Labyrinth

Henry Denker, Author
Henry Denker, Author William Morrow & Company $23 (299p) ISBN 978-0-688-13700-7
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Thin writing and a contrived climax combine to undermine this legal thriller from prolific author Denker (Doctor on Trial). David Kirk is the kind of high-powered, highly visible criminal lawyer who gets killers off on hair-splitting technicalities. When a judge hands Kirk the Cory murder case as a kind of penance for his success, the case seems open and shut: the physical evidence seems to indicate that Cory, an actor/photographer, is guilty of murdering his ex-lover. But under examination by the beautiful but distant Dr. Michal Scott, Cory displays symptoms of multiple personality disorder. It seems that Cory has an evil side that surfaced during the murder; the alternate personality caused him to leave incriminating evidence behind that would ensure his capture. This premise should make for a provocative debate about responsibility and the legal ramifications of one personality framing another. But such issues are treated glibly and never developed enough to grab the reader. The characterization is sketchy, there is a paucity of detail and development and even the obligatory twist at the end falls flat, thanks to a climax that asks more questions than it answers. (Oct.)
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