Goodreads ~ When Elise Vanderzell plummets from her bedroom balcony one gorgeous summer night, her children awaken to a nightmare.
Their mother is dead.
Their father is charged with her murder.
Lawyer Kate Lange knows all about nightmares. She’s survived the darkest period of her troubled life and the wounds are still raw. Now she’s been handed a case that seems utterly unwinnable: defending her boss, high-profile lawyer Randall Barrett. A prosecutor’s dream suspect, Randall is a man who was cuckolded by his ex-wife. A man who could not control his temper. A man who had argued bitterly with the victim the previous day in full view of his children.
With limited criminal law experience, Kate finds herself enmeshed in a family fractured by doubt. Randall’s teenage son is intent on killing him. His daughter wants only to feel safe again. And the entire legal community would like nothing better than to see Randall receive a public comeuppance. As Kate races to stay a step ahead of the prosecution, a silent predator is waiting for the perfect time to deal the final blow.
Elise and Randall had been married and have two children, Lucy who is twelve and Nick who is fifteen. When they split up, Elise stayed in Toronto and Randall moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and started his own law firm. Elise brings the children to Halifax one summer to spend some time with their father. Randall arrives unannounced where Elise is staying the day they arrive. Randall and Elise have a big argument and that night Elise is found dead. Nick swears he saw his father toss his mother over the balcony to her death and Randall is eventually arrested. This takes up a big part of the book. With few options, Randall asks Kate, a lawyer in his firm, to represent him. With no criminal experience, an unlicensed partner and an attraction to Randall, Kate begrudgingly takes on his case.
This is the second book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it. I liked the writing style. It is written in third person perspective with the focus on wherever the action is. The editing could have been a bit tighter, though, because Randall's dog is Charlie yet later in the book it is referred to as "Scrubby" a couple times. As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.
The author was raised and lives in Halifax (I was born and lived in Nova Scotia until I was in my twenties ... my sister lives in Halifax). I liked that the author set the story in Halifax and didn't make it look like it was Any Town, USA ... there are local references such as Kate's colleagues going to a pub called the Lower Deck and a bar called the Economy Shoe Shop (I've been to both) and she goes jogging in Point Pleasant Park (I've been there too).
This is the second in the Kate Lange series (so far there are four and I read the first one last month) and I look forward to reading the others in the series.