Retribution. Miami Assistant State Attorney C.J. Townsend finds herself living a nightmare"/>
 

LAST WITNESS

Jilliane P. Hoffman, Author
Jilliane P. Hoffman, Author . Putnam $24.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-15245-0
Reviewed on: 03/21/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-14-305719-2
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-305720-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 326 pages - 978-0-425-21074-1
Open Ebook - 978-0-7865-5684-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7865-5685-4
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Truth and justice collide in former prosecutor Hoffman's sequel to Retribution. Miami Assistant State Attorney C.J. Townsend finds herself living a nightmare, beginning with a call to go to the homicide scene of Victor Chavez, a cop who helped her convict serial killer William Bantling. Chavez's body has been mutilated, his tongue twisted into what a former DEA officer calls the "Colombian necktie." Early clues to this and subsequent, equally brutal, murders point to Florida's drug underworld, but Townsend's fiancé, Special Agent Dominick Falconetti, and his team track the case back to Bantling. Falconetti is arrested for assaulting the ever-taunting Bantling, but even with the lead detective off the investigation, troubling facts emerge, while Townsend, haunted by her role in Bantling's trial (she withheld evidence to put the man who raped her on death row), tries to distance herself. Instead, she must confront her torturer in court, putting her career, her relationship and eventually her life at risk. Reminders of fictional predecessors (Bantling in Hannibal Lecter restraints, Townsend's Dirty Harriet heroics) and occasional uninspired romantic passages are Hoffman's weakness; procedural detail and methodical depiction of the horrific are her strength. She combines the gruesome precision of Patricia Cornwell, the courtroom savvy of Linda Fairstein and the Miami setting of Edna Buchanan to produce an unsettling tale that, unlike most detective fiction, is not neatly tied up at the end. Agent, Luke Janklow. Foreign rights sold in 10 countries. (May)

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