Desert Light

Chilton Williamson, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (230p) ISBN 978-0-312-00577-1
A century ago, people came out West to grow with the country; now they just want to escape going down with the country, into the ruin that no doubt will be brought on by the nation's liberalsor so thinks Chuck Richardson, a cynical New York lawyer who has come to live in a small Wyoming town. Having once defended a rapist who, after acquittal, went on to kill a man, the embittered Richardson is persuaded to set aside his new, back-to-the-basics life as a roofer and rancher and return to the law to assist in the prosecution of a Manson-like murderer and his accomplices. After interviewing the accused's pretty sidekick, though, the lawyer becomes convinced that she is innocent and switches sides to act as her defense attorney. This first novel by a senior editor of National Review unfolds with noticeably overdone metaphors and inflated language; it is further burdened by irrelevant gripes about women's untrustworthiness, criminals' animal-like character and the needless obfuscation of our judicial system. The messages underlying this ho-hum story will convince no one but the already converted. (May 18)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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