Prometheus/Seventh Street, Jun 3 2014, $15.95
Hollywood power broker William “the Conqueror” Bishop sues video game maker Poniard for libel; He claims the latter’s latest hit “Abduction!” based on the disappearance of actress Felicity McGrath in 1987, accuses the Conqueror’s hired hands of abducting the bipolar performer.
Choosing to remain unrecognizable, Poniard hires Judicial Alternative Dispute Solutions attorney Parker Stern to represent him in the defamation case, but insists the matter go to court not arbitration without his appearance. To insure a hesitant Stern’s cooperation Poniard blackmails the lawyer with the threat of revealing Parker’s past stint as a child movie star. However what sells Stern to represent a client he never met in person is Bishop’s attorney turns out to be his former girlfriend ex–porn star Lovely Diamond. Stern’s defense is simply that it can’t be libel when the Conqueror’s Reckless Disregard of others included abduction and murder that really happened.
The second Stern legal thriller (see Corrupt Practices) is an entertaining Hollywood drama that contains a fascinating enigmatic client and several other eccentric characters. Although Reckless Disregard contains too many improbable coincidences, this is a fun entry due to a dynamic weird cast.