Line of Vision
|Publisher:||Putnam Publishing Group|
A courtroom thriller about obsession, betrayal, and delicious revenge-all told by a mesmerizing and confident new writer of suspense.
Marty Kalish is a young man suffocating in the heat of an affair with a married woman named Rachel. When Rachel’s husband disappears one night, Marty is one of the first to be questioned. With few likely suspects, the police arrest him for murder. We know Marty was outside their home that night. We know he has a motive. We know he’s guilty of something. But is it murder? Everything we learn-about Marty as a man, his affair with Rachel, and the night in question-comes from Marty himself. We want him to be innocent, but the more he tells us, the more we fear he is guilty. And as the twists and turns of the plot unfold, we can’t be completely sure.
David Ellis’s masterful debut is one of the most compulsively readable tales of courtroom intrigue in years.
Penzler Pick, February 2001: First-time author David Ellis captures the imagination from the very first page with the voice of Marty Kalish, an investment banker in a tony company. Marty recounts the night that led to the murder of Dr. Derrick Reinhardt, the abusive husband of Rachel, with whom Marty is having an affair. The highly original premise of this story is masterful. Although Marty tells us his involvement in the murder, we don’t know exactly what that involvement is. Did he murder or did he cover up?
Marty is a hard guy to believe. Like most people, he doesn’t always tell all there is to know, so when he is charged with murder and employs the best defense lawyers in the city, he changes his story more than once to insure that he comes out in the best light possible. This both exasperates and earns the respect of his lawyer (as well as the reader), because every story that Marty tells is plausible. He tells us that he meets with a PI, but we won’t know why until the last page, and indeed the story does not come together completely until that moment.
In the meantime, Marty takes us on quite a trip. The courtroom scenes in this novel are among the very best. From jury selection to witness interrogation to sidebars with the judge, the scenes and dialogue crackle with authenticity. The only false note in the story is that although Marty is charged with murder, he remains free on his own recognizance both before and during the trial. There must be precedents here, but it seems odd. However, I was happy to overlook that for the sake of an otherwise convincing and spellbinding story. —Otto Penzler