by Clinton McKinzie
Category: Fiction / Mystery
324 pages; ISBN: 0385338473
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Delacorte, $23.00, May 2005, 324 pp.
Wyoming State Police Special investigator Antonio “Ant” Burns is depressed since his life is collapsing. From being a law enforcement superstar to someone who is on unofficial “probation” for an incident at a prison when he used unwanted force, Ant knows he must watch his step or else lose the badge. Worse, he badly misses his infant daughter living in Denver with her mother. Finally the most dismal assault on his psyche is his guilty memory that his actions almost killed his brother, leaving him disfigured. Only mountain climbing gives him a reprieve from his feelings of failure.
Currently, he assists the prosecution on a high visibility case in which the defendant is accused of negligence leading to the drowning death of a ten-year-old boy. The townsfolk of Badwater want the accused tourist convicted of murder. However, Ant finds interesting evidence that will radically change the perspective of the case though no one seems interested in what he has uncovered. Instead the attorneys on both sides work for themselves as neither camp cares about a deceased child or a despondent tourist languishing in jail. Alone or perhaps with his sibling at his side if he can muster the courage to ask, Ant risks becoming a victim too.
In his latest rock climbing case, Ant is over the edge in freefall with failures in his personal life leading to job fiascos. The investigation is shrewdly developed to insure Ant’s woes get in the way and that regardless of his findings the dueling legal teams only care about furthering their careers. Fans of strong police procedurals will appreciate this fine tale in which Lady Macbeth would envy the lawyers.
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