AIDS and Alzheimer’s in the Eighties-tempest spawned love: Daniel Lawrence, a superior court judge, is being tried for the assisted suicide of his wife, a young victim of Alzheimer’s disease. He wants justice defined in the light of personal commitment. His defense: no malice aforethought. Joanna Archer, 20 years his junior, is the court reporter on his trial. She escapes from a bullying husband and craves personal autonomy. She and Dan meet during Hurricane Irene in Miami and begin the strange intertwining of dependency patterns, the gaining and giving up of control, a common struggle. Joanna’s friend and colleague discovers she’s an AIDS carrier and must deny her unhealthy need for sex, thereby denying Dan’s defense lawyer’s need for love. Ralph, Dan’s friend since surviving a capsized boat with him in a 1938 hurricane, has his wife’s stomach pumped when she attempts suicide with pills. He needs her alive; she hates him. Each character values autonomy. Some gain it; some give it up. The suspense of the novel lies in who; the depth lies in how.