The Mourning Sexton
In this deft, multilayered thriller, a disgraced lawyer trying to revive his tattered career stumbles across a hidden case of cold-blooded murder and discovers that he must pursue justice even though doing so might just cost him what little he has left--possibly even his life. Attorney David Hirsch was the managing partner of one of St. Louis's most prestigious law firms, until he was convicted of embezzlement and sent to the federal penitentiary for seven years. He emerges from prison humbled and genuinely contrite, eager to patch things up with his estranged daughter and to build up a modest legal practice. In forging his life afresh, Hirsch has rediscovered his Judaism and has become part of the daily minyan, the group of ten men necessary to pray together, at the synagogue near his home. When an elderly man in the group asks for his help with a product liability case involving his daughter's death, Hirsch reluctantly takes it on--only to discover that the seemingly straightforward lawsuit conceals a cold-blooded murder. With the help of Dulcie Lorenz, the altruistic, public-spirited attorney the dead woman worked for, Hirsch pursues the liability case while quietly amassing evidence against the highly placed person he suspects of murder. His attempt to bring his powerful adversary to justice draws Hirsch into a fierce, seesawing battle of wits--and ultimately to an act that expresses the true depth of his atonement. A page-turner in the tradition of Scott Turow, The Mourning Sexton goes beyond the question of "who done it" to explore the more intriguing questions of why the crime was committed and what it reveals about human nature. Set against the richly textured backdrops of St. Louis's legal establishment and the city's tight-knit Jewish community, and animated by a vivid cast of characters, it marks the debut of an extraordinary new talent. From the Hardcover edition.
- 2005 Michael Baron
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