Special Circumstances introduced an exciting new voice in legal fiction — a talent so original, it drew comparisons with the very top tier of courtroom thriller writers.
Now Sheldon Siegel delivers a new challenge for defense attorney Mike Daley — ex-priest, ex-husband, ex—public defender — and it’s a high-profile zinger: a case he doesn’t think he can win for a client he can’t stand.
It starts with a phone call Mike Daley never expected to get, from District Attorney Prentice Marshall Gates III, San Francisco’s chief law enforcement officer and front-runner candidate for California attorney general. Friends they’re not; Skipper Gates had led the charge to get Mike fired from his job as a partner in a prestigious law firm.
But Gates needs Daley now — and needs him badly. He’s just been arrested. It seems that a couple of hours earlier he woke up in an armchair in his hotel room and found the dead body of a young male prostitute in the bed.
The details that continue to emerge from the crime scene are tabloid heaven. The SFPD is certain Gates did it. The prosecutors are already talking the death penalty, and there’s nothing in the mounting evidence, and certainly not in Gates’s unpersuasive denials, to convince Daley and his partner (and ex-wife) Rosie of his innocence. But even if he’s lying, it’s their job to defend him, and that means finding out what really happened.
Sure enough, the deeper they dig, the seamier their findings. An array of influential power brokers is all too ready to cover questionable activities that may — or may not — connect with the victim. There’s a campaign manager with his own dirty secrets, a shady Internet entrepreneur who trades flesh for cash, a prominent businessman who uses muscle to keep his enterprise prospering.
Mike and Rosie chase down trails that take them from the lowest depths of the Mission District, where drugs and bodies are always for sale, to the gated mansions of Pacific Heights, all the while contending with a trial that gets under way even as they are frantically trying to piece together what is really at stake in the case against Gates.
Its riveting blend of inside knowledge, powerful suspense, courtroom intrigue, and ironic humor makes Incriminating Evidence an edge-of-the-seat novel that will hold readers from the very first page to its startling denouement.
“Daley is an original and very appealing character in the overcrowded legal arena — a gentle soul who can fight hard when he has to, and a moral man who is repelled by the greed of many of his colleagues. ... starts with a bang.”
— Publishers Weekly
“An effective page-turner.... The trial procedure is fascinating and more believable than most, as Siegel concentrates on legal strategies instead of lawyer's egos.”
— Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Sheldon Siegel and Special Circumstances:
“A poignant, feisty tale ... Characters so finely drawn you can almost smell their fear and desperation. The dialogue is taut and tangy.”
— USA Today
“A page-turner of the finger-burning kind ... By the time the whole circus ends up in the courtroom, the hurtling plot threatens to rip paper cuts into readers’ hands.”
— San Francisco Chronicle
“With a winning protagonist and a gripping plot, Siegel’s debut is sure to make partner at its first-choice firm: the expanding empire of Turow, Grisham, Lescroart, Wilhelm, Margolin, and Baldacci.”
— Publishers Weekly
“It’s a hit!”
— Chicago Sun-Times
“A crackling good read.”
— Houston Chronicle
“All the hallmarks of a superb legal thriller are here.... [a] stellar debut.”