Sunday, April 17, 2011

Night on Fire-Douglas Corleone

Night on Fire
Douglas Corleone
Minotaur, May 3 2011, $24.99

In Ko Olina, Hawaii, former New York lawyer Kevin Corvelli is trying to snag a visiting “cougar” while he notices newlyweds having a heated fight at Kanaloa outdoor beach bar. A few hours after their public spat, a fire breaks out at the Lihliho Towers where the couple was staying; at least nine are dead in the inferno including the battling groom. Corvelli, the cougar and a four year old child he rescues escape the inferno.

Soon after the blaze, Honolulu police arrest the bride Erin Simms; charging her with murder and arson. Corvelli is retained to defend Erin. Besides the obvious overwhelming evidence, Corvelli discovers even stronger proof that his client is guilty. The defense attorney mounts a case to obtain a not guilty verdict while prosecutor Luke Maddox sees the case as a springboard to further his political ambitions so he applies dirty tactics to insure he obtains the conviction.

The second Corvelli legal thriller (see One Man's Paradise) is a great tale as the battle of wits and writs is in the courtroom. Corvelli does not perform field work trying to find the guilty party as he is a lawyer working to gain an acquittal only. The battles between Corvelli and Maddox are superb as this turns personal; while the hero’s fumbling big brother to the child he saved adds humor to a taut courtroom drama.

Harriet Klausner

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