DEATH ELIGIBLE by Larry Axelrood
Cumberland House Publishing, (April 2004). 288 pages
Mr. Axelrood is yet another attorney who writes extremely well and in my opinion doesn't get the readership he deserves. All three of his Darcy Cole books are very good - arguably this one may be his best.
Cole runs his own private, (small but lucrative), criminal defense firm in downtown Chicago. In this book he finds himself defending two rapists/murderers - both facing the death penalty - and both from decidedly different "sides of the tracks".
The author presents all the legal, (and moral), issues involved in these crimes - the justice system, the individuals involved, the political circumstances and consequences of trying such cases in Illinois - in a coherent, objective and human way. Not easy to do with this crime & punishment issue.
The author has also written a very engaging mystery to boot.
If there is a fault here, it's the rushed courtroom/trial resolution in the last 25-30 pages of the book. That said, the plot, characters, dialog, setting, balancing and writing are all excellent. If you are a fan of Buffa, Siegel, early Lescroart or Tapply - you will enjoy this author's books.
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