"Kevin Corvelli--a hot shot New York defense attorney who packed up his bags and hung his shingle in Hawaii to dodge the spotlight--is deep in his Mai Tais at a resort when an argument erupts down the bar. It's a pair of newlyweds, married that day. And since Corvelli doesn't do divorces, he all but dismisses the argument. That's at least until the fire breaks out later that night, and he barely escapes his hotel room. Most weren't so lucky, including the new husband. His wife Erin becomes not only the prime suspect but Corvelli's newest client, and she has a lot working against her, like motive and opportunity, not to mention a history of starting fires. The heat gets turned all the way up in Douglas Corleone's scorching legal thriller Night on Fire, his second following the MWA's/MB First Crime Novel Competition winner, One Man's Paradise"--
At the start of Corleone's appealing follow-up to 2010's One Man's Paradise, transplanted New York lawyer Kevin Corvelli observes a pair of newlyweds arguing in a beachfront bar outside Honolulu hours before a fire sweeps through the couple's hotel. New bride Erin Simms is quickly arrested and charged with multiple counts of murder and arson. Among the dead are the groom and at least eight others. When Corvelli undertakes Erin's defense, he discovers reasons besides the strong circumstantial evidence pointing to her guilt. Interested in winning an acquittal but not solving the crime, Corvelli uses an impressive array of legal precedents and courtroom antics against ambitious prosecutor Luke Maddox, who isn't above using underhanded tactics to guarantee a conviction. The resulting thrust and parry is well done, and it's amusing to see confirmed bachelor and ladies' man Corvelli becoming a surrogate parent to a four-year-old boy he rescues from the blaze. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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April 25, 2011
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