What connects a brutal robbery in the Tuscan village of Lucca, to murders that occurred in the American Southwest? And how could a killing that took place in an Arizona bordello be related to what happened in a grim asylum nearly a lifetime later? Paul Rankin is about to learn the answers-and much more. The young lawyer has been practicing barely a year, but already hates it. He's been hoping for the thrills of the courtroom, but the firm's wealthy clients have infuriating whims about a lawyer's role-the last one paid five hundred an hour for him to walk her dog! Enter Louisa Locke, a tiny, dying widow with a mysterious missing person case. The brittle woman already spent staggering sums on useless investigators, but will stop at nothing to find out what happened to a tragic, childhood friend named Laura. With little time left she offers a fortune if Paul's firm can find out. The work has all the signs of another dog walker task, and then Paul discovers his firm's retired founder may hold the clues. But that's Paul's own father, and they're estranged. Worse yet, the old man suffers from Alzheimer's, and the keys to Locke's puzzle seem to be falling away from his crumbling mind. Paul's already fractured relationship with his father gets only worse when he learns of the bond Locke had with her friend, and the touching reasons for her obsession. He begins ignoring rules to find out more, until he's reaches a dangerous crossroads. He makes a stunning decision, and starts down a trail of murder and deceit that leads halfway around the world. Within just a few months of getting this ‘dog walking' assignment he'll get his wish for courtroom work-in an ancient Florentine courtroom, no less. But there's a catch: It's the kind of trial most lawyers have nightmares about.
J.P. Roarke spent nearly thirty years defending clients in court, training new lawyers, and running one of the oldest law firms in California. He has written two other books, several short stories, and a number of poems. He lives with his wife in the Coachella Valley, in Southern California.
It's been a long time since I read a book this good. It starts slow, but builds momentum, with so much emotion and drama. Haven't seen these kinds of characters in a while, either--I mean, truly heroic people dealing with true evil. Sorry it had to end. Would like to read more by this author, but can't find other works.
Beautiful read. This story is complex, with several themes, but a powerful thread of loyalty, heroism, and sacrifice; and so well written. It's a wonderful experience to take in.
Really, really enjoyed this book. It's different, but took hold of me until, by the end, I was there, with these characters, in the desert, then Italy, in the courtroom, and...well. Very impressive.