Rose Connors brings a fresh voice, a dynamic storytelling power, and a passion for the law to her compelling crime fiction debut.
Martha "Marty" Nickerson is a lawyer who truly loves her job. As an assistant D.A. for Massachusetts's Barnstable County, which includes all the small towns on Cape Cod, she speaks for the victims of crime and their families, and sees the system as a means for doing right.
The case of Manuel Rodriguez is a prime example. Rodriguez is accused of brutally murdering a college student, a kind young man who had a bright future. Marty has worked hard on this case; as the mother of a teenage son, she identifies with the murdered boy's grieving parents. Her case against Rodriguez is so solid that even public defender Harry Madigan -- the champion of the Cape's underdogs -- expects a conviction. And, on Memorial Day, exactly a year after the crime, the verdict comes in: guilty as charged. Justice prevails.
Then, with Rodriguez behind bars, another body turns up in disturbingly similar circumstances. Did Marty and her colleagues target the wrong man? Her supervisor -- Geraldine Schilling, who aspires to be the county's first female D.A. -- refuses to reopen such a high-profile case. Why should she? The prosecutors played by the rules and won big. But Marty fears that the real killer will strike again.
With her career on the line and lives at stake, Marty must rely on her own moral compass, legal savvy, and gut instinct as she matches wits with a twisted killer. The system itself is on trial as Marty tries to serve Justice, not merely the Law.
Only an author with years of courtroom experience could add such riveting authenticity to a novel that asks important questions and provides surprising answers. Rose Connors's Absolute Certainty introduces a new crime-writing star.
- Edgar Awards (Edgar Allan Poe Awards)
Unlike many legal thrillers, which suffer from excess verbiage or rely on obscure legal maneuverings, Connors's first novel offers sleek, straightforward entertainment. A year after a horrific murder (a young man was bludgeoned and mutilated), prosecuting attorney Martha "Marty" Nickerson of Chatham on Cape Cod successfully secures the conviction of Manuel Rodriguez for the crime. For Nickerson, an assistant DA for more than a decade, the conviction is fully satisfying until a second murder, disturbingly similar to the first, occurs. The arrest of a likely suspect for the second crime isn't enough to quiet her growing doubts. She soon finds herself in conflict with her ambitious boss, Geraldine Schilling, and, surprisingly, in league with her frequent adversary, defense attorney Harry Madigan. A single mom raising a teenage son and coping with her ex's belated efforts to forge a bond with his long-ignored son, Nickerson is bright, determined, competent. Her unease turns to dread as her suspicion grows that at least one innocent man has been convicted and more young men will die if the law, rather than justice, is served. To pursue the truth, Nickerson must put her career at risk, alienating her mentor and putting herself outside the very system she has depended on. Connors wrings a fair amount of suspense from her appealing heroine's predicament and shows considerable flair in producing a solution to the crimes. Readers will swiftly devour this swift-paced debut. Agent, Nancy Yost. (Aug. 27) FYI: A member of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the author has been a trial attorney for 18 years. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
November 30, 2002
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Absolute Certainty by Rose Connors
Wednesday, May 26
"You nailed him, Martha."
I know it's Geraldine Schilling without looking up. She's the only one in the office -- or anywhere else for that matter -- who calls me Martha. Geraldine is the First Assistant District Attorney for Barnstable County, a county that includes all the towns on Cape Cod. She intends to be Barnstable County's next District Attorney, a position no woman has ever held.
"You nailed him. Now let's go in there and finish it."
"I'm ready, Geraldine."
I snap my briefcase shut and gesture for Geraldine to take the only empty seat in my cramped office. "But Judge Carroll released the jurors for lunch. He'll call for closing arguments when they get back."
Geraldine doesn't sit down. She never does. She leans against my old wooden file cabinet instead, pressing a spiked heel against the bottom drawer. She draws hard on her cigarette and rolls her pale green eyes to the ceiling. "Lunch? Who the hell eats lunch?"
There is a widely held belief in our office that Geraldine doesn't eat -- ever. All of us have seen her attend professional luncheons and political dinners, but no one has seen her swallow a morsel of food. Caffeine and nicotine seem to keep her going. She weighs 110 pounds wearing her neatly tailored suit.
Kevin Kydd appears in my doorway, grinning as usual. "I do. I eat lunch. Where are we going, ladies?"
He always makes me laugh. But Geraldine doesn't crack a smile. She shakes her long blond bangs and blows a steady stream of smoke toward the doorway. "Lunch with you, Kydd? I'd sooner starve."
His grin expands. "Ah, Gerry, you're a peach."
Kevin Kydd arrived in our office one year ago, a young Southern gentleman fresh out of Emory Law School in Atlanta, Georgia. He is tall and lanky, with slightly stooped shoulders and a grin that doesn't quit. Geraldine christened him "the Kydd" immediately upon his arrival and the rest of us adopted it. He, in turn, calls her "Gerry," always with the grin. We marvel that he still has a job.