Monday, May 2, 2016
The Wages Of Sin by Nancy Allen
The murder is a brutal one. Jesse Dent is eight months pregnant. Her live-in boyfriend and the father of the baby is arrested for the crime. The main witness is Jesse's six year old daughter Ivy. The police in McDown County, Missouri, know the Dent household well; they have been called to it multiple times for domestic abuse. Now the worst has happened.
The county prosecutor, a frosty woman named Madeline Thompson, has promised to not only convict the boyfriend, but get a death penalty as the sentence. Thompson's main assistant cannot help as he witnessed some of Jesse's abuse; her next choice won't work on a death penalty case. That means the Elsie Arnold is next up as Thompson's co-counsel.
Elsie isn't sure that she supports the death sentence either, but when she thinks about the abuse Dent underwent, she is swayed in favor of it. Elsie dates the local police homicide chief and she knows how bad the abuse they saw was. She is put in charge of shepherding little Ivy Dent's testimony, and as the trial gets closer, she starts to realise that Ivy may be in danger. Can Elsie help win the case while protecting Ivy?
Nancy Allen served as a trial lawyer in Missouri as well as the Assistant Attorney General there. She now teaches law at Missouri State University. She knows the inside track of how a murder trial is conducted, and the ethical hesitations attorneys may face. This book is recommended for mystery readers.