The Supreme Court is one of our most sacred – and secretive – public institutions. But sometime secrets can lead to cover-ups with very deadly consequences.

Terry Scarborough is a firebrand. He’s also a controversial law professor whose new book, Perpetual Slaves, presents evidence that the roots of slavery are still deeply imbedded in the U.S. Constitution. Scarborough has cunningly created a media-frenzy, and his book is rocketing up the bestseller lists, while fueling unrest nationwide. In the midst of his highly-charged book tour, Scarborough announces that he is about to unveil an even greater and more damaging controversy: a previously unpublished letter written by Thomas Jefferson (the “J Letter”) that portends some deep secret about slavery at the nation’s founding. But on the day he’s to appear on national television to tell the world of this damning document, he is found beaten to death in a San Diego hotel room and a young man with unsavory connections is arrested for his murder.

As a favor to the young man’s father, Paul Madriani takes the case—even though it looks like an open-and-shut conviction. Madriani, a brilliant defense lawyer, begins by pulling out all the stops to get the truth out of his young client—especially why, as an employee of the hotel and perhaps the last person to see Scarborough alive, he ran from the murder scene instead of reporting it to someone. Factoring in the man’s admitted radical beliefs and an alleged plot to kidnap Scarborough, Madriani’s faced with the near-impossible task of keeping the kid off of death row.

Traveling far and wide to talk to Scarborough’s friends, Madriani thinks he’s chasing blind leads – with no potential subpoenas in sight. But he doggedly pursues references to the J Letter, and uncovers a mysterious connection between this explosive historical document, Scarborough, and a sitting U.S. Supreme Court justice. Madriani suspects that the letter is at the heart of the murder and he won’t let anyone stand in his way of uncovering how one of the nation’s top judges could be involved.

Madriani carefully treads a dangerous path through a complex legal minefield in one of the most politically and racially charged cases in U.S. history. Desperate to uncover the truth, he must hunt down the Jefferson document and risk exposing a high court justice without bringing more turmoil to an already uneasy public. But when Madriani discovers the astonishing facts behind the letter, the case breaks wide open and he must race against time to save his client’s life.

SHADOW OF POWER not only explores a dark chapter of our nation’s past but also its profound impact on today’s highly charged, politicized society. Filled with a cast of unforgettable characters and thrilling courtroom battles, SHADOW OF POWER will surely sit proudly among the masterworks of America’s most popular fiction.