Morrow, Mar 2008, $23.95
Attorney Lester Poe meets with federal prosecutor Melanie Vargas at the Manhattan federal courthouse where he offers her a deal. His client legendary rapper Atari Briggs is on trial for a murder rap, but offers a DVD of big wig terrorist Gamal Abdullah using Atari’s yacht to arrange a hundred million dollars a week Afghan heroin shipment to the CEOs of the major American illegal drug empires; their payments would go to support the Taliban.. Moments after their meeting and arranging a post trial date, a car bomb explodes killing Lester in front of Melanie’s horrified eyes.
Single mom, Melanie knows the explosive image is imprinted on her brain forever especially the man with the “prop” dog who used a cell phone to ignite the bomb. However, by stepping up Melanie exposes herself as a witness that the assassin must take out. Sleazy Evan Diamond takes over the defense insisting he knows nothing about a deal to hand over Abdullah. Melanie knows that Diamond is pulling stunts, but is more worried that the killer will come for her daughter, her witnesses against Briggs, and ultimately her.
This exhilarating tale starts off with an explosive opening scene and never slows down whether the plot is in the courtroom (legal thriller) or involving the terrorists (investigative thriller). Melanie is terrific as is the support cast especially a female judge and Susan another prosecutor. Although the storyline is thin, fans will enjoy Melanie’s efforts to keep her and others alive and should bring in new fans for Michele Martinez.