Undue Influence

Shelby Yastrow, Author McGraw-Hill/Contemporary $19.55 (353p) ISBN 978-0-8092-4109-5
Attorney Yastrow's slow-starting first novel takes place in Chicago's law offices, a quack cancer clinic and a judge's chambers. But just when readers may be ready to give up, the author's detailed knowledge of the legal system, his feisty villains, believable heroes and intriguingly original plot all take hold, creating a first-rate suspense story that is hard to put down. The centerpiece of the tale is Benjamin Stillman, low-paid bookkeeper at a brokerage firm, who dies at 83. Stillman leaves $8 million to a synagogue he had never attended; in fact, he was a Catholic. Philip Ogden is the small-time lawyer who unexpectedly becomes the protector of the will. Ogden's challenges include determining whether any heirs exist, deciding why someone would leave all his wealth to an institution representing a religion he himself didn't espouse, and learning where all the assets came from. Was Stillman a humanitarian thief? In any case, this is an engaging picture of the legal profession portrayed as corrupt, egotistical and morally complex. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8041-0905-5
Library Binding - 562 pages - 978-1-56054-132-5
Paperback - 340 pages - 978-1-4669-0174-2
Open Ebook - 978-1-4669-0175-9
Hardcover - 331 pages - 978-1-4669-0176-6
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