The call comes at midnight. It looks like a tragic and petty murder--a rising star in San Francisco's legal firmament found shot in a dark alley. But for homicide lieutenant Abe Glitsky, the crime cuts horribly close to home--unknown to anyone, the victim was his daughter. Seething, Glitsky leans hard on his only suspect--a homeless heroin addict found lingering over his daughter's body, with her jewelry in his pocket and a smoking gun in his hand.
The city's embattled, ambitious D.A. Sharron Pratt sees an opportunity to revive her troubled administration by publicly declaring war on the killer and vowing to deliver the death penalty, putting the case on the fast track to certain conviction. Unable to watch a man die for Pratt's political gain, Dismas Hardy warily takes on the defense. But as Hardy's crusade to secure his client a fair hearing ensues, a lethal web of political corruption, legal conspiracy, and cold-blooded murder begins to unravel. In a case that will send shock waves through the city of San Francisco and echo in the private lives of its most prominent citizens, the hearing is just the beginning.
Next to Lieutenant Abraham Glitsky's bed, the telephone rang with a muted insistence.
A widower, Glitsky lived in an upper duplex unit with his youngest son Orel and a housekeeper/nanny named Rita. During his wife's illness, he'd deadened the phone's ringer so that it wouldn't wake anyone else in the house when, as often occurred, it rang in the middle of the night.
He located the source of the noise in the dark and picked up the receiver, whispering hoarsely. "Glitsky. What?"
Surfacing slowly into consciousness, he didn't really have to ask. He was the head of San Francisco's homicide detail. When he got calls in the dead dark, they did not tend to be salespeople inquiring about his satisfaction with his long-distance service provider. It was nearly two hours past midnight on Monday, the first day of February, and the city had produced only two homicides thus far this year--a slow month. In spite of that, Glitsky spent no time, ever, wondering if his job was...
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