Monday, July 13, 2009

The Hidden Man-David Ellis

The Hidden Man
David Ellis
Putnam, Sep 2009, $25.95
ISBN: 9780399155796

In 1980, someone abducted two-year-old Audrey Cutler from her bedroom. Her stunned mother held her seven year old son Sammy tight as if she will never let him go. The police question sexual offender Perlini, but the evidence was not there.

In 2006 Sammy runs into Perlini. Soon afterward the prime suspect in the kidnapping and murder of Audrey is dead. The police arrest Sammy. His high school crony defense attorney Jason Kolarich is hired to defend Sammy. However, the fee for his services comes from an unknown M. Smith who wants a speedy trial and the lawyer believes his defeat as he is told how his client is to plea. Still reeling from the deaths of his wife and daughter in a car accident, Jason tries his best. His inquiry leads to a mass grave of children, but instead of euphoria, his client’s financial backers abduct Jason’s brother threatening to kill him if the attorney uncovers any other revelations.

This is a terrific legal thriller starring a dedicated attorney who wants to do his best by his client regardless of who is paying for the defense or his own issues. The story line is fast-paced from the onset as armchair lawyers will root for and read in one sitting Jason’s efforts to mount a viable defense. Fans will enjoy Jason’s idealistic attempts to defend Sammy especially after his sibling is kidnapped. David Ellis has a winner in Jason Kolarich.

Harriet Klausner