cover image FAIRY TALES CAN COME TRUE: How a Driven Woman Changed Her Destiny

FAIRY TALES CAN COME TRUE: How a Driven Woman Changed Her Destiny

Rikki Klieman, with Peter Knobler. . Regan Books, $25.95 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-06-052401-2

In this solid memoir, Klieman, the tough, hardworking, fast-talking trial attorney and Court TV anchor, describes how she relentlessly prepared for high-profile cases, yet wasn't above wearing pretty dresses in court to soothe petulant judges. Inappropriately titled (there's little magic in Klieman's descriptions of 20-hour workdays and the chronic tension that found her routinely vomiting on Sunday nights before another week of work at the intense Boston law firm Choate, Hall), Klieman's tale isn't exactly one of a poor girl being rescued by a handsome prince. Klieman was smart enough to mix her own skills with savvy. She knew how to network, whether schmoozing with politicians or closing down the bars with fellow lawyers and cops after a day in court. Interestingly, Klieman trained as an actress before going into law, and her descriptions of the theatrics involved in trials (including her plea bargain for FBI fugitive Katherine Ann Power) are the book's strength. In 1999, Klieman married her third husband, Bill Bratton, who is now Los Angeles chief of police. The book ends as the East Coast–based Klieman follows Bratton west as he assumes his new post. "I was faced with... moving my life to another coast without a clue as to what I was going to do, with no security except the love of my husband," she writes. "How daring. What a trial. How very postfeminist." Not to worry. It appears the first thing she did is write an honest book that should appeal to women trying to have it all. Color photos not seen by PW. (On sale May 6)