The Conviction: A Novel by Robert Dugoni
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another top-notch thriller from Robert Dugoni. Just when you think nothing worse can happen to David Sloane, Dugoni turns up the heat again.
This time, Sloane and his stepson Jake head into the backwoods of Northern California for some father-son time. Sloane hopes he can find a way to connect with Jake, who's spiraling into more and more trouble, before it's too late. They are joining Sloane's old friend, detective Tom Molia (The Jury Master), and his son TJ. But Jake quickly finds a way to get himself and TJ into real trouble with the local law and with Judge Earl Boykin, a modern version of Judge Roy Bean.
When Sloane and Molia discover the boys have been sentenced to the detention camp Fresh Start, without benefit of legal or parental representation, they protest. But their pleas fall on deaf ears and they find themselves in legal hot water as well. Sloane rallies the troops and starts digging into the backgrounds of the judge, the camp, and the bigshot in town, Victor Dillon. Of course, their poking around only turns up the heat on both them and the boys. Pretty soon a legal pickle turns into a fight for their lives.
The action never lets up. The writing is relentlessly clear and precisely paced, with tangible settings. The situations are unbelievably believable and populated with an unpalatable cast of great characters, from the egotistical judge to the sadistic head guard to the quietly helpful locals. This is a book that is hard to put down. Once you pick it up, you have to read it to the end.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review.
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