The Perfect Witness

Overview

They used to be partners--Greg Monarch and Ira Sullivan, a couple of do-good lawyers in central California. But it all went bad for Ira. Bad enough that he wakes up in jail one day staring at a death sentence for murder. Only Greg Monarch has a prayer of getting him off--if he's willing to cross certain ethical lines.

Layer by layer, Greg peels back a tissue of lies--and at the rotten core he comes to Sandy Polson. Sandy says she was with Ira the night of the murder, says she ...

See more details below
Paperback
$17.32
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$19.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (27) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $11.19   
  • Used (22) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

They used to be partners--Greg Monarch and Ira Sullivan, a couple of do-good lawyers in central California. But it all went bad for Ira. Bad enough that he wakes up in jail one day staring at a death sentence for murder. Only Greg Monarch has a prayer of getting him off--if he's willing to cross certain ethical lines.

Layer by layer, Greg peels back a tissue of lies--and at the rotten core he comes to Sandy Polson. Sandy says she was with Ira the night of the murder, says she saw the whole thing. The prosecution believes she's the perfect witness. But what if Monarch could persuade Sandy to tell the truth? Wouldn't Sandy then become the perfect witness for the defense?

From the Paperback edition.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"OUTSTANDING."
--The Seattle Times

"BOLD AND CLEVER."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"FASCINATING."
--Los Angeles Times

"TENSE."
--Detroit Free Press

"INTRIGUING."
--The Wall Street Journal

From the Paperback edition.

Library Journal
Greg Monarch's quiet life as a small-town lawyer is shattered when he is asked to defend his former partner, Ira Sullivan, on a murder charge. Unable to turn his back on an old friend, Greg reluctantly agrees to handle the case. However, he soon finds himself involved in both an ever-widening conspiracy and a moral dilemma. As Greg uncovers a complex web of government corruption and deceit, he is faced with the necessity of bending his own ethical standards and manipulating the star witness, a pathological liar, in order to free Ira. Siegel, author of the nonfiction A Death in White Bear Lake LJ 6/15/90, offers a rather cynical but realistic view of the machinations behind the legal system combined with a collection of eccentric characters. The result is an intriguing blend of mystery, suspense, and courtroom drama that should appeal to readers of those genres. Recommended for most popular fiction collections.Barbara E. Kemp, SUNY at Albany Libs.
Kirkus Reviews
A dogged defense attorney's running battle with an unimpeachable prosecution witness raises disturbing questions about the nature of the judicial process, in this first novel by crime reporter Siegel (Shades of Gray, 1992, etc.).

At first Greg Monarch thinks the evidence against his former law partner Ira Sullivan, now one step up from a drugged-out bum, is a joke. The pistol that killed neighboring postmaster Bob Wilson is found on Sandy Polson, not on Ira, along with $33,000 wrapped in one of the postmaster's towels. Sandy's explanation: Ira came rushing out of the post office and gave her the gun and the money to hold, and she was too frightened and confused to say no. The tale is incredible, of course—but she tells it, and the many stories that follow, with an absolute conviction that makes her the perfect witness. Sandy is one smooth piece of work. Whenever Greg threatens to trip her up on a detail, she just weaves his information into a new version just as seamless as the last. And when a dim corroborating witness, Paul Platt, phones Greg to tell him he's been lying under pressure from hungry D.A. Dennis Taylor, Greg—ever the boy scout—refuses to see him, then agrees, only to have Sandy and Taylor turn Paul around again, and Taylor haul Greg up on charges before the California bar. Greg struggles through Ira's trial trying to figure out the case's connection to a runaway jury's earlier rampage against the nearby Devil's Peak nuclear facility. But he gets stonewalled at every turn; he's no match in the courtroom for an accomplished liar like Sandy, and the jury takes only two hours to convict his client. Then things get really interesting.

Not a whodunit, but a sharp, unsparing exploration of the conflicts between justice and advocacy in the adversarial system Greg's inherited from the Founding Fathers.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345485144
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 979,293
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Siegel is the author of two previous books: Shades of Gray: Ordinary People in Extraordinary Circumstances and A Death in White Bear Lake, which was nominated for an Edgar Award in the Best Fact Crime category.  He is an award-winning reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

From the Paperback edition.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)