In this sequel, the badly managed trial of a wealthy young lawyer for the rape and attempted murder of a former prostitute forces a reclusive attorney to return to Los Angeles.
It was a bear of a case. Not only was the accused the son of one of LA’s most respected lawyers, but there were problems with the victim’s story. After the rape, during which Kelly Luthan said she slashed White Jr. with a knife, she drove herself directly to the district attorney’s office, not stopping for any medical care. Deputy District Attorney Sarah Cartwright immediately filed charges and obtained an indictment against White Jr., even before the investigation was completed. Then she resigned from the DA’s office and went off to parts unknown. Now, the case is in the eager hands of a relative novice, Katelyn Kruz. Notwithstanding her initial court success convincing the judge to deny White Jr. bail, Katelyn is out of her depth against the legal eagles assembled by Richard White Sr. Jack Wayne, a senior member of the DA’s Sexual Assault Team, suspects his boss, a close friend of White Sr., has quietly ordered Katelyn not be given any assistance by the group’s more seasoned prosecutors. Jack meets with LA Police Department Detective Jones, the only one who knows Sarah’s whereabouts, and tells him the case will tank if she doesn’t return to help Katelyn. Augustine’s (A Brush with Love, a Brush with the Law, 2014) experience as an attorney gives the courtroom proceedings some substance. The section dealing with jury selection is especially intriguing. The bulk of this romance novel/legal thriller hybrid deals with Sarah’s and Kelly’s complicated personal dramas, and some high-action danger adds unexpected excitement. Sarah and her husband, David Nolan, were introduced in the author’s debut. But Augustine is stingy with catch-up information, making it difficult for readers to assess the complicated relationships between White Jr., Sarah, Kelly, and David. In an endnote, the author coyly suggests that readers turn to the earlier book to test the accuracy of their assumptions about Sarah. Cute, but irritating.
An engaging courtroom tale, despite an uneven mashup of genres.
Pub Date: today
Page Count: 240
Publisher: Kurti Publishing
Review Posted Online: April 4, 2020