The book opens with Harlen Fisk, a reoccuring character who is a county supervisor, asking Dismas if he would take a call from his sister, Maya Townshend. It seems that the manager of her coffee house was murdered, and Maya might be in the sights of the police. Another murder later, and Maya is arrested. Dismas once again has to defend a complicated murder trial, in which the defendant is facing life in prison, without the possibility of parole.
The courtroom scenes are realistic, and the portrayal of a pro prosecution judge made my blood pressure rise! Throw in a ladder climbing Federal Prosecutor, and it's enough to give anyone a headache.
Abe Glitsky, Dismas' long time friend and lieutenant in the police dept, is dealing with his own heartbreaking personal problems, when his young son is in a tragic accident. Without Glitsky's supervision, two cops under his command are a little too eager to rush to judgement about Maya, and the drama that unfolds kept my heart pounding, right until the shocking climax of the story.