I first read this book while lounging around in rehab last year. And now another winter afternoon with time on my hands, so I reread it. And I am glad I did.
I have read and loved all the Thaddeus Murphy books by this writer and I wondered could this new protagonist, Michael Gresham stack up.
Michael Gresham is a criminal lawyer working with his wife, Danny, his friend and confidant Marcel, who also acts as his researcher, and his secretary, Mrs Lingscheit making a tight little legal team.
We meet Michael at the Grand Jury Room in Chicago, or rather outside it as lawyers cannot enter the Room. Gresham is here on behalf of his client, a thrice-elected sheriff who is being accused of and charged with embezzling public funds. Then suddenly, the client loses it and takes a woman hostage, dragging her into the Jury Room where he proceeds to threaten all those already there.
The hostage situation is overcome, negotiations completed, and the sheriff is taken off to jail.
But this is only a very small part of the story. Gresham receives a call for help from his priest. The priest confesses that years ago he had a sexual relationship with one of the congregation, and a boy was born. He has had no dealings with the boy but has now heard that the boy is arrested for murder and he calls upon Michael Gresham to help.
In true John Ellsworth style, we are taken through a twisted and complicated plot to reach the surprise at the end.
Oh, and by the way, there is a foolish would-be drug dealer who is represented by Gresham, who manages to get the case dismissed when the arrested cocaine is shown to be missing from the police evidence room.
The trial scenes are evidence of an experienced criminal lawyer, all the characters are believable and on second reading, I enjoyed this fast paced book and will look for anther in the series.