cover image Local Rules

Local Rules

Jay Brandon. Pocket Books, $22 (290pp) ISBN 978-0-671-88408-6

An overeager sheriff's deputy sparks the quirk of fate that finds Jordan Marshall, former prosecuting attorney in San Antonio, acting as defense for a young man accused of murder in a tiny Texas town. Hauled in to the Green Hills courthouse on a speeding violation, Marshall is appointed by the presiding judge to represent the murder suspect in his arraignment. But what should have been a five-minute pro forma exercise takes on life-changing importance as Marshall, convinced that justice is being ill-served in the case, uncovers another murder and turns up a big-city number of small-town secrets. In swiftly moving prose and with an affectionately rendered, credible cast, Brandon (Loose Among the Lambs) delivers a solid string of riveting, detailed courtroom dramas--and some moving bedroom scenes as well. A few holes in the plot and an obvious red herring do little to impede the pleasures of time spent in the company of Marshall and the Green Hills' citizenry. (May)