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by Douglas Corleone
Minotaur Books, May 2011
416 pages
ISBN: 0312552270

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Defense lawyer Kevin Corvelli once of New York City and now a Honolulu resident is hitting his favorite bar at a beach resort when he witnesses a full-blown argument between Erin and Trevor Simms, just married that day. Later that night in the same resort, where Corvelli is enjoying a fling, a fire breaks out. Corvelli and his woman friend escape, and Corvelli rescues a 4-year-old boy. But 11 people die, including Trevor Simms. His wife is soon arrested and charged with knifing him and setting the fire.

Corvelli is hired as her attorney, but it seems an almost impossible case to win. Erin Simms has motive, all the evidence points to her and she has a history of setting fires. The case is made more difficult by the young, arrogant prosecutor Luke Maddox, whose office continually throws up roadblocks, and by the fact that Corvelli is attracted to his troubled client. But Corvelli doesn't like to lose, and even an attempt on his life won't stop him.

This second legal thriller by Corleone is packed with action, great characters and wonderful scenery well, it's Hawaii, of course. But it's the plot, with twists you won't see coming, that will keep you reading. A former New York defense attorney himself, the author writes realistic and riveting courtroom scenes. He also presents a main character who is not always likable but for whom we root. Corvelli is a womanizer, he's brash and often insensitive, and he sometimes skirts and even crosses ethical lines. At the same time, he develops a warm friendship with the boy he saved in the fire, and he has his client's interests at heart.

With the Corvelli books, we have a promising new legal series. John Grisham might well step aside; Corleone is that good.

Lourdes Venard is a newspaper editor in Long Island, N.Y.

Reviewed by Lourdes Venard, May 2011

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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