cover image Crime of Privilege

Crime of Privilege

Walter Walker. Ballantine, $26 (432p) ISBN 978-0-345-54153-6

Walker’s sixth legal thriller—his first since 1993’s The Appearance of Impropriety—is a sheer pleasure to read. In March 1996, during a party at the Palm Beach, Fla., mansion of the politically connected Gregory family, George Becket discovers cousins Peter Gregory Martin and Jamie Gregory sexually violating a drunken young woman in the library. George hesitates at first, then intervenes to prevent further abuse. In March 2008, now an ADA on Cape Cod, George is still feeling guilty that he didn’t step in sooner. Bill Telford, a guy he meets at a local restaurant, offers him a chance to assuage his guilt. Bill wants to know why members of the Gregory family have never been implicated in the unsolved murder of his college-age daughter, Heidi, nine years earlier. Although Bill’s tenaciousness has made him a joke among lawyers and police, George is determined to crack the case. Are the Gregorys guilty, or has someone who resents their wealth and power made them targets? George must find his own moral compass, in a summer read notable for credible characters and unpredictable twists. Agent: David Gernert, the Gernert Agency. (June)