Posts Tagged ‘gang violence’
Abby Endicott is not your typical assistant district attorney, not by a long shot. Probably not too many ADAs carry Prada bags, receive a monthly $15,000 allowance from their family’s trust fund, wear floor-length Armani gowns, and walk around in Jimmy Choos. But all that’s surface, because the protagonist of Pamela Wechsler’s debut novel, Mission Hill, is incredibly serious and professional about her job.
As Mission Hill opens, Abby is awakened by a phone call from her close friend, Boston police detective Kevin Farnsworth. Abby knows that only a murder would cause Kevin to call her at 3:00 a.m., and within ten minutes she’s dressed and ready to walk out the door. Quiet as she tries to be, her movements awaken Ty Clarke, her significant other. Although the two don’t technically live together, Ty spends most of his time at Abby’s, whose two-thousand-square-foot apartment is a good deal nicer than his own. Reluctant to make their relationship permanent or even talk about the reasons she feels this way, Abby is content to continue things as they are.
When Abby arrives at the crime scene in Mission Hill, she is horrified to discover that the victim is Tim Mooney, her colleague in the district attorney’s office and her former lover. Their affair began while both were single but, in fact, continued for months after Tim’s marriage until he finally told Abby it was over. Abby has never gotten past her love for Tim, which is one reason she cannot commit to Ty. Another reason, although she’s reluctant to admit it even to herself, is her concern about how her family will view them as a couple; Tim is a black musician with hippie parents, one white and one black, while Abby’s parents are movers and shakers in Boston society.
Tim was about to begin the murder trial of Orlando Jones, a member of Boston’s notorious North Street Posse. Abby has some history with Orlando, going back to her teenage years. He tried to rob her best friend, Crystal, and to get away from him Crystal ran into the street and was run over. Orlando contended that she tripped, but Abby remains convinced that he pushed her. In any case, a case for murder or even manslaughter could not be proven against him; he went to juvenile detention and was released when he was eighteen. In the following years, he’s committed multiple crimes, but due to his violent reputation the witnesses against him either changed their testimony or disappeared.
Now Abby wants to take over Tim’s case. She persuades her boss, District Attorney Max Lombardo, to appoint her as the prosecutor, although he tells her it’s against his better judgment because she’s too personally involved; that was the reason she didn’t get the case originally. But Abby is persistent, and finally it pays off. However, Max warns her, “It’s a tough case. If you lose, you’ll never forgive yourself.” Abby’s response–“Then I won’t lose.” Thus the murder trial begins.
Pamela Wechsler, a former Boston prosecutor herself, knows the ins-and-outs of the city as well as she knows the Massachusetts legal system. Her novel is tough, realistic, and intense, and so too is her heroine. I can’t wait for the next Abby Endicott novel.
You can read about Pamela Wechsler at this web site.
Check out the complete Marilyn’s Mystery Reads at her web site.