Monday, October 29, 2007
Book Review: MISSING WITNESS by Gordon Campbell
Her husband lies dead from bullets fired from her gun, she's under arrest, and the only other person who was there, her twelve-year old daughter, is hospitalized in a catatonic state and unable to provide testimony.
But the woman's father-in-law hires hard drinking, hard living, Dan Morgan, to defend her. Morgan is widely known as the best trial lawyer in Phoenix, and with his young protégée, Doug McKenzie (who has ties to the dead man's family) they set out to win the case.
Unless you're in the legal field, it's possible Missing Witness will start out slow for you. Sluggish in spots, and dripping with legalese, you may get frustrated waiting for the story to start, as I did. But don't give up. Your persistence will be rewarded.
Campbell provides us with a humanistic exposé on the legal system, showing the individual flaws and unstoppable egos; the desperation to succeed and the burden of responsibility toward clients. Not to mention the need to feed money into the coffers of their law firms which are filled with competitive, calculating, and sometimes, caring men and women.
With the kind of information only and insider can provide, Campbell (who is a practicing attorney), shows us the creative side of law--theater in the courtroom--and the planning that goes into it.
Missing Witness comes together in the end, and with the exception of one scene, it all makes sense and is indeed, a good tale.
It's all better with friends.