Designer Crimes

Lia Matera, Author Simon & Schuster $20.5 (240p) ISBN 978-0-684-80312-8
In a brief prologue that works more as a spoiler, San Francisco lawyer Laura Di Palma is arrested for conspiracy to murder ambitious DA Connie Gold. The book proper soon clarifies that Gold is prosecuting Laura's sole client Brad Rommel, who has been charged with murdering his missing and presumed-dead ex-lover. The pursuit of another issue, trying to stop an ex-employer's slander, puts Laura at the scene of a murder: a masked man shoots lawyer Jocelyn Kinsley during her meeting with Laura. Kinsley's last words, ``designer crimes,'' baffle Laura until her former (and possibly future) lover, PI Sandy Arklett (who wonders if Laura was the shooter's real target), discovers that someone in the office was tailoring extralegal revenge when the law would not suffice. Before long, Brad jumps bail, claiming that someone is trying to kill and frame him, and he echoes Sandy's suspicions that Laura is at the center of things. Matera (Face Value) creates a dark world in which insinuation looms large and the crimes stack up in rapid succession, requiring significant suspension of disbelief. Laura, particularly angry and uncertain in this complex plot, finds only small relief in the resolution. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 288 pages - 978-0-671-00196-4
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4767-3762-1
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