Conquill Press, Oct 1 2015, $15.00
In Los Angeles the case against allegedly corrupt Congressman Luther Shields heads to court when all hell breaks loose. The lead prosecutor Adam Rosenthal abruptly quits without notice claiming an offer he could not refuse. The star witness to Shields accepting bribes from Defense contractor Pacific Technology Group; Lisa Darden vanishes without a trace. Second prosecution chair paraplegic Pen Wilkinson learns Lisa is not in her Minneapolis home or answering her phone; and her sister, neighbors and friends insist they have no idea where she is.
Though lacking experience, Pen takes over the government lead due to her being the most knowledgeable on the corruption case in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. LAPD Detectives come to Pen’s house to question her as to her relationship with Celia Sims and where she was last night. Someone murdered Celia on her former boyfriend (and Pen’s current significant other) James Carter’s boat “Alicia C”. The police arrest James for Celia’s murder though Pen remains a viable suspect. Threats mount on Pen as she diligently works the prosecution while trying to prove James (and herself) did not kill Celia.
The second Pen Wilkinson suspenseful legal thriller (see Downfall) is an exhilarating cautionary drama that builds suspense based on Lord Acton’s late nineteenth century observation "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Pen remains a super lead (even in her few pages as second chair) as she learns first-hand the meaning of President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address warning: “… we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial (and Congressional) complex”.