When Elise Vanderzell plummets from her balcony one night, her children awaken to a nightmare.
Their mother is dead.
Their father is charged with her murder.
Lawyer Kate Lange knows all about nightmares. She survived the darkest period of her life and the wounds are still raw. Now she's been handed a case that seems unwinnable: defending her boss, high-profile lawyer Randall Barrett. A prosecutor's dream suspect, Randall is a man cuckolded by his ex-wife. A man who couldn't control his temper. A man who had argued bitterly with the victim the previous day in full view of the children.
With limited criminal law experience, Kate finds herself enmeshed in a family fractured by doubt. Randall's teenage son is intent on killing him. His daughter wants only to feel safe again. And the legal community would like nothing better than to see Randall get a public comeuppance. As Kate races to stay a step ahead of the prosecution, a silent predator is waiting to deal the final blow.
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January 01, 2011
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Excerpt from Indefensible by Pamela Callow
Friday, 5:05 p.m.
The siren song of the end-of-workday bustle on Halifax's historic waterfront did not reach law firm McGrath Barrett. Ensconced in the top two floors of one of the city's landmark office towers, McGrath Barrett co-cooned its staff from the hubbub of the everyday world with plush carpeting, heavily paneled cubicles and glassed-in offices. Perfect working conditions for honing concentration and maximizing billable hours. In theory.
Late afternoon summer sunshine beat through Kate Lange's office window and landed squarely on her back. Even with air-conditioning, the relentless heat dampened her skin. She slid her office chair sideways. Didn't matter. The sun just poured through the glass lining the far wall, issuing the one siren song that McGrath Barrett could not deflect. It urged her to abandon the personal injuries tome on her desk with its impossibly small print.
She rubbed her temple. Just two more cases to review.
Get it over with, Kate. Just like you got through that brutal discovery today. It had finished an hour ago. Her head still throbbed from it, but she needed to check a couple of cases before she could end her workweek in good conscience.
And then--a run in the park followed by a night on the town. Hunching over the book, she scowled at the text, mouthing the words. Anything to make them penetrate the late-day haze surrounding her brain.
Ten minutes later, she flipped closed the research book and pushed her chair away from the desk.
Done. It was Friday. It was past 5:00 p.m. It was sunny. As if that weren't enough to please the residents of Halifax, it was the start of the Natal Day long weekend, Halifax's civic holiday. Three days off. In the middle of summer. She was crazy to be sitting at her desk. And from the hush outside her office, it sounded suspiciously as if she was the only lawyer still lingering.
The phone rang while she was shoving files into her briefcase. She stifled a groan. It had better not be a client. With a quick glance at the pure blue sky beyond her window, she snatched the phone off the cradle.
Kate's shoulders relaxed at the sound of Natalie Pitts' throaty voice. "Hi, Nat." She balanced the phone in the crook of her neck and began stacking the reports she would take home with her.
"What're you up to tonight?" Natalie Pitts had been Kate's best friend and roomie during her university years. She had moved away after she finished her degree in journalism, only returning in May with high ambitions and a broken heart.
Kate eyed the pile of case reports she'd assembled. It was disappointingly thick. That's what happens when you don't get your work done, Kate. Well, at least she didn't have to lug home that massive personal injuries book. "I'm heading down to the Economy Shoe Shop later tonight with the gang from work--you know, Joanne and some of the other associates." After Kate saved McGrath Barrett's ass in May, she had suddenly been on everyone's speed dial. And, Kate had to admit, they were a decent bunch of people, despite the professional elbowing. All of the junior associates were younger than she, still on the singles scene. Kate and Joanne were the only associates in their thirties who were partnerless. The ones with kids hurried home on Friday nights, glad to put the workweek behind them. "Do you want to come?"