Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Bomb Maker's Son: A Parker Stern Novel - Robert Rotstein

The Bomb Maker's Son: A Parker Stern Novel
Robert Rotstein
Prometheus Books/Seventh Street, Jun 9 2015, $15.95
ISBN 9781633880443

In 1975 in Playa Delta, California, anti-Vietnam War advocates blow up the Veterans Administration building.  Four people die in the domestic terrorism act.   Four decades later, one of the accused Ian Holzner remains on the FBI fugitive list when he suddenly surrenders to authorities. 

Ian insists he was not the leader of the deadly bombing in his home town although charged as such.  He refuses a deal opting for a trial even with the evidence against him astronomical and demands attorney Parker Stern defend him in court.  In spite of his mom’s begging him to take on Ian as a client, Parker holds steadfast to his no until she informs him that Ian is his biological father and that he has a teenage half-sister.  Though Parker wonders if his mother, the lying head of the Church of the Sanctified Assembly, is crapping on him again; he reluctantly agrees to mount a defense for his alleged dad for the sake of his sibling.  Parker finds it impossible to defend his client who seemingly conceals something important.  At the same someone uses deadly force to tamper with witnesses and the media is having an incest feeding frenzy.

The third Parker Stern legal thriller (see Corrupt Practices and Reckless Disregard) is a fantastic drama that uses a modern day trial to look back to the last year of the Nixon Presidency at a time when the final moments of the antiwar movement occurred.  With several stunning twists especially an awesome climatic spin, Robert Rotstein authors a powerful look at that 1970s tumultuous era through the lens of forty years passing since the deadly incident happened.

Harriet Klausner

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