Top, Aug 9 2011, $14.95
In 1995 Dallas, hairdresser Maureen Thompson rollerblades several miles to Turner & Waters law firm as her husband Rod, owner of Thompson Construction, left her a large debt including one to the IRS and her car is repossessed. The mother of two tells Stan Turner she wants to kill Rod. Stan asks his partner Paula Waters to handle the case as his wife Rebekah is ailing and he is doing a pro bono probate involving the estate of the late Herbert Wolf.
Pandora Alvarez and her five children arrive at the law firm. She wants to sue Icaro Melendez, owner of a sweat shop where her fiftyish late husband Romildo worked; he died from an overdose but she insists he did not do drugs. Stan assigns his former secretary but now law degree associate Jodie Marshal to handle the case in which DPD closed the case due to a lack of evidence.
The Thompson case takes a deadly spin when Rod’s corpse is found. The murder weapon is an ice pick just like the tool that killed their client’s first husband Randy Rhymes. The Alvarez case proves more dangerous as Melendez has ties with a Mexican drug cartel helping to eliminate anyone who gets too close to his business.
The tenth Stan Turner legal thriller (see Black Monday and Civil War) is fabulous tale with Paula and Jodie sharing the lead with the main star. Though mostly in the background, empty nester Rebekah’s health issue enables the modification to the lead role. This change brings freshness as female attorneys work the law differently from Stan, but share his ethics. With three intriguing cases, sub-genre readers will enjoy William Manchee’s aptly titled Deadly Defiance as underdogs with counsel defy the “norm”.