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Above the Law

A book by J. F. F. Freedman

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Righteous lawyer investigates botched DEA raid

  • Feb 8, 2000
A stellar performer as both prosecutor and defense attorney, Santa Barbara lawyer Luke Garrison, enjoying a recent happy marriage and new fatherhood, fights nightmares over the act of heroism which opens J. F. Freeman's "Above The Law." When an old friend asks him to investigate the murder of a drug dealer during his escape from custody after a botched DEA raid in rural northern California, Garrison is reluctant but his wife convinces him it will banish his demons. While Garrison sympathizes with DA Nora Ray, the old friend whose promising life has badly fizzled, her sexual advances force him to shut her out of the progressing investigation. Gathering evidence from high officials and ruthless gang leaders, uncovering old secrets and new, Garrison puts together an explosive and controversial case and tries to keep any surprises from developing in his orchestrated prosecution. While at times overwritten, the story is absorbing, sparking new interest with a succession of twists and turns. Freedman ("The Disappearance," "Key Witness") also explores legal ethics and conflicts between a lawyer's obligation and the truth. Garrison, while sometimes overly self-righteous, demonstrates both lawyerly zeal and conscience in an interesting mix.

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Lynn Harnett ()
Ranked #182
I love to read, always have, and have been writing reviews for more years than I care to say. Early on, i realized there are more books than there is time to read, so I read only books I like and mostly … more
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About this book


Luke Garrison, a former D.A. who has abandoned the problematic morality of convincing juries to send criminals to the gas chamber, first appeared inThe Disappearance, in which his old mentor wanted Luke to take on a sensational murder case that had the entire country abuzz. InAbove the Law, J.F. Freedman continues to apply a successful formula: reluctant hero takes on a case that nobody, but nobody, wants. This time out, Nora Ray, the D.A. of Muir County, the least populated and poorest county in California--and a friend from Luke's law school days--asks Luke to help her investigate a recent police killing, which she believes may be a monumental government coverup.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has swaggered, guns blazing, into the forests near the White Horse reservation, intent on raiding the fortress-like retreat of Reynaldo Juarez, the notoriously reclusive leader of one of the biggest drug-dealing gangs in the country. Janet Reno herself has determined that he must be taken alive, so when the raid is blown, four DEA agents are killed, and Juarez himself dies after being taken into custody, questions and recriminations are par for the course. Nora and Luke must negotiate local hostility and pitched interdepartmental acrimony as they slowly unravel the tangled stories that surround the fiasco. But as he casts his investigative gaze from the poverty of the nearby reservation to the depths of the L.A. ghettos, Luke may be dangerously blind to the nearness of ...

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ISBN-10: 0525944796
ISBN-13: 978-0525944799
Author: J. F. F. Freedman
Publisher: Dutton Adult

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