Release Date: May 10, 2005
“Is there anything else we need to discuss?” Judge Timmerman asks, clearly hoping that the answer will be ‘no’. I could come up with other diversions, but that’s all they would be, and they really wouldn’t divert. The fact is, I could strip naked, jump on the defense table, and sing “Mammy”, and it wouldn’t be the lead story on the news tonight. The lead will be that Kenny Schilling, football star, is facing the death penalty.[p. 45]
First at the crime scene, Andy Carpenter wishes he never saw the folded torso with the large red stain on its back. The victim is Tony Preston, wide receiver for the New York Jets, and the suspect is Kenny Schilling, the New York Giants’ star running back who is clamoring for Andy’s services. The upcoming high-profile murder case will be the benchwarming Andy’s chance to get back into the legal game. It will also prove a handy distraction from the awful possibility that Laurie Collins—the private investigator and living creature Andy adores most next to Tara, his cherished golden retriever—is about to leave Paterson forever.
Digging into the case, Andy stumbles onto some of the seamier undercurrents rushing beneath the large-guy camaraderie, big-buck cushiness, and bone-mashing fun that is pro football. And he discovers that Preston’s death is similar to a series of other mysterious murders—all seemingly unrelated yet connected by a horrible secret from many years ago. Despite the crushing evidence, Andy begins to believe in his client’s innocence.
But when danger finds someone close to him, the unperturbed defender knows he’s attracted the attention of a powerful enemy—one who will do anything to take Andy permanently off the field…