I’m not a huge fan of the courtroom drama genre, but a well-written book is a well-written book, regardless of where in the bookstore it’s shelved. So when the latest novel by Seattle author/lawyer Robert Dugoni crossed my desk — with bloody handcuffs on the cover, no less — I was curious enough to give it a chance. While it may not be very reassuring for parents, The Conviction is a fast-paced, enjoyably silly page-turner with a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter.
Superstar attorney David Sloane is struggling to save his teenage son, Jake, who has spiraled into drinking and depression after witnessing his mother’s violent murder 9 months before. After keeping him out of jail yet again, David is desperate to connect with Jake. When David’s detective friend, Tom Molia, suggests they take their kids on a camping trip in southern California, it sounds like the perfect opportunity for some father-son bonding. But things deteriorate rapidly when Jake convinces the other boy, TJ, to break into a general store and steal alcohol in the middle of the night. Before David and Tom even wake up, the boys have been arrested, hastily tried without legal representation, and whisked away to a six-month sentence at Fresh Start, the county’s juvenile detention camp hidden deep in the wilderness. Read more