The Advocates’s Daughter: Anthony Franze
Within the law community there are many who follow the rules and others who find it necessary to break them, stretch the truth and find ways to create situations that would benefit them, help them to rise in the ranks and obtain positions of power. Sean Serrat, is a Supreme Court lawyer whose youth is pictured and depicted in the prologue as he and his friends get drunk, get into a fight and wind up killing someone. Thinking that his past is behind him and becoming what some would call a model citizen or adult, Sean finds himself once again hoping to respect the oaths he took yet unfortunately defending more than his past but the events that will change his life in the present. Tired, overworked and hoping to return a phone call from this daughter, he never realizes that by not calling her back that it might cost Abby her life. What was it that was so important that she needed to speak with him and why did he ignore the call and wait till return it? On a short list to hopefully be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, worried about Abby his bright, resourceful and smart daughter whose a law student, he becomes concerned when his texts and calls go unanswered and her office claims she never showed up for work. Back tracking her movements and learning about her involvement with a young man named Malik Montgomery, Sean finds himself at the library of the Supreme Court, sifting through the stacks finding her lifeless body. Thinking that Malik is the last person to have seen her, having fought with her at dinner and learning she no longer wanted his company, the police arrest him thinking he is the killer. But, evidence comes to light, strange emails, notes and files are found and the author shares not only Sean and his wife Emily’s grief but his anger and frustration for not following through on the phone call, not seeing what might have been happening right in front of him and hoping to rid himself of the media circus that parked itself on his front law. Malik is black and they feel that he was arrested because of it. A racial controversy sets off the media and Sean after speaking with his defense attorney, reassessing the evidence and learning that Malik had Abby’s phone and notes can’t imagine why he would keep them for the police to find. As Sean delves deeper and gets to know more about Malik her learns that Abby has notes related to the vetting of Senator Mason James also up for the same Supreme Court Position as he is and the information he learns about him changes it all.
Ryan, his oldest son seems bent on getting into trouble in school, blaming Sean for not taking the calls and Sean blaming Ryan for not telling him what he found belonging to his sister. But, the stakes are high and when Sean asks Ryan to cut school and they come in contact with a drug dealer named Chiptole and Ryan explains his link to Abby the energy level and tension rises, he and Ryan have to defend themselves against this dealer and his men and the final result is murder.
Dealing with her death, trying to make sense of it and hoping to piece together what happened to Abby, things spiral out of control as Ryan gets into trouble in school, taunts are at the core and the principal once again has to decide what to do in order to free Ryan of the problem as the other three involved were the cause and he was just defending himself and took all three of them down.
This is a story about deceit, lies, power, family love and loyalty, hope, friendships what are tested, betrayals and the investigation into the life of a senator that might have cost Abby her life as her research brings to light information that might change it all and cause the Senator to take action against Sean as he has others when they cross him or get in his way.
A visit to a prison, a talk with a murderer and a discussion that gets him thinking linking it all to her research did Malik really kill Abby or did someone else? Why would he keep her cell phone and delete the messages but have the phone? Why delete a surveillance tape except of the evidence that shows him entering the building with the Supreme Court Library? As the case comes to court and Judge Chin takes the podium and the lawyers argue their motions and Malik takes the stand, Sean realizes who was with Abby that night. But, will he tell the court, his friend the deputy director of the FBI Pacini or will he go after the person himself? When evidence comes to light and Mason James makes sure that he knows what he has on him and Ryan the playing field changes until Sean throws him a curve ball he would never expect.
The author creates suspense in a unique way as the prosecuting attorney presents some strong arguments as does the defense. But, the judge seems to be in total control and the motion can go either way and the fact that the defense is claiming that there was a violation of the fourth amendment and that Malik was never read his Miranda rights, proves that the truth is stretched and someone is hiding more than the truth. The police have not looked further than Malik? With Ryan’s help they learn that someone is delivering envelopes for the Senator? Bribes or threats? Someone wants everyone to believe that Abby was doing something with someone in the library that she should not have been with in order to take care of a problem Ryan had. Just how this all ties in you won’t believe?
Senators that would do anything to get things passed and stay in office at the expense of anyone who gets in their way. Others who risk it all in order to hide who they really are and more. A killer hiding in plain sight thinking that the person is here for the good when in reality he is not. A father who told his son to lie and never reveal anything about his past yet never had time for him in the present or as a child. Three young teens who were drunk and a man who was killed defending his business while these teens stole from him. Another man wanting what he said belonged to him, drug dealer, sold weed, blackmailer and more convinced that he was invisible but was not. A young teen who would never be the same because he was told he killed this man yet he was defending his father. Did Malik kill Abby? Did anyone see him in the library that evening? As Sean pieces it all together, learn who the mystery man was that got Abby’s attention and more you won’t believe who the killer and the danger Sean puts himself in to help solve a murder but can he before it’s too late? With Emily on his side and hopefully right in his path, will Sean ever come to grips with Abby’s death and will the rage within him ever settle so that he can enjoy Emily, Jack and Ryan? A story about love, family loyalties, revenge, friendship and racial tension and prejudice and a story that everyone needs to read to understand just how far some will go to defend what they think is right and to protect their family even if they are wrong. The difference between justice, right and wrong and the way to move ahead. Who killed the Advocate’s Daughter and why? Find out when you read this outstanding novel by author Anthony Franze and you decide whether Justice prevailed.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine