Veteran attorney Janet Moodie, the sympathetic lead of Robertson’s promising first novel, has withdrawn to a small, isolated Sonoma County, Calif., community after the shocking and inexplicable suicide of her husband, prominent defense counsel Terrence Moran. Though Janet has decided not to handle any more death penalty cases, she accepts one after finding the lack of stress in her life boring. Her newest client, Andy Hardy, is on death row in San Quentin State Prison for murdering two prostitutes, whom he and his brother, Emory, abducted and abused. Janet has to review the record to find evidence that Andy’s trial attorney didn’t provide him with competent representation 15 years earlier, as well as uncover any new evidence that could lead to his sentence being commuted. Though the resolution doesn’t live up to the rest of the book, Robertson, an appellate lawyer specializing in death penalty cases, does a fine job basing a legal thriller on the process of trying to mitigate a death sentence. (May)
"The author's work as a defense attorney handling death penalty cases brings authenticity to an exciting debut that focuses on providing grist for the slow-moving wheels of the criminal justice system." - Kirkus Reviews
"a fine job basing a legal thriller on the process of trying to mitigate a death sentence." - Publishers Weekly
"Debut novelist Robertson brings new meaning to the term legal thriller and introduces readers to a heroine who is both savvy and mature." - Library Journal
"Readers of legal thrillers will appreciate the detail the author includes about the criminal-justice system. Robertson is a practicing defense attorney with two decades of experience in death-penalty appeals, and she brings that expertise to the insider’s take on the legal thriller." - Booklist
"A unique, one-of-a-kind insider's look at the realities of appellate law, set against the fraught backdrop of a death penalty case. Carefully written and brutally honest, TWO LOST BOYS tackles both mental fitness and the rule of law with equal aplomb. Andy Hardy is an anti-hero that you both root for and empathize with, despite his seemingly abhorrent crimes. A must-read!"
Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year
"From cell blocks to courtrooms, Two Lost Boys takes you on an exciting journey into the fascinating world of the guilty and the innocent. Can death row attorney Janet Moodie save her latest client from execution? This tale of family secrets and legal malpractice will grip you at every surprising turn. Suspense at its finest!"
Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassins
“Told with a commanding sense of authenticity, this grips from the first page.”
Andrew Cartmel, author of The Vinyl Detective
"A revelation - a timely and fascinating journey into a complex and troubling case of murder, betrayal and family secrets. A must-read for any reader interested in the moral issues surrounding the death penalty. You are sure to find yourself happily lost in its pages."
Carole Buggé, author of Who Killed Mona Lisa?
"Robertson delves into the world of the unsung heroes of the criminal bar: The lawyers who take the appeals of the death row defendants. Part cold case mystery, part legal thriller. Both the lawyer and the writer in me were pleased."
Alan Gordon, public defender and author of the Fools' Guild Mysteries
“Scott Turow and John Grisham had better look to their laurels. There's a new writer of legal thrillers in town, and her debut novel, Two Lost Boys, is going to win her a seat at the table.”
Richard A. Lupoff, author of the Lindsey and Plum mystery series
"one of the best books I have read recently – a very impressive debut novel. If you like legal thrillers, you’ll definitely want to read it." - TheSoapBoxers
“After the thirty percent mark, the book had its fangs buried in my brain stem and I couldn't get it out of my mind.” - Dangerous Dan’s Book Blog
“an intensely real, immersive story that feels polished and authentic in a way that many more experienced storytellers never achieve.” The Crime Review
“explores compelling themes” Reviewing The Evidence
“extremely real and detailed” clues and reviews
It's been 15 years since Marion "Andy" Hardy was convicted of murder and sentenced to die in San Quentin Prison while his younger brother was given a life sentence for the same crime. Janet Moodie, a onetime death row appeals attorney who retreated to the Northern California hills after her husband's death, is coaxed back to work on Hardy's case by his newly appointed postconviction lawyer, Jim Christie. With some trepidation, Janet begins her research with a visit to Hardy followed by weeks of poring over files and transcripts. Then, with the aid of investigator Dave Rothstein, she methodically combs through Hardy's past, looking for any detail his previous attorney may have overlooked that will convince the courts to reconsider his case. What follows for the reader is an inquiry into both the circumstances of the murder and Hardy's background that is as suspense filled as any police procedural. It all ends, refreshingly, in a dramatic climax without a courtroom confrontation. VERDICT Debut novelist Robertson brings new meaning to the term legal thriller and introduces readers to a heroine who is both savvy and mature.—Nancy McNicol, Hamden P.L., CT
An attorney specializing in death row appeals discovers plenty of reasons to plead for clemency for her client.When her husband committed suicide, Janet Moodie blamed herself. So did some of her friends. Retreating to a small cottage north of San Francisco, she continues to work on death row cases. Her newest client, Marion "Andy" Hardy, was convicted 15 years ago, along with his younger brother, Emory, of rape, murder, and kidnapping. Emory got life in prison; Andy, whose lawyer didn't put up much of a defense, was sentenced to death. Now it's up to Janet to find holes in that defense that could change his sentence to life. The lawyer who'll eventually appear in court confides that Andy's controlling mother, Eva, is bound to learn anything Janet tells Andy. Janet and Dave Rothstein, a close friend of her husband who's helping her as an investigator, quickly realize that Andy has mental disabilities that could mitigate his sentence. But Eva, who's never acknowledged his problems, fights them tooth and nail when they try to get Andy evaluated. It's hard to believe that Andy, a sweet boy who was bullied by Emory and his friends, could have planned or committed the crimes, even after his father, an alcoholic who abused Eva and the kids, suddenly vanished from their lives. Janet and Dave crisscross California and nearby states interviewing family members and friends and relatives of the dead girls and turn up a great deal of new information. Can they uncover the secrets that will help the hapless Andy? The author's work as a defense attorney handling death penalty cases brings authenticity to an exciting debut that focuses on providing grist for the slow-moving wheels of the criminal justice system.