cover image Speak No Evil

Speak No Evil

Rochelle Krich / Author Mysterious Press $30 (416p) ISBN 978-0

As with her last book, Angel of Death, Krich loads her mystery with a message, but this time she does a better job of lowering the polemical volume while maintaining a taut narrative. For Debra Laslow, a lawyer with a private firm, being required to defend a man accused of rape--even one as respectable as Beverly Hills internist Kenneth Avedon--makes her uneasy. With good reason: Avedon's first lawyer was shot and her tongue severed--an event that becomes even more unnerving when three more lawyers meet the same fate and Debra receives anonymous warnings to ""Get out of the way of Justice."" She gets little sympathy from Homicide Detective Marty Simms, who despises rapists and their attorneys. To make things worse, the woman Avedon is accused of raping is, like Debra, an Orthodox Jew whose life will be difficult indeed if Debra wins the case. Since the dead lawyers apparently knew their murderer, Debra becomes increasingly fearful of those around her. By the time it's all over, Debra's life has changed, and Krich has effectively charted her earnest heroine's struggle to find a path that satisfies both the demands of her private morality and her professional obligations. (Feb.)