Officer of the Court by Lelia Kelly takes us into the world of Prosecutors, Defense Lawyers, and the police who catch the criminals and are supposed to gather the evidence for the lawyers on both sides of the table to do their job. I have given it five stars for the subject, for the fact that the story is about someone in the legal profession who dared to take a risk with their career to ensure that the truth be found.
Assistant District Attorney, Laura Chastain, is assigned to prosecute a career criminal,Roland Jervis, who was found driving a car with a battered corpse in the trunk – open and shut case, right?
The more evidence that piles up, the more Laura begins to think they might have the wrong man. She tries to tell her boss this, but it is election year and her boss’s boss is running for the Head DA, and he doesn’t want to hear anything but a firm conviction.
Laura tries to tell her boyfriend, a cop, her concerns; but he thinks she is against cops who are just trying to do their job. The young lawyer who is supposed to be defending Roland, is doing a horrible job of it, and finally, in frustration, Laura calls Craig, one of the best defense lawyers she knows. She fills him in and suggests he take the case – after all, she would hate to see an innocent man go to the chair.
Craig takes the case, and Laura’s case begins to fall apart. Finally, she admits to her boss what she has done. She is fired. She then admits to her boyfriend what she has done. He is furious. Alone now, with no job, and possibly no boyfriend, Laura still doesn’t second guess her decision. Eventually, Craig asks her to come and work for him on the Roland case.
The cans of worms that are opened are numerous, but when they are all sorted through and dumped out, the truth is revealed, and Laura does not regret for one minute the decision she made. Laura, in my opinion, is a true Officer of the Court in that she followed the real evidence and was not willing to cut a deal to convict an innocent man.
An excellent read if you enjoy a page turning mystery.