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The Murder Rule    by Dervla McTiernan order for
Murder Rule
by Dervla McTiernan
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Law student Hannah Rokeby is determined to work on the Innocence Project in Charlottesville, Virginia (on behalf of death row prisoners), and she succeeds, even though her application is last minute. She has left home and her fragile, alcoholic mother Laura to do so - why does she feel so strongly? Seems to have something to do with Laura's diary.

The story moves back and forth between those diary entries and Hannah's insinuation into the Innocence Project and eventually into its high profile case, defending Michael Dandridge. Laura worked as a Maine hotel cleaner and also took private jobs at houses in the area. Dandridge and his friend Tom stayed at one of them. Laura and Tom became close.

Eleven years before, Michael Dandridge was convicted of the rape and murder of Sarah Fitzhugh and sentenced to death. He claims the confession was beaten out of him, and Professor Robert Parekh, who heads the Innocence Project, has learned that key forensic evidence was buried. After reading Laura's diary, Hannah is not there to save Michael but to sabotage his defense.

Then she sees something that turns all her assumptions upside down. She changes tack, and finds herself and her associates up against a very crooked sheriff. Hannah goes the extra mile and risks her future to reveal the truth. I highly recommend The Murder Rule.

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