Body of a Crime

Michael C. Eberhardt, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-525-93623-7
Joining the group of lawyers who have taken to fictionalizing the workings of their profession, Eberhardt debuts with an intense and attention-grabbing case: a rare, no-body murder trial. Sean Barrett abandons his lucrative job and promising career handling criminal cases at a Southern California corporate law firm to defend Chad Curtis, who has been arrested for the murder of his former girlfriend, actress Robin Penrose. Penrose, last seen getting the worse of a fight with Curtis, has vanished; soon after her disappearance, Curtis arranged to dispose of her car. The prosecution's case looks so good that slick, media-hungry D.A. Sherman Lowenstein shows up in court to handle it personally. With the help of Craig MacDuff, a skilled PI who left the police force under a cloud, Sean begins burrowing into Penrose's past and following leads supplied in a series of phone calls from a man with a Jamaican accent. Then the murder of an associate from his former law firm ups the stakes and reminds Sean that some jobs are not to be walked away from. Eberhardt's ability to track a seemingly clear case toward complexity, then backtrack to an entirely different, equally credible picture--and to deliver the result with a final twist--makes him a storyteller of great promise. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Mass Market Paperbound - 448 pages - 978-0-451-40569-2
Hardcover - 546 pages - 978-0-7089-5803-2
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