Touchstone, 2011 (2011)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
is the fourth (following
The Jury Master
) in Robert Dugoni's excellent legal thriller series starring ex-Marine/Seattle attorney David Sloane. As this episode opens, David is still grieving over the murder of his wife Tina in
, but maintains a strong relationship with his stepson Jake.
he novel opens on a judge's unexpected ruling that allows Russian Filyp Vasiliev, who was tried as a result of a DEA investigation, to walk on a technicality. Next, David Sloane encounters lovely Barclay Reid, who had been his adversary in the Kendall Toys case in
. They discover they have a great deal in common and develop strong feelings for each other. David learns that Barclay's daughter died of a drug overdose seven months before, and that she's been on a crusade against Vasiliev ever since. The drug dealer's thugs have been following Barclay and threaten Sloane.
fter Barclay asks David to look into opening a civil suit against Vasiliev for wrongful death, the man is shot. Soon Barclay is arrested for murder and asks David ('
the lawyer who does not lose
') to represent her, even though all his experience has been in civil law. The case is complicated by the fact that the DEA still had Vasiliev under surveillance, and that David was also under police suspicion. And Barclay's ex, whom she claims was abusive, gives evidence against her, calling her a narcissistic sociopath. As always Sloane's best friend, ex-CIA agent Charles Jenkins, has his back, though he has his doubts about David's client.
is a solid and surprising legal thriller, one that tackles issues of love, need. and obsession. At the end of it all David understands himself better, realizing that his '
weak spot for people in need
' makes him vulnerable. He concludes that '
Happy endings are only in the movies
' and that '
You never know who's won until the game ends.
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