cover image Night Is the Hunter: A Harlan Donnally Novel

Night Is the Hunter: A Harlan Donnally Novel

Steven Gore. Morrow, $14.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-202509-8

Gore’s third novel featuring former San Francisco police officer Harlan Donnally (after 2013’s A Criminal Defense) combines a serviceable mystery with an in-depth analysis of implied malice as the concept is used within the criminal justice system. A jury convicted Israel Dominguez of first-degree murder for shooting Edgar Rojo in an apparent gang war 20 years ago. Now Ray McMullin, the judge who put Dominguez on death row, wants Donnally to re-examine the case. Besides reading trial transcripts and arrest reports, Donnally interviews everyone he can find connected with the event, including the judge, witnesses, arresting officers, prosecutor, and DA. Donnally gets wildly different versions of what transpired (and the reasons for it), as well as pushback, since everyone has something to hide. The law may be clear, but human motivations can have bizarre results. Gore not only puts a face on the difficulties of serving justice but also illustrates their immensity. (Feb.)