cover image Against the Law

Against the Law

Jay Brandon. Severn, $28.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8770-2

Implausibilities undermine this series kickoff from Edgar-finalist Brandon (Running with the Dead). During a trial, Edward Hall, a well-known Houston defense attorney, and Cynthia Miles, the prosecutor he’s trying a drug case against, help themselves to the cocaine in evidence before engaging in intercourse in the judge’s chambers. When these shenanigans become known, Edward covers for Cynthia and takes the rap for the evidence tampering. After two years in prison, the disbarred lawyer finds steady work as a salesman, until he gets a desperate call from his physician sister, Amy, who has been arrested for murdering her estranged husband. The prosecution is convinced of Amy’s guilt—she was found, bloodstained, next to the corpse—but despite his disbarment, Edward agrees to defend her, only to find that Cynthia, now a judge, will preside over the high-profile murder trial. No one in authority realizes that Edward no longer has a license to practice law as he seeks to prove his sister’s innocence. Brandon, a Texas criminal lawyer, knows how to ratchet up tension in the courtroom, but multiple contrivances don’t bode well for future entries. [em](May) [/em]