Naked Justice (Ben Kincaid Series #6)by William Bernhardt
While Kincaid may not be the slickest attorney in Tulsa, he has a
As Tulsa's first black mayor and a former college football hero, Wallace Barrett was a city treasure--until he became the prime suspect in the gruesome murder of his wife and two daughters. Seen splattered with blood and fleeing his house after the crime, the mayor needs a miracle. Enter Ben Kincaid.
While Kincaid may not be the slickest attorney in Tulsa, he has a knack for pulling off the impossible. But with a frenzied media, a string of damning expert witnesses for the prosecution, and surprise testimony that could rip right through Kincaid's already tenuous defense, impossible never looked so tough.
How's this for an original opening? Handsome, magnetic Wallace Barrett, a former football player turned politician, has a public argument with his wife over their two young girls; hours later, a neighbor who's heard cries from his house sees Barrett bolting the scene, leading the police on a dramatic high-speed chase until he crashes his car into a three-count indictment. Faster than you can say O.J., Barrett's retained feckless Ben, whom he's convinced is on the likely trial judge's good books. Barrett figures he'll need all the help he can get, because his late wife's sister, buff exercise counselor Cynthia Taylor, is already peddling a book about him larded with allegations of domestic abuse, and the D.A.'s office, headed by Ben's nemesis Jack Bullock, has stopped looking for another suspect. Meantime, Ben, who's been struggling to take care of the apathetic nephew his decamped sister's parked with him, keeps flashing back to painful memories of his own late father's indictment for murder. He's being sued by a TV station for smashing a camcorder (in defense of Cynthia Taylor, no less). And he's being stalked by someone who keeps threatening him with the tag line "Sick heart . . . You're next." Will Ben's investigator be able to identify the suspicious figure spotted taking money from the sleazy acting mayor? Will Barrett take the stand in his own defense? Will Ben, like Lt. Columbo, eventually realize what most readers will have seen from the beginning? Will all the evidence finally come together with a single satisfying snap?
Yes, yes, yes, no. Ben turns in a creditable job in the courtroom (and runs a mean five-minute mile), but not even the dream team could pull all the threads of this tangled case together.
Meet the Author
William Bernhardt made his debut as a novelist with Primary Justice, a bestseller that launched what Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine called "one of the best new series going. Bernhardt's subsequent novels include Blind Justice, Deadly Justice, Perfect Justice (which won the Oklahoma Book Award), Cruel Justice, and Double Jeopardy.
As an attorney, William Bernhardt has received several awards for his public service, and in 1993 he was named one of the top twenty-five young lawyers in the nation. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with his wife, Kirsten, and their children, Harry and Alice.
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I couldn't put this book down. Very well written.