A Janet Moodie Novel
"John Grisham had better look to his laurels--there's a new writer of legal thrillers in town." Richard A. Lupoff, author of The Classic Car Killer
Howard Henley is not a killer. That seems obvious to lawyer Janet Moodie when she's called in to work his appeal. Her new client was convicted of arranging the shooting of a drug dealer, but the man who pulled the trigger has always said Henley had nothing to do with it. So why is Henley the one on death row?
Janet's new case takes her from the desperate world of prison gangs, where men are murdered as an initiation rite, to the courtroom, where a mental illness might mean the difference between life and death. Can she convince a judge of her client's innocence before it's too late?
Robertson's lackluster sequel to 2017's Two Lost Boys fails to deliver on the promise of its predecessor. A personal tragedy prompted lawyer Janet Moodie to leave the California state defender's office and settle in an isolated Sonoma County community, where she handles criminal appeals. Janet avoids the more emotionally charged capital cases as a rule, but having accepted one in the previous book out of boredom, she does so again at a colleague's request. A decade or so earlier, Howard Henley was charged with hiring Steve Scanlon to kill Jared Lindahl in an act of revenge for Lindahl's beating him up and stealing his drug stash. Scanlon confessed to the crime, but claimed that the Aryan Brotherhood ordered the hit, not Henley. Henley represented himself at trial and was convicted. Janet now agrees to help Henley with his appeal, though his belief that he was the victim of a vast government conspiracy doesn't make her task easy. An overly familiar plot line is not compensated for by the underdeveloped lead. Readers will hope for a return to form next time.