cover image Lingering Doubt

Lingering Doubt

Warwick Downing, Author, Dana Isaacson, Editor Pocket Books $4.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-671-76034-2

Jack Bard, a successful veteran lawyer, is pitted against Keane Williams, a grandstanding young prosecutor with designs on elected office. Bard's client Drusus Church is a former gang member whose climb from the mean streets of Long Beach is made considerably more difficult when he is apparently framed for murder. Unable to convince the jury of Church's innocence, Bard is in a race to save him from the death penalty. Bard argues the case in court, but he also works hard with his crew of investigators, assistants and cronies to scour the southern California street-gang scene in an effort to uncover the missing evidence that he is certain will overturn his client's conviction. While offering a peek at the inner workings of the court system, this book ultimately loses its appeal. Loaded with such cliches as a cast of hard-drinking lawyers and a judge nicknamed ``Iron Pants,'' the tale might still have been enjoyable if it didn't move at a crawling pace. Downing ( A Clear Case of Murder ) further complicates matters by often lapsing into the kind of ``legalese'' that usually necessitates an attorney's interpretation. (Apr.)