New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni tackles hot-button issues in this riveting legal thriller featuring attorney David Sloane. When a widow asks Sloane to take her case against the military, Sloane knows it's a lost cause but can't turn her down, even if it puts his own life--and the lives of his family--in dire jeopardy.
Just minutes after winning a $1.6 million wrongful-death verdict, attorney David Sloane confronts the one case that threatens to blemish his unbeaten record in the courtroom. Beverly Ford wants Sloane to sue the United States government and military in the mysterious death of her husband, James, a national guardsman killed in Iraq. While a decades-old military doctrine might make Ford's case impossible to win, Sloane, a former soldier himself, is compelled to find justice for the widow and her four children in what is certain to become the biggest challenge of his career.
With little hard evidence to go on, Sloane calls on his friend, reclusive former CIA agent turned private investigator Charles Jenkins, to track down the other men serving with Ford the night he died. Alarmingly, two of the four who returned home alive didn't stay that way for long, and though the mission's wheelchairbound commander now works for a civilian contractor, he refuses to talk. The final -- and youngest -- soldier is also the most elusive, but he's their only shot at discovering the truth -- if Sloane and Jenkins can keep him alive long enough to tell it.
Meanwhile, Sloane isn't the only one on a manhunt. As he propels his case into a federal courtroom, those seeking to hide the truth threaten Sloane's family, forcing his new wife Tina and stepson Jake into hiding, where they become the targets of a relentless killer. Now Sloane must race to uncover what really happened on that fatal mission, not only to bring justice to a family wronged but to keep himself and the people closest to him from becoming the next casualties....
At the start of bestseller Dugoni's fast-paced second legal thriller to feature Seattle attorney David Sloane (after The Jury Master), the plaintiff's lawyer, who's won an astonishing 18 jury verdicts in a row, agrees to take on a wrongful-death claim with a strong emotional tug. Beverly Ford, the widow of a national guardsman killed during the second Iraq War, is convinced her husband perished as a result of inadequate body armor. Sloane soon learns that established case law makes the prospect of victory over the federal government practically impossible. When the lawyer discovers that other members of Ford's platoon have died under strange circumstances since returning to the U.S., he begins to suspect a conspiracy to conceal the truth. While Dugoni does a good job of conveying litigation tactics, predictable situations Sloane's crusade endangers his wife and stepson are a reminder that the author's forte is page-turning action, not imaginative plotting.