A Conflict of Interest

Adam Mitzner. S&S/Gallery, $25 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4391-5751-0

Mitzner's assured debut, a legal thriller, compares favorably to Presumed Innocent, though the plot is less complex than Turow's. Alex Miller, a criminal defense attorney at Cromwell Altman in New York City, meets an old friend of his parents, Michael Ohlig, at his father's funeral in Florida. Ohlig, the head of a boutique brokerage firm, asks for Miller's help. His firm stands accused of selling stock in a startup company he knew was worthless. Miller, who's convinced his client is innocent despite the contrary evidence, pours himself into Ohlig's defense, a time commitment that strains the ties to his devoted wife, Elizabeth. His law firm's assigning Miller a gorgeous senior associate, Abby Sloane, to assist him doesn't help. Mitzner tosses in a number of twists, but his strength lies in his characters and his unflinching depiction of relationships in crisis. This gifted writer should have a long and successful career ahead of him. (May)
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