Steve Martini is a master of the genre,” says John Grisham about the bestselling author of Compelling Evidence. “He writes with the agile, episodic style of a lawyer quick on his feet and one step ahead of his many enemies.” Martini has joined the front rank of novelists whose legal thrillers have created a phenomenon in recent years.
Now, the writer hailed by Vincent Bugliosi as “a new literary lion in the fictional crime genre” delivers a seamless novel of high suspense and brilliant courtroom intrigue. Over just five days, the rural college town of Davenport, California, is rocked by two sets of brutal murders. When two more bodies are discovered, Paul Madriani, the brilliant defense attorney from Compelling Evidence, is tagged as the special prosecutor who must find the murderer, dubbed “the Putah Creek Killer” – and quickly. Following a trail of mounting physical evidence, Madriani and the police are led to a college security guard, who is arraigned on multiple charges of murder.
But things begin to spin out of control when Madriani confronts Adrian Chambers, the suspect’s defense attorney, who harbors a checkered past and a deep-seated vendetta against Paul. Even worse, while the evidence linking the suspect to the first four slayings is irrefutable, something is clearly different with the last two murders. As the trial slowly proceeds, Madriani begins to realize there is another killer at large.
Only during the trial – when he is fighting for the conviction of one killer and the identification of another – does Madriani discover terrifying answers that go far deeper than anyone imagined. Answers that will shock, mesmerize, and hold the reader captive until the last page.