Loose Among the Lambs
Baker & Taylor
When a child molester offers to turn himself in to Mark Blackwell, the San Antonio district attorney finds himself caught between justice and the crimes of the city's elite
Blackwell North Amer
It's mid-August, and San Antonio is on edge. Over the summer three children have briefly disappeared, each returning home with chillingly similar accounts of where they have been - of the man who took them in, tended to them, touched them in all the wrong ways. It is a story that has scraped a raw nerve. The city wants action, demanding immediate retribution: Find and punish the man the newspapers call the "serial child molester."
For District Attorney Mark Blackwell, in the midst of a reelection campaign, the case could be a windfall - an opportunity to make headlines and the six o'clock news. His old boss, former DA Eliot Quinn, has come to him with a deal. The molester, represented by high-powered attorney Austin Paley, wants to turn himself in...not to the police, but to the District Attorney himself. Weary of compromise, jaded by the system's failures, Blackwell sees a chance not only to energize his campaign, but to recharge his own passion - a clear-cut case of doing good in the face of evil.
But the clarity is an illusion, and the windfall is about to turn into a Texas-sized tornado with Mark Blackwell at the eye of the storm. The confessor recants, the children are unable to identify him, and the case begins to crumble. And all the DA has left is questions: What could drive an innocent man to give himself up, subject himself to a city's violent hatred and recrimination? Was he coerced and by whom? And why would a lawyer in Austin Paley's position dirty his hands by taking on such a client?
The answers lie in the memories of one ten-year-old boy. Tommy Algren has seen the pictures in the paper, the reports on TV, and he has a story to tell, a story that could rock the city to its very foundations. Tommy's testimony leads to a shocking revelation, one which pits Blackwell against the city's power elite - the old boys' network, where promises are always kept, favors always returned, and secrets never violated. To bring out the truth, Blackwell will have to cross his mentor, Eliot Quinn, a man who knows where the bodies are buried...and who may have buried a few himself. For in a world of money, power, and influence, the line between innocence and guilt is just another string to be pulled.
When a child molester offers to turn himself in to Mark Blackwell, the San Antonio district attorney finds himself caught between justice and the crimes of the city's elite. By the author of Rules of Evidence. 50,000 first printing.
New York : Pocket Books, 1993
372 p. ; 24 cm