Final Argument

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Overview

Final Argument is the startling story of a prosecuting attorney who, twelve years after condemning a convicted murderer to Death Row, returns to the same courtroom to try to save that same man's life. Best-selling author Clifford Irving has crafted a masterly tale of murder, guilt, and infidelity, set in Florida and featuring that rarest of heroes - a lawyer with a conscience and an all-abiding belief in justice. When state attorney Ted Jaffe gives up his prosecutorial job in Jacksonville in favor of a ...
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Overview

Final Argument is the startling story of a prosecuting attorney who, twelve years after condemning a convicted murderer to Death Row, returns to the same courtroom to try to save that same man's life. Best-selling author Clifford Irving has crafted a masterly tale of murder, guilt, and infidelity, set in Florida and featuring that rarest of heroes - a lawyer with a conscience and an all-abiding belief in justice. When state attorney Ted Jaffe gives up his prosecutorial job in Jacksonville in favor of a partnership with a prestigious Sarasota law firm, he does it for the security of his family. But in leaving Jacksonville, he also turns his back on the memories of his love affair with Connie Zide, a hauntingly beautiful older woman, and the subsequent trial of a young black man whom Ted Jaffe prosecuted for the murder of Solomon Zide, Connie's billionaire husband. A decade later, living the good life in Sarasota, Jaffe hears from a client an admission of perjury that draws him inexorably back into the Zide murder case, and toward the nightmarish belief that Darryl Morgan, the man he banished to Death Row - and now only days away from execution - may be innocent. Can a lawyer represent a murderer he once prosecuted? The legal establishment insists that he can't. But Ted Jaffe refuses to accept that verdict. Final Argument is the story of his war - at the risk of his career, his marriage, his personal safety, and the survival of his troubled teenage son - to save the lifeblood of a man he believes he has grievously wronged. What he uncovers about the events surrounding the murder of Solomon Zide, and the truths he learns about his own sexual conduct and emotional denial, combine to make Clifford Irving's Final Argument a superior suspense story, an incisive tale of the consequences of lust, and a penetrating portrait of a modern man caught in a web of conflicting emotions. Its climactic cross-examination - in that same Jacksonville courtroom where the first murder

A riveting tale of justice at all costs, by the bestselling author of Trial. A prestigious lawyer's lush life suddenly becomes a nightmare when he learns that his conviction in a case 12 years earlier has put the wrong man on death row.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Irving's 11th novel after Trial is a fast-moving legal thriller noteworthy for its virtuoso interweaving of story lines, numerous plot twists and superior characterizations. At age 48, Ted Jaffe seems set for life: he's a partner at one of Florida's most prestigious law firms, and has a devoted wife and two children who love him. Then Elroy Lee, arrested on a cocaine charge, phones Jaffe because his name looks familiar in the Sarasota Yellow Pages. Lee testified 12 years earlier in a case involving the murder of rich Floridian Solomon Zide; Jaffe, then a state prosecutor, obtained the conviction of a young black man named Darryl Morgan who still sits on death row. Facts now suggest that Lee lied on the stand, but if the trial is reopened, Jaffe's wife would find out that he was having an affair with Zide's socialite wife, Connie. Jaffe ponders why he became a lawyer and races for a new trial before Morgan's fast-approaching execution date. Culminating in an edge-of-the-seat courtroom showdown with plenty of surprises, this superior thriller is a top example of the genre. Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club alternate. Apr.
Emily Melton
Ted Jaffe is a successful lawyer with a nice family, a six-figure income, and an expensive house. Then a series of events changes his life forever. Twelve years earlier, just after Jaffe had ended a torrid affair with rich, sexy Connie Zide, he had successfully convicted a young black man of killing Connie's husband. Now, one of the men who testified at the trial says he was bribed. Jaffe's interest is piqued, but the truth is elusive. Witnesses are reluctant to talk, and when they do, they end up dead. The case quickly becomes an obsession while Jaffe's personal life disintegrates: his son's on drugs, his wife drinks too much, and his boss is furious that Jaffe is frittering away time better spent on billable clients. Jaffe triumphs in the end, but in his quest for justice he discovers some uncomfortable truths about himself and the life he's been leading. Irving has concocted a compelling story from start to finish, and, in the process, he has given us an unforgiving look at the criminal justice system and the ease with which the wealthy may slither through it. The real meat, however, is in Jaffe's painful personal transformation. What could have turned into a facile melodrama in less able hands is carried off with talent and polish.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440216858
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/1994
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.86 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Clifford Irving is the author of 20 published books, among them New York Times best-sellers Fake!, Trial, and Final Argument. Richard Gere starred as Clifford in the movie version of Hoax, the story of Clifford’s most famous book, the Autobiography of Howard Hughes, which forced the billionaire out of seclusion, caused the downfall of Richard Nixon, and earned the writer 16 months in three federal prisons.

The L.A. Times called Clifford Irving “a master,” and Thomas Keneally (Schindler’s List)

lauded Irving’s The Angel of Zin as “absolutely compelling, a totally engrossing thriller.”

This February 2012, as a birthday present, his computer-savvy son, Josh, has created a unique event – 12 of Clifford’s works, published and unpublished, will be available simultaneously in eBook form, at remarkably low prices.

See http://cliffordirving.com for details


They include Clifford’s thrilling prison journal, Jailing, excerpted in Playboy but withheld in full until now;

I Remember Amnesia, a new courtroom novel set in dangerous, glitzy East Hampton; Fake!, the sophisticated true tale of the most prolific art forger of the 20th century (think forged Picasso, Modigliani, and Matisse in top museums); best-sellers Trial and Final Argument, and, of course, the amazing Autobiography of Howard Hughes, never published in the USA except by a private printing rare enough to sell in hardback for $350, when you can find one.

These are bargain-priced, can’t-put-down reads by the famous writer the New York Times Book Review praised as “a born storyteller.”
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