"I look around the table: my ex-wife, my ex-girlfriend and me. We aren't a law firm we're a support group. Somebody will probably name a 12-step program after us." That's Mike Daley ex-priest, ex-public defender, ex-partner in one of San Francisco's fanciest law firms describing his new team of criminal defense specialists, housed in a former martial arts studio in the Mission District. It also sums up the considerable charm and strength of Siegel's second Daley vehicle, following on the heels of the well-received Special Circumstances. Daley is an original and very appealing character in the overcrowded legal arena a gentle soul who can fight hard when he has to, and a moral man who is repelled by the greed of many of his colleagues. His latest adventure starts with a bang: Prentice "Skipper" Marshall Gates III, San Francisco's district attorney and the man responsible for getting Daley fired from his law firm, is discovered at the Fairmont Hotel next to the naked dead body of a young male prostitute. He asks Mike to defend him on murder charges, then proceeds to lie to him and withhold vital information so often that a defense lawyer with a more macho self-image would quit in anger and disgust. But Daley believes Skipper is innocent and his struggling little firm needs the money. The central parts of the book, the investigations and the trial itself, are sluggish in spots and inflated with pregnant pauses, but in the end Siegel is so good at making readers believe in Mike Daley's decency that they'll be willing to forgive any narrative lapses. Agent, Margret McBride. Major ad/promo; teaser chapter in Special Circumstances. (Aug. 7) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Mike Daley and friends are back in this intriguing sequel to Siegel's highly praised debut, Special Circumstances. Prentice Gates, the San Francisco district attorney and a leading candidate for California attorney general, wakes up in his hotel room after spending the night in an armchair and finds a dead male prostitute on the bed. After his arrest on suspicion of murder, Gates realizes that the one man who can help him the most is someone he despises, defense lawyer Mike Daley. Daley reluctantly takes the case, and as he digs to uncover the truth, the mounting evidence seems to implicate his client. Is Gates as guilty as he seems? As in Siegel's previous book, the San Francisco setting and the courtroom scenes ring true. Readers will be anxiously awaiting this new Mike Daley novel. Recommended for public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/01.] Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
CD 0-553-71437-6 cassette 0-553-52813-0 When San Francisco D.A. Prentice Marshall "Skipper" Gates III, of all people, is charged with the death of a male teenage prostitute, the city braces for the first trial of the century, and attorney Mike Daley (Special Circumstances, 2000) scrambles to build a case. Daley, narrator and protagonist, has some interesting entanglements of his own: his partner in Fernandez and Daley is ex-wife Rosie, and the only other lawyer in the firm is an ex-girlfriend who, like Daley, once worked for Gates's law firm. Gates, who was in the middle of a campaign for California attorney general when the trouble started, is far from the ideal client: he's insufferable, and his lack of candor continually hampers Daley's efforts. His lawyer-daughter, Ann, is worse, however, as she tries time and again to insinuate herself onto the defense team. As the investigation broadens, it takes Daley around San Franciscothe Mission District, North Beach, Pacific Heightswhere he deals with an interesting cross-section of locals, nearly all of whom hold him in high esteem. These include sleazy political consultants, a top-of-the-line private investigator, and a priest who has to go into the gutter to save his parishioners. A great deal of the story takes place in the courtroom, with the trial unfolding from Daley's perspective. Here, the author, as expected, does a good job of getting into the mind of his character. The trial procedure is fascinating and more believable than most, as Siegel concentrates on legal strategies instead of lawyer's egos. No surprise ending, alas, but from beginning to end, an effective page-turner with a realistic, if somewhatcynical, climax that holds true to the powerhouse milieu in which Daley and his colleagues have been operating all along.
“Daley is an original and very appealing character in the overcrowded legal arena — a gentle soul who can fight hard when he has to, and a moral man who is repelled by the greed of many of his colleagues. ... starts with a bang.”
— Publishers Weekly
“An effective page-turner.... The trial procedure is fascinating and more believable than most, as Siegel concentrates on legal strategies instead of lawyer's egos.”
— Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Sheldon Siegel and Special Circumstances:
“A poignant, feisty tale ... Characters so finely drawn you can almost smell their fear and desperation. The dialogue is taut and tangy.”
— USA Today
“A page-turner of the finger-burning kind ... By the time the whole circus ends up in the courtroom, the hurtling plot threatens to rip paper cuts into readers’ hands.”
— San Francisco Chronicle
“With a winning protagonist and a gripping plot, Siegel’s debut is sure to make partner at its first-choice firm: the expanding empire of Turow, Grisham, Lescroart, Wilhelm, Margolin, and Baldacci.”
— Publishers Weekly
“It’s a hit!”
— Chicago Sun-Times
“A crackling good read.”
— Houston Chronicle
“All the hallmarks of a superb legal thriller are here.... [a] stellar debut.”