter wants Stern to represent him against numerous charges notably, the theft of $17 million brought against him by the Church of the Sanctified Assembly, a Scientology-like organization for which Baxter had been working. When Baxter becomes a second suicide, Stern's personal, complex history with the group pushes him to delve deeper. Stern's early career as a child actor and the betrayal he felt when his stage mother joined the church become relevant factors in the investigation. A steady stream of intriguing revelations delivered in a lively, precise style will keep readers turning the pages.