Friday, February 22, 2008

The Law Of Second Chances-James Sheehan

The Law Of Second Chances
James Sheehan
St. Martin’s, Mar 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 9780312366308

Defending insurance companies against claimants made attorney Jack Tobin wealthy, but unsatisfied. He gave up that practice to defend death row inmates in Florida as he totally opposes capital punishment.

Seventeen years ago, poor black Henry Wilson was convicted of murdering a drug dealer; Jack believes he is innocent and sets out to prove his assertion. He also decides to represent Benny Avrile, who has a long criminal record and on a robbery that turned ugly allegedly shot and killed oil mogul Carl Robertson; the case against him is air tight with no lawyer wanting to go near it. At the same that Jack steps in to represent Benny in a death sentence case that he knows will take up much of his time and have an emotional cost, he is also is distraught that his wife Pat is suffering from a life-threatening illness.

With more courtroom time than Jack’s first tale (see THE MAYOR OF LEXINGTON AVENUE), THE LAW OF SECOND CHANCES is an excellent legal thriller due the protagonist’s deliberations on life and law; although at times he slows the pace with flashbacks to growing up in 1950s-1960s New York. Still it is the hero’s balancing his emotions and time to defend capital punishment sure shot losers with the needs of his wife and (himself) that make this a terrific legal thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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