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Prejudicial Error

Overview

For John Phillip Solomon, the case is his last shot at redemption. And it's the longest shot of his life. An LAPD vice cop is dead, gunned down outside a strip joint. Juan Thomas, a black gang leader, is the accused, and Solomon is Thomas's court-appointed attorney. As Solomon reviews the case file, he fights the urge to seek refuge in the solace of self-recrimination. If only he hadn't blown his career, a star position as chief trial deputy in the Los Angeles D.A.'s office. If only his life hadn't taken a ...
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Overview

For John Phillip Solomon, the case is his last shot at redemption. And it's the longest shot of his life. An LAPD vice cop is dead, gunned down outside a strip joint. Juan Thomas, a black gang leader, is the accused, and Solomon is Thomas's court-appointed attorney. As Solomon reviews the case file, he fights the urge to seek refuge in the solace of self-recrimination. If only he hadn't blown his career, a star position as chief trial deputy in the Los Angeles D.A.'s office. If only his life hadn't taken a nosedive, pulling an unraveling marriage with it. If only his opponent weren't his longtime nemesis, Howard Ainsworth, the man who replaced Solomon as chief deputy, and the ultraconservative, hyper-ambitious front-runner in the county's D.A. race. Though Solomon finds it hard to conclude that a county paycheck is worth the humiliation, he stubbornly - perhaps not altogether wisely - believes he can battle his way through kickbacks and back stabbings, legal loopholes and political land mines, cutthroat advocacy and emotional vertigo, and, maybe, still pull off some of his old courtroom magic.

John Solomon once had it all as chief trial deputy of the Los Angeles D.A.'s office, until an illict affair destroyed his career. Now he has one final shot at redemption--the politically charged defense of an accused cop killer. As the trail of corruption races headlong from the ganglands to the D.A.'s office, John realizes that a death sentence has been passed.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A down-on-his luck attorney prone to drink and self-pity gets a chance at redemption when he takes on a high-profile case that seems impossible to win. No, it's not The Verdict; it's California administrative law judge Blum's sharply written debut novel. His protagonist is John Philip Solomon, former chief trial deputy in the Los Angeles DA's office, who now is reduced to ``the kinds of cases first-year lawyers handle.'' It's not exactly a sterling opportunity when he is tapped to defend an accused cop killer. Prosecuting the case is the man who took Solomon's place, Howard Ainsworth, the odds-on favorite to be the next DA. The arresting officer is Mary Delgado, whose affair with Solomon four years ago cost him his job. It sounds contrived, but Blum handles this plot adroitly. In fact, the narrative carries the ring of authenticity, especially the courtroom scenes, in which every question leads to an unexpected answer. Moreover, Solomon's transformation from floundering loser to competent attorney is convincingly portrayed. Blum mixes an insider's knowledge of courtroom procedure and cutthroat politics with some fast pacing and no-frills storytelling: he fills in the histories of his main characters while the trial builds to an exciting finish, and then detonates a few key surprises at the end. Though the final scene is a little too much like a TV pilot, this is a well-constructed thriller from a writer to watch. (Apr.)
Library Journal
John Solomon, former star prosecutor for the Los Angeles district attorney's office, is down on his luck and sodden with alcohol when a second chance arrives in the form of defending an accused cop killer. Solomon's client is angry and brutal and quite probably innocent, as Solomon discovers in the course of preparing the defense. Corruption reaches into the very heart of the judicial system, and exposure threatens many lives as well as careers. First novelist Blum has scripted an entertaining courtroom suspense drama that is somewhat spoiled by weak plot devices and some rather corny last-minute theatrics. Despite the author's somewhat cynical view of his profession, this novel will find favor with legal groupies in large public libraries.-Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Computer Support Svcs., Ridgecrest, Cal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451183095
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/1996
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.82 (h) x 0.99 (d)

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