Final Argument

Final Argument

4.0 3
by Clifford Irving
     
 

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The State of Florida has over 200 prisoners on Death Row. At least one of them is innocent. Twelve years ago then-prosecutor Ted Jaffe put him there. Now a slimeball client drops a bomb in Jaffe's lap: proof he sent to wrong man to die.

Jaffe's earning a six-figure salary at a conservative law firm. His partners want billable hours—not justice. But he

Overview

The State of Florida has over 200 prisoners on Death Row. At least one of them is innocent. Twelve years ago then-prosecutor Ted Jaffe put him there. Now a slimeball client drops a bomb in Jaffe's lap: proof he sent to wrong man to die.

Jaffe's earning a six-figure salary at a conservative law firm. His partners want billable hours—not justice. But he's already started to dig around in his past, and what he comes up with can make his life a living hell. Because twelve years ago Ted Jaffe not only won a conviction in a capital case, he slept with a rich man's wife. Both things are tuming out to be dead wrong. Making them right means risking his career, blowing his marriage, and going back into the same courtroom where the first murder trial took place to try to save a man's life... and his own soul.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780831753832
Publisher:
Smithmark Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date:
03/02/1993

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