cover image The Trials of Zion

The Trials of Zion

Alan M. Dershowitz, Grand Central, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-446-57673-4

At the start of Dershowitz's earnest third novel (after 2000's Just Revenge) featuring celebrity lawyer Abe Ringel, whose quirky, sometimes quixotic career resembles the author's own, Abe's 26-year-old daughter, Emma, goes to Israel despite Abe's misgivings. Emma, a recent Yale law school graduate, plans to help defend a terrorist bomber accused of setting off an explosion that has killed several of the world's leaders. Deadly complications force Abe to step in and get involved in trials whose outcomes could threaten the lives of those who are nearest to him. Besides showcasing the differences between the Israeli and American systems, these trials raise ethical questions that are, as always in this series, the real heart of the matter. Those looking for a read that offers interesting legal issues and clever courtroom action and don't mind clunky dialogue and perfunctory thriller plotting might enjoy the result. (Oct.)