Conviction

Samuel H. Pillsbury, Author Walker & Company $21.95 (213p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1225-7
This canny debut marks the arrival of a promising crime novelist with a fine ear and broad sympathies. Assistant U.S. Attorney Walter Buris has a strong case against tinsel-slick Hollywood producer Ted Jeffries, accused of recruiting child pornography stars from a shelter for runaways. After the the prosecution's main witness is murdered on the eve of the trial, the battle between Buris and Jeffries becomes personal, with the two men proving equally adept at legal showboating and strong-arm intimidation. Loyola University of Louisiana law professor Pillsbury demonstrates a flair for dialogue as it is spoken both on and off the witness stand; his depiction of stylized courtroom crossfire is particularly dramatic. He creates thoroughly believable characters who humanize the sensational subject matter, from abused but resilient adolescent Eleana Torelli to mesmerizing power-hustler Jeffries. With no slackening of his story's pace, Pillsbury also explores aspects of morality that the law can't define and caps the drama with a chillingly satisfying confrontation between adversaries whose enmity can't be resolved by the verdict. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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