When the Public Defender commits suicide, the scene is assessed and cleaned up before you can blink an eye. Why did he off himself? Martha Foster works for a firm that has just put in a new health care policy that would hamper her from taking proper care of her son, Andy who has a heart condition. Told by the head of the company that it was too bad she makes a decision that would change her life, endanger her and her son when she becomes the public defender of a small town in Alabama run by a corrupt judge. From the minute she enters the courtroom you can feel the tension rise in each member of the court as the greet her, offer her coffee and then hoping to meet the judge. This experience at first should have set off red flags and when she searched to learn about the inmates one was a lawyer friend who was in jail for not being able to pay a small parking ticket and the excess taxes on his stay caused them to keep him in jail longer. But, when Martha wants to see him as his lawyer the red tape, the obstacles that prevented her from getting past the bailiff, the court clerk and the woman who ran the jail, should have told her to leave even before she started. At the daycare center, Andy is fearful, and seeing Peg makes him shake and cry. Her friend Jay is there for her, but she needs the job until something changes. Martha tries to defend her clients and learns if the death of Abby due to being placed in the restraining chair. Her death was shocking, but the judge justified it and thongs get tense as Martha is next for the chair. The authors described what happens to her, the abuse and cruelty and the fact she did not know where her son was placed keeping that from her. Pain, mental anguish and fear combined within her heart. When released threats were hurled and she was forced to recount her objections and the filed motions. Martha too the humiliation for a while and hoped that if she went higher to the judiciary committee she’d win against the judge. The wife of the suicide victim and the sister of the girl who died said they’d testify until the time came to do it. on the stand, Martha was calm and steadfast when speaking. During the trial, her voice was heard, and the judge had many advocates testifying on his behalf. Smug, pompous, and self-absorbed he was certain of a win. The surprise witness describes his experience in the restraining chair and the horrors that filled it. The pain in his leg from the restraints and the result of losing his leg and no remorse from the judge or anyone in the jail and yet he remains there. An ending that is shocking as the authors James Patterson and Nancy Allen leave us wondering what the fate of the judge is. Will the judge continue to go after Martha and where will she find up? What about Jay Bradshaw? Some endings are conclusions and others open-ended leaving room for more to come. The jail staff seems linked to the judge and their treatment of Martha is cruel and insensitive wondering if this is an inside view of what really happens? Prisons do have restraining chairs and there have been deaths recorded and reported because of this so why are they allowed? The research into this area is well defined and the laws and statues that allowed Martha to fight back are clearly defined. Addison the lawyer for Martha and the plaintiff at first seems off kilter, nervous at coming up against this judge who seems above the law and above reproach. You wonder if such judges exist and how they are dealt with in our courts today. When the final analysis takes place, and you hear her testimony and that of the surprise witness what will the verdict be? Will they side with the judge, or will they side with what is right? Twists, surprises, deceptions, betrayals and a decision that will shock readers as authors James Patterson and Nancy Allen once again raise the bar for a courtroom drama.
A lawyer quite knowledgeable and a force to be reckoned with and a judge that just might learn the true definition of law and the mind behind our jailhouse lawyer.
Fran Lewis just reviews