Harper, Dec 2008, $7.99
In 1973 in Phoenix, Arizona, Rita Eddington and her twelve-year-old daughter Miranda enter a house where the mother fires shots killing her husband. The police arrest Rita with the murder of Travis. The DA and the cops believe this is a slam dunk case as the only other suspect is Miranda whose witnessing of the homicide left her catatonic (obviously the title character).
Surprisingly Rita’s wealthy father-in-law Ferris hires the best defense attorney in the state Dan Morgan of Morgan and McKenzie. Morgan and his able second chair Doug McKenzie believe their client is guilty based on the overwhelming evidence although the latter has a problem with that concept as he has known Rita all his life and cannot envision her committing murder. Still they plan the best defense they can mount as they just need an iota of doubt in the mind of one juror.
This is an intriguing legal procedure that sub-genre purists who prefer plenty of legal maneuvers over action will want to read this. The story line starts off with an interesting premise of a father-in-law hiring the best lawyer in the state to defend his daughter-in-law on trial for killing his son. Fans, Dan and Doug wonder why especially Morgan who knows the Eddington family as close friends. MISSING WITNESS is an insightful suspense tale brings the jurisprudence system under a close up microscope.