Death Penalty

William Jeremiah Coughlin, Author HarperCollins Publishers $20 (353p) ISBN 978-0-06-017701-0
Coughlin ( Shadow of a Doubt ) delivers another thoughtful, brisk-paced and fully satisfying legal mystery. Though his drinking caused his near-disbarment, former hot-shot Detroit attorney Charlie Sloan, now practicing from Pickeral Point, a small town outside the Motor City, gets a chance to rescue his career. The recovering, thrice-divorced criminal lawyer hits the headlines when his client, a physician labeled Dr. Death, is convicted of murder for helping a wealthy, terminally ill patient speed his demise. While appealing that conviction and advising a waitress who has accused a Pickeral Point bigwig of rape, Sloan is asked by an old drinking buddy and fellow lawyer to take charge of the appeal of a $5-million personal injury suit brought against Ford by a man paralyzed in an auto accident. Sloan soon finds himself being lured into a extortion scam that seems to incriminate his mentor, a much-respected judge. As the rape case evolves into homicide, Dr. Death is jailed again on another murder charge, and the personal injury appeal confirms Sloan's suspicions of high-court corruption. In Coughlin's deft handling, Sloan triumphs in each case with his credibility and self-respect intact--and without taking a drink. Readers will regret that Coughlin (Shadow of a Doubt) died earlier this year. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates; R e ader's Digest Condensed Books selection. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-06-109053-0
Hardcover - 453 pages - 978-0-7927-1542-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-312-93357-9
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