Jove, Jul 28 2009, $7.99
Deane University economics major nineteen years old Jessica Nagoshi is the daughter of a billionaire Japanese businessman. Her boyfriend is final year law student James Matheson who also attends Deane. Their relationship is concealed especially from her family.
That secret is out in the open when she is found brutally murdered on her father’s estate in Boston although James lies to Boston homicide detectives Lieutenant Joe Mannix and Detective Frank McKay by denying they were dating Soon afterward his alibi collapses when his best friends interviewed by the cops connect him to the victim and her murder. With John Nagoshi pressuring the District Attorney’s Office for a resolution and ADA Roger Katz hammers the cops, James is being accused of murdering his girlfriend in a crime of passion. His legal mentor Boston attorney David Cavanaugh would prefer to stay out of the highly charged case especially with Nagoshi using his affluence and influence to hang James, but knows he cannot; he represents his student. His team finds several viable suspects especially the deceased’s brother and James’ friend who set up the alibi to deliberately collapse.
In his third legal thriller (see UNDERTOW and GOSPEL) Cavanaugh is terrific as he works a case he never expected in his wildest dreams. The rest of the cast is solid especially the cops, the accused in jail, the other suspects, the legal team including David’s girlfriend and John; the only character stereotyped is the ADA whose ambition rivals Lady Macbeth as he cares not for the truth if it is in his ruthless path. Starting as a police investigation that effortlessly switches to a legal thriller, ALIBI is a strong whodunit filled with plausible suspects particularly David’s pro bono client.