Solid, fast-paced legal thriller
The young prosecuting attorney, Julia Vacanti, is a bit flawed and vulnerable with demons of her own to contend with as she prepares for the "trial of the century" and her first big case. She is second chair to an ambitious lawyer who is bound for government office and who needs to win a guilty verdict against David Marquette -- a physician who was found alive, but injured, in his own home though the rest of his family -- wife, two daughters and a son, were murdered. Reminiscent and similar in some ways to recent true crimes, the novel examines the mental disorder of schizophrenia and the defense plea of insanity. The research done by the author is obviously thorough and meticulous and is explained very well through testimony given by the psychiatrists sent to examine Dr. Marquette.
Was this successful Miami surgeon, reportedly a devoted family man, truly suffering from a devastating mental illness, or was he a cunning psychopath? Did he suffer paranoid delusions and did voices instruct him to kill his family or did he study psychiatric texts so that he could accurately mimic someone who was schizophrenic? The defense files a plea of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity and the case is finally brought to trial.
In addition to the main plot of the book involving the trial of Dr. Marquette, Julia discovers something about her own family, a secret is unearthed, and she is drawn into confronting long-buried memories from her past.
This is a solid legal thriller that will keep you reading long past your bedtime. Enjoy!