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.
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.
Village of Lucca:
The story of a young lawyer, Paul, somewhat arrogant, who dedicates himself to finding a long lost friend of an elderly client. This search, resulting in a dramatic trial, is the heart of the book.
Paul’s search reveals a heartbreaking series of events which he must face and resolve; in the end, he comes to accept that life doesn’t always turn out the way one wants.
The story spans several decades—starting in Lucca, moving to Arizona and comes full circle, ending back in Lucca where Paul comes to terms with his losses. There is a sadness and acceptance, but no bitterness on the part of Paul.
A beautifully written, touching read, and at the same time, a fast-paced intense thriller.