Saturday, June 6, 2009

Skeleton Justice-Dr. Michael Baden and Linda Kenney Baden

Skeleton Justice
Dr. Michael Baden and Linda Kenney Baden
Knopf, Jun 16 2009, $25.95
ISBN: 9781400044320

New York City deputy chief medical examiner Dr. Jake Rosen and his girlfriend lawyer Philomena "Manny" Manfreda are very busy working difficult complex cases. Jake and the police investigate the assaults of "the Vampire," who has knocked out five people with ether before siphoning blood from the unconscious victims. Manny is defending one of the two "Preppy Terrorists"; private-school students charged with setting a bomb in a mailbox that severely injured a federal judge.

Jake realizes the Vampire knows what he is doing medically though with a European flavor until one of the attacked dies. Manny rejects Jake’s advice to not handle the Preppy Terrorist case, as she feels her client is unfairly being held responsible because his partner is an ambassador’s son so immunity has surfaced. Neither expected their seemingly exclusive cases to merge over an allegedly dead politician.

The fun in the second forensic-legal thriller (see REMAINS SILENT) is the relationship between the lead couple who bring love, obstinacy and professionalism into the mix. The story line is fast-paced as the two subplots start off their separate ways, but consolidate into an over the top conspiracy cover-up thriller. Fans will enjoy the tale though ironically readers will anticipate the merging of the plots while considering the underlying conclusion that vicious murdering rulers rarely are punished.

Harriet Klausner