Small-time operator Bobby Carnes took a shot at a big score, setting up a major drug sale with some high rollers in Marina del Ray. He went in with a few bags of crank-methamphetamine and a .44 and walked out a stone-cold killer: a suitcase full of cash in his hands and four bodies in his wake. Now Carnes is up for trial, and Los Angeles County District Attorney George Keegan has decided to prosecute the case himself, prompted by his own private anguish. It’s a move that guarantees him media coverage in a brutal reelection campaign—a strategy that could easily backfire. For Keegan’s star witness is running scared, and if he loses the case, a brutal murderer will go free . . . and all of George Keegan’s dreams will turn to dust.
Motivated by a relentless desire for truth and justice, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Keegan has decided to prosecute a high-profile murder case himself, even though his wife died only three months before in a questionable car accident and he is in the middle of a fierce re-election campaign. But Wood (Court of Honor) gives his legal drama greater depth, as Keegan uses the battle with defendant Robert Carnes to wrestle with his own guilt over his wife's death. Keegan is a man of contradictions, a hardened politico who prosecutes the case because of his heightened sense of justice-almost, one might say, in spite of the fact that it guarantees him valuable media coverage. Carnes is a worthy opponent. Mild in appearance, he is a jurisprudential terrorist who cunningly manipulates the system in a thoroughly planned attempt to escape prosecution. Keegan's search for vindication through this case shows that justice-ironically, in the end-comes in a variety of ways. Wood delivers a compelling moral tale disguised as an intelligent legal thriller. Do not expect pages of courtroom drama, though, because Wood, sometimes to his detriment, skimps on dialogue, especially when key witnesses take the stand.