Criminal defense attorney Jason Kolarich returns in this shocking new thriller by the Edgar® Award–winning author.
A young paralegal is brutally killed. A homeless Iraq war veteran has been caught with the murder weapon and the victim’s belongings—and he can’t remember what happened…
Jason Kolarich has been asked by the young man’s aunt to defend him. It seems like a standard insanity defense based on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder—until Kolarich realizes that his client is actually innocent. The victim had been working a case of her own, following a trail of paper and money that connected international terrorists to corporate America, where there are those who want to teach the U.S. government a lesson.
Kolarich knows finding the true murderer is the key to exposing the conspiracy. As time grows short for both his client and thousands of innocent Americans, he races to find a trained killer and uncover the details of the attack. But Kolarich soon discovers that the game has already been rigged—and that he himself is about to become the next target…
A wicked sense of humor and an appealing lead lift Ellis's third legal thriller featuring Midwestern prosecutor-turned-defense lawyer Jason Kolarich (after 2011's Breach of Trust), though Kolarich tends to act more like Jack Ryan than Perry Mason. When paralegal Kathy Rubinkowski is gunned down near her apartment, the case against Iraqi war veteran Tom Stoller is clear-cut. Stoller was apprehended with the murder weapon and the victim's purse near the scene of the killing. Since his mental state is questionable, Stoller's aunt prevails on Kolarich to represent him. The attorney comes to believe that Stoller's apparent confession was actually referring to a horrific incident that happened during wartime, but as Kolarich is the second defense lawyer on the case, the judge allows him little time or leeway to gather supporting evidence. Toward the end, the plot veers into Tom Clancy territory with some sacrifice of plausibility. Given the heavy-handed telegraphing, few will be surprised by the revelation of the final secret.
A rousing finish
The storyline seemed a bit slow at the beginning. But Ellis turned in a superlative performance in captivating my full attention down the stretch. Brilliant work to the last paragraph! Enjoy, and be prepared for a wild ride.