Friday 15 October 2021

Book ~ "Heart of a Killer" (2012) David Rosenfelt

From Goodreads ~ Jamie Wagner is a young lawyer who is happy to be flying under the radar at a large firm. It’s not that he isn’t smart. He is. It’s just that hard work, not to mention the whole legal thing, isn’t exactly his passion. Underachiever? A little. Content? Right up until the firm puts him on a case that turns his whole world upside down. 

Sheryl Harrison has served four years of a thirty-year murder sentence for killing her husband, who she claims was abusive. The case is settled - there shouldn’t be anything for Jamie to do - except Sheryl’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Karen, is sick. She has a congenital heart defect and will die without a transplant. Her blood type is rare, making their chances of finding a matching donor remote at best. Sheryl wants to be that donor for her daughter, and Jamie is in way over his head. Suicide, no matter the motive, is illegal. So with Sheryl on suicide watch, Jamie’s only shot at helping her and saving Karen is to reopen the murder case, prove Sheryl’s innocence, and get her freed so that she can pursue her plan on her own.

Jamie is a smart guy but not overly motivated.  He knows he'll never make partner in the law firm he works for and he's okay with that.  He is handed a pro bono case ... Sheryl has been in prison for six years for murdering her husband.  Her teenage daughter, Karen, has a heart defect and needs a transplant and Sheryl is a rare match for her.  So Sheryl wants to be able to be killed so her daughter can have her heart and live.  Assisted suicides are illegal so Sheryl needs legal assistance.  Jamie enlists the help of Sheryl's arresting officer, Novack.  Despite Sheryl admitting at the time that she had murdered her husband, he never believed her and this is his chance at redemption and to prove her innocence.

In the meantime, a hacker is causing chaos across the country by taking control and crashing planes and trains, etc. in return for money.  While Novack would like to focus on Sheryl's situation, he is also pulled in to try to find the hacker as they could be local.

I've read many books by this author, mostly his Andy Carpenter series which I enjoy, and this is a stand alone.  I like the writing style and it is written in first person perspective in Jamie's voice and third person perspective when the focus is on others.  It's a bit of a depressing story with Sheryl wanting to be killed so she could donate her heart to her dying daughter.  I thought the "whodunnit" was a bit convoluted, though, and I could have done without the hacking/terrorism side story (I didn't find it all that interesting).

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