The 7th Canon
A riveting new legal thriller from the bestselling author of My Sister’s Grave.In San Francisco’s seamy Tenderloin district, a teenage street hustler has been murdered in a shelter for boys. And the dedicated priest who runs the struggling home stands accused. But despite damning evidence that he’s a killer—and worse—Father Thomas Martin stands by his innocence. And attorney Peter Donley stands with him.For three years Donley has cut his legal teeth in his uncle’s tiny, no-frills firm, where people come before profits. Just as Donley is poised to move on to a lucrative dream job, the shocking case lands in his lap, and he must put his future on hold while putting his courtroom skills to the test. But a ruthless DA seeking headlines and a brutal homicide cop bent on vengeance have their own agendas. Now, as he unearths the dirty secrets surrounding the case, Donley must risk his neck to save his client’s life…and expose the face of true evil.

The 7th Canon Details

TitleThe 7th Canon
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 27th, 2016
PublisherThomas & Mercer
ISBN-139781503939424
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Legal Thriller, Mystery Thriller

The 7th Canon Review

  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    The 7th Canon is my first Robert Dugoni novel, and I found it to be a fast-paced highly enjoyable read. I was a little concerned as the protagonist is an attorney. The last legal thriller I read ended up on my did-not-finish shelf because the legalese was mind-boggling and a total drag on the story. I am happy to say that did not happen in this book. There is actually only a smattering of courtroom scenes; they are well done and never left me scratching my head. Much of the story revolves around The 7th Canon is my first Robert Dugoni novel, and I found it to be a fast-paced highly enjoyable read. I was a little concerned as the protagonist is an attorney. The last legal thriller I read ended up on my did-not-finish shelf because the legalese was mind-boggling and a total drag on the story. I am happy to say that did not happen in this book. There is actually only a smattering of courtroom scenes; they are well done and never left me scratching my head. Much of the story revolves around attorney Peter Donley’s search for the killer of a young man whose murder has been perhaps wrongfully pinned on a Catholic priest (Father Thomas Martin) who runs a shelter for troubled boys in the heart of San Francisco. Peter is assisted by ex-cop/private investigator Frank Ross who, like Peter, has suffered his own traumas in life. The tale is set in 1987 as Mr. Dugoni actually wrote the book in 1993. The manuscript got shoved aside back then as the author embarked on other projects, including his David Sloane and Tracy Crosswhite series. He finally resurrected the draft and worked endlessly to get it up to speed for publication. Many of the characters are based on actual family members, and you can tell the story is very meaningful to the author. I thank him for giving his readers this background in a note at the end of the book. I have to add that seeing the good guys investigate back in 1987 without the fancy tech stuff and forensics we have today plus having only one story thread to follow were refreshing changes to the novels written today.Mr. Dugoni does incorporate a more modern feature--flashback scenes. These are infrequent, short, and unobtrusive in my opinion. Furthermore, they allow us to see, rather than be told, some important events in Peter’s background. These scenes are powerful.Father Tom, the accused, is a wonderful character. I also thought Frank Ross and Peter Donley were well written. Having visited and explored San Francisco on a number of occasions I thoroughly enjoyed the setting. Father Tom’s shelter is located near the infamous Polk Gulch dive in what was a scary part of town at the time called The Tenderloin. I recall waiting for a bus at night with a friend in that very area around the time Mr. Dugoni penned this novel and FINALLY seeing a cab to flag down, something I rarely do, just to get the hell out of there! Not a place for visitors to hang out. I understand the Gulch is no longer standing. Thank God.This novel gives us a good flavor of how easy it is to convict the wrong person. We also get good doses of government corruption and the goings on in the seedy depths of a large city. On the other hand, we also get a good vision of how much the good guys are willing to sacrifice of themselves in order to make things better for those in dire need of help. A really good read. The 7th Canon is a well written story that moves quickly and features great characters. I am sad it isn’t to be a series, which for me means on to Tracy Crosswhite!Thank you Goodreads Giveaways for an electronic copy of The 7th Canon. The opinions stated in this review are my own and are unbiased in any way.
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  • Kylie D
    January 1, 1970
    An enjoyable ride where a young lawyer is thrust into the case of his life. A priest who runs a shelter for street kids in San Francisco is accused of murdering one of the boys. A jaded PI, a rogue veteran cop and a DA being bullied by his megalomaniac father all add to a riveting story. It's a fast paced story that I read in one sitting. Recommended.
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  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    This is a terrific legal crime thriller located in 1987 San Francisco. Pete Donley is 28, has 3 years legal experience, and a troubled personal history that involves an alcoholic and violent father that still haunts him to this day. He is married to Kim, a doctor, and has a young son, Benny. He works at his uncle Lou's firm whose biggest client is the RC church and San Francisco Archdeacon, Donatello Parnisi. This one client finances all the others that are not in a position to pay, and Lou woul This is a terrific legal crime thriller located in 1987 San Francisco. Pete Donley is 28, has 3 years legal experience, and a troubled personal history that involves an alcoholic and violent father that still haunts him to this day. He is married to Kim, a doctor, and has a young son, Benny. He works at his uncle Lou's firm whose biggest client is the RC church and San Francisco Archdeacon, Donatello Parnisi. This one client finances all the others that are not in a position to pay, and Lou would not have it any other way. Lou's client, Father Tom Martin, runs a shelter for boys on the street. Tom is discovered at the scene of the murder of a teenage hustler, Andrew Bennet, with the murder weapon and incriminating photographs that suggest Tom is a paedophile. Unfortunately, Lou suffers a heart attack and stroke that make it impossible for him to represent Tom. Pete has no experience of a criminal trial but is determined to represent Tom, with the blessing of the Archdeacon. Pete is about to experience a baptism of fire.Pete is convinced that Tom is innocent and being framed. However, the evidence against him is overwhelming and the case looks hopeless. Which is where the 7th Canon comes into play, where lawyers are asked to do whatever is necessary to represent their client whilst upholding the law. Pete is determined to do all that he can to prevent Tom being unjustly executed. He comes to be helped by PI Frank Ross, an ex cop who lost his young son. Ross needs a paying client to avoid the douche bag clients. On a dangerous case, Pete and Frank come to realise the only way they can help Tom is to find the real killer. A killer who has murdered 3 other street boys. With a politically ambitious DA, Gil Ramsey, looking for a slam dunk conviction, and a deranged cop looking for vengeance whilst teetering on the edge of insanity, Pete is going to be tested to his core. Will he make it out alive?Robert Dugoni is a gifted writer who has penned a compelling and gripping novel. The characters are marked with complexity and you get caught up in their lives. The book is well constructed and builds tension and suspense. I love this author and I loved this story. Cannot recommend it enough. Brilliant!!! Many thanks to Thomas and Mercer for an ARC.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni through NetGalley. My thanks to Thomas & Mercer Publishers and to Robert Dugoni for the opportunity.Back up those tail lights to 1987 and shine the light on video tapes, cassettes, and portable phones the size of house bricks. The long, wide Cadillac is about to take you on one wild ride.The 7th Canon: "A lawyer should represent a client zealously within the bounds of law."Peter Donley, a young twenty-eight year old lawyer, has all of three I received a copy of The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni through NetGalley. My thanks to Thomas & Mercer Publishers and to Robert Dugoni for the opportunity.Back up those tail lights to 1987 and shine the light on video tapes, cassettes, and portable phones the size of house bricks. The long, wide Cadillac is about to take you on one wild ride.The 7th Canon: "A lawyer should represent a client zealously within the bounds of law."Peter Donley, a young twenty-eight year old lawyer, has all of three years under his belt. He works in his uncle's law firm in San Francisco. Kim, his wife, is a medical resident. Benny is their son who is turning three. The family finances need a jump start and lawsuits involving African gray parrots ain't cuttin' the mustard here. The Christmas season brings with it a tainted gift begging to be unwrapped. Father Thomas Martin, "The Priest of Polk Street", runs a shelter for wayward boys of the streets. The Polk Gulch area simmers crime like the soup boiling on the shelter's rusty stove. When one of the street boys is found murdered in the shelter, Father Thomas is arrested and taken to jail. The evidence is heavy. The Archdiocese is represented by Lou Giantelli, Peter's uncle. When Uncle Lou suffers a heart attack, the reins fall heavily into Peter's hands. Nothing sounds worse than a choir boy without any backup.The district attorney and his chief prosecutor are salivating to prosecute the priest. Both see golden rungs on their California career ladders. An old-school cop with twenty-five years of service has a bone to pick with the city. He's not letting this one go. The deck is stacked and Dugoni plays his cards well. There are some dastardly drawn characters here who've been dealt some mighty suspicious cards in this life and death game. Lou Giantelli hires Frank Ross, a down and out private detective, to do some leg work in the case. Ross drives that sleek Cadillac aforementioned. And the rubber meets the road here on out. Dugoni has a gift for enveloping you in the '87 era with no backup Google either. The character dialogue and their wide-screen actions play out across the pages with the deft and agility of a writer who has honed his craft well. Dugoni sits in the driver's seat and we are certainly willing passengers.And my next question would be: When's the next road trip, Dugoni? We're all buckled up and ready to go.
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  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
    January 1, 1970
    'Justice isn't always about right and wrong, it's all about what we can and can't prove. 'Ain't that the truth! I have never been a big fan of legal thrillers. Robert Dugoni and the 7th Canon may just have changed that. But then Pete Donley probably isn't your average lawyer. He seems to spend far more time out of the office chasing down the bad guys than he does in the courtroom or writing briefs. So there actually isn't a great deal of courtroom action in this book - probably why I enjoyed it 'Justice isn't always about right and wrong, it's all about what we can and can't prove. 'Ain't that the truth! I have never been a big fan of legal thrillers. Robert Dugoni and the 7th Canon may just have changed that. But then Pete Donley probably isn't your average lawyer. He seems to spend far more time out of the office chasing down the bad guys than he does in the courtroom or writing briefs. So there actually isn't a great deal of courtroom action in this book - probably why I enjoyed it so much. That and the fact that Dugoni's characters are both gritty and endearing. This is the third of Dugoni's books that I have read. He is a consistently good author and I hope that this is not the last we will see of Pete Donley.Thank you to Thomas and Mercer via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The 7th Canon for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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  • Zoeytron
    January 1, 1970
    Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.The underpinnings and inner-workings of the judicial system are given a hard look here. In the criminal justice system (hear that gavel ringing out?), the courtroom is a stage. Justice is meted out on the basis of what can be proven, what is admissible as evidence, not necessarily by the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Fascinating. This high energy legal/crime thriller grabbed me right by the nose and took off running. Interestingly e Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.The underpinnings and inner-workings of the judicial system are given a hard look here. In the criminal justice system (hear that gavel ringing out?), the courtroom is a stage. Justice is meted out on the basis of what can be proven, what is admissible as evidence, not necessarily by the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Fascinating. This high energy legal/crime thriller grabbed me right by the nose and took off running. Interestingly enough, it is set in 1987. Sometimes it is good to get away from the ubiquitous cell phones, GPS, and other high-tech gadgets. This author really knows how to tell a story and this is a good one.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoy Robert Dugoni's books, and this stand alone is no exception.Dugoni mentions in his acknowledgement that this was an older manuscript and it has had many rewrites. I think these rewrites may have caused a few minor hiccups, but nothing that really detracted from the book. Perhaps it was a mix of earlier, more inexperienced writing with Dugoni's current, more polished style.Some characters were on a first name basis and others were last name. Throughout the book, the main character, Peter I enjoy Robert Dugoni's books, and this stand alone is no exception.Dugoni mentions in his acknowledgement that this was an older manuscript and it has had many rewrites. I think these rewrites may have caused a few minor hiccups, but nothing that really detracted from the book. Perhaps it was a mix of earlier, more inexperienced writing with Dugoni's current, more polished style.Some characters were on a first name basis and others were last name. Throughout the book, the main character, Peter Donley, is mostly referred to as Donley. Frank Ross is an investigator for Donley's uncle, and he is usually referred to by his full name. I think I would have felt closer to these characters if first names had been used instead. Donley works for his uncle Lou. I wish this relationship had been apparent earlier in the book and then left alone. I felt some awkwardness with later mentions of this relationship.So, those were minor quibbles on my part. The book is good. It's set in 1987. You know, before cell phones, computers, and DNA. I liked the characters, especially Father Tom. There is an underlying theme of fatherhood here, good fathers, abusive fathers, overbearing fathers, and their sons who feel guilty, or robbed, or intimidated. That theme is overlaid with a killing, an arrest, and subsequent legal wrangling which makes for an enjoyable read.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    Father Thomas Martin - who sports a shaved head, earring, and tattoo - runs a shelter for homeless boys in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. When the bloody body of a teenage youth, Andrew Bennet, is found in the shelter's recreation room, Father Martin is accused of murder. Lou Giantelli's law firm represents Father Martin and Lou plans to defend the priest himself. First, though, Lou sends his nephew Peter Donley - a young attorney inexperienced in criminal law - to accompany the pries Father Thomas Martin - who sports a shaved head, earring, and tattoo - runs a shelter for homeless boys in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. When the bloody body of a teenage youth, Andrew Bennet, is found in the shelter's recreation room, Father Martin is accused of murder. Lou Giantelli's law firm represents Father Martin and Lou plans to defend the priest himself. First, though, Lou sends his nephew Peter Donley - a young attorney inexperienced in criminal law - to accompany the priest to the preliminary hearing. When Lou suffers a sudden heart attack the Catholic Archdiocese arranges for another law firm to represent Father Martin. However Peter convinces the Archbishop to let HIM defend the priest even though the 'tough on crime' D.A. is expected to seek the death penalty. As it turns out, the D.A. has a problem. The first detective at the crime scene, Dixon Connor, did a warrantless search of the priest's room and the 'best evidence' may be inadmissible. The D.A. can't offer a plea bargain for political reasons so he tries to manipulate Peter into requesting one. Moreover, the D.A. rushes the legal proceedings even though it's Christmas season. At this point I expected the story to involve an exciting courtroom battle, with Peter pitting his wits against a wily prosecutor. I was wrong.It turns out that powerful men have been consorting with underage boy prostitutes - and someone has videotapes of the encounters. Moreover, two adolescent boys in San Francisco were killed prior to Andrew Bennet, but the investigations were cursory and no one was arrested. In a separate plotline, a past accusation of rape led to a ruined career and a suicide.....and someone wants revenge. So the book is actually a thriller with plenty of action including: blackmail; breaking and entering; threats; beatings; abductions; frantic car rides; vicious guard dogs; and so on.To say more would be a spoiler but I can say that Peter, trying to prove Father Martin's innocence, gets involved in some dangerous situations. The attorney also has frequent flashbacks to his abusive alcoholic father who died in suspicious circumstances. Luckily, Peter didn't follow in his father's footsteps. The attorney is happily married with a baby and a dog. Interesting characters in the story include Frank Ross - a suspended cop/private investigator who helps Peter; Red - a boy on the run who was at the shelter on the night of the murder; D.A. Gil Ramsey - who's determined to be next California Governor; Augustus Ramsey - the D.A.'s pushy overbearing father; Dixon Connor - an old style rough and tumble cop; and more.I've read other books by Robert Dugoni, which were well-plotted and well-written. When I started this 'new book' I expected it to be just as good....but it's not.As I was reading I kept thinking: "This seems like a first novel. Some of the plot points and action sequences feel like rookie writing." And during one intense scene the perp - holding a gun on our hero - calmly explains the whole crime, why it was done, how it was done, etc. Most experienced authors don't write like this (anymore). So I wasn't too surprised when - at the end of the book - Robert Dugoni explains that he wrote this story 20 years ago and recently 'revised it' for publication. Several of the book's main characters are based on Dugoni's close friends and relatives, and he wanted to see the book in print. The bottom line is that this book isn't as well crafted as the author's more recent work.Still, it's a good story with plenty of action and suspense. I think mystery/thriller fans would enjoy it.Thanks to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for a copy of the book. You can follow my reviews at http://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com/
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Robert Dugoni, and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with this review.Stepping away from his two successful series, Dugoni released this standalone novel that mixes the detail of a legal drama with the excitement of a crime thriller to create something captivating. Taking the reader back to 1987, Degoni explores the rough Tenderloin District of San Francisco, where Father Thomas Martin First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Robert Dugoni, and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with this review.Stepping away from his two successful series, Dugoni released this standalone novel that mixes the detail of a legal drama with the excitement of a crime thriller to create something captivating. Taking the reader back to 1987, Degoni explores the rough Tenderloin District of San Francisco, where Father Thomas Martin is tending to the duties of the boys shelter he runs. Father Martin comes upon the body of a young man, new to the shelter and with an unknown past. Before he can call for help, the police raid the shelter and Martin has been arrested for murder. The Archdiocese turns to the small firm it has trusted for years, staffed with a gritty lawyer, Lou Giantelli and his young associate, Peter Donley. With little criminal experience and only in his third year of practice, Donley is still cutting his teeth on the legal maneuvers required for greatness and remains indebted to Uncle Lou, who never doubted him. When a medical emergency puts Lou out of commission, Donley must take up the reins and begins defending Father Martin. However, something seems off, as the District Attorney and his team are pushing for a plea deal, though they have a history of never pleading out first-degree murder charges. As Donley learns the legal ropes, his client, vilified by media outlets, is tossed to the wolves by the prison authorities. Refusing to take any deal, Father Martin directs Donley to not only push to exclude a handful of damning evidence, but also to find the real killer, which is the only hope of exonerating him. Donley digs deeper with the help of the firm's private investigator and uncovers a deep secret that connects the DA's office with a dirty cop, though much is speculation and conjecture. Risking his life as he plods on, Donley not only seeks to redeem his client but also to wrestle with the demons from his own past. Sometimes even the Hand of God cannot save an innocent lamb from the slaughter, as Donley is apt to learn. Dugoni pulls readers into this wonderful novel and does not ease up on the action until the final page has been turned.While the novel is crafted along the lines of being a one-off, its character development and backstories are significant and well-balanced. The reader is able not only to form a connection to Peter Donley and Father Martin, but also the destructive DA and rogue detective who will stop at nothing to get their way. Readers learn more as the story progresses, though there is something to be said about the wonderful flashbacks into Donley's past that reveal a very dark time in his youth. I have come to notice that Dugoni enjoys setting his novels in the past, sometimes a year or two earlier, though this one takes readers back to 1987, when the law was fought with precedents found in bound tomes and not at the click of webpage. While the technological issue does not rear its head too much, it seems the pure approach to legal thrillers, when media were print and film rather than the 24 hour news cycle and criminals were not instantly alerted to a manhunt for them, makes for a stronger story and adds an element of dramatic effect. Additionally, Dugoni tackles a few social issues within the story, one of which relates directly to the novel's title. The 7th Canon is that codified assurance that an attorney will do all he or she can to represent their client, stopping at nothing within the parameters of the law. This is the impetus that Donley uses when faced with a client who is potentially a child murderer and pedophile. It spurns him on to do all in his power to offer a thorough defence. Secondly, the Roman Catholic Church, which has been the punching bag and butt of many jokes for their dirty priests, receives much maligned coverage for a small population. Dugoni clarifies that it is only this drop in the proverbial bucket that sully the name of the Church entirely. These two pillars, combined with a strong narrative and wonderful dialogue create a brilliant piece worthy of reading by anyone with a strong aversion to the law and justice. One might find a third social issue, which arises out of the locale chosen for the novel, at a time when alternative lifestyles were flourishing and San Francisco remained on the cusp of leading the country towards acceptance. This does come up, both within the narrative and as a political issue in the late 1980s. Without the stuffy and drawn-out trial to weigh good versus evil, Dugoni uses the reader's gut to act as a jury while pushing Donley into the middle of a race for truth and justice, not always synonymous. Even though David Sloane and Tracy Crosswhite both had significant time to hash out their issues and make an indelible mark on the minds of Dugnoni fans, Peter Donley does so effectively in this single book and for that much praise is due the author.Kudos, Mr. Dugoni for another addictive piece of writing. I am eager to read more of your work and hope that you are able to keep coming up with fresh ideas.Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    THE 7th CANON, a standalone novel by New York Times and #1 Amazon Bestselling Author Robert Dugoni is a legal crime thriller that is sure to please. I have read most of his novels in the “Tracy Crosswhite” series and” David Sloane” series, and have nothing but praise for his writing. The police procedural featuring Seattle Homicide Detective Tracy Crosswhite has kept Dugoni in the Amazon top 10 for more than two years. He is also the author of the legal thriller series featuring David Sloane.“In THE 7th CANON, a standalone novel by New York Times and #1 Amazon Bestselling Author Robert Dugoni is a legal crime thriller that is sure to please. I have read most of his novels in the “Tracy Crosswhite” series and” David Sloane” series, and have nothing but praise for his writing. The police procedural featuring Seattle Homicide Detective Tracy Crosswhite has kept Dugoni in the Amazon top 10 for more than two years. He is also the author of the legal thriller series featuring David Sloane.“In San Francisco’s seamy Tenderloin district, a teenage street hustler has been murdered in a shelter for boys. And the dedicated priest who runs the struggling home stands accused. But despite damning evidence that he’s a killer—and worse—Father Thomas Martin stands by his innocence. And attorney Peter Donley stands with him.”And all the evidence points to Father Martin as the killer. He is arrested and stands by his innocence. The case is assigned to an inexperienced lawyer, Peter Donley, who works at his uncle’s small firm, who fight for the rights of the accused. Donley struggles with his own baggage…the memories of an abusive father.Donley believes the priest is innocent…and agrees to help and represent him. He must overturn the evidence stacked against his client, and find out the truth.I loved this book as the story line is both dark and detailed, and moves at an alarming speed. Information and clues are released on a need-to-know basis, which increases the tension and thrill of the ride.Highly recommended. I would like to thank NetGalley and Thomas And Mercer for an ARC
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  • Adrian Dooley
    January 1, 1970
    I flew through this book. My quickest read of the year. A compelling story fantastically told. The story, a legal crime thriller, is set in San Francisco in 1987 where Father Thomas Martin runs a shelter for homeless boys. The runaways, the drug addicts, the prostitutes, his door is an open door for those who seek refuge for the night. A boy is found brutally murdered at the shelter and all the evidence points to Father Martin as the killer. He is arrested but pleads his innocence. The case land I flew through this book. My quickest read of the year. A compelling story fantastically told. The story, a legal crime thriller, is set in San Francisco in 1987 where Father Thomas Martin runs a shelter for homeless boys. The runaways, the drug addicts, the prostitutes, his door is an open door for those who seek refuge for the night. A boy is found brutally murdered at the shelter and all the evidence points to Father Martin as the killer. He is arrested but pleads his innocence. The case lands on the desk of inexperienced attorney Peter Donley. Only practicing law for three years, he works at his uncles small firm where his uncle is more interested in helping people than turning a profit. Abused as a child by his father and still haunted by it, he now has his own young family and a job offer from a law form that would hugely increase his income. He puts this on hold as he meets the priest and believes his plea of innocence and sets on the road to trying to prove it. He immediately becomes aware that all is not what it seems when he meets with the DA set to prosecute the case, one renowned for seeking the death penalty, who hints that a plea bargain may be an option, which will see the case resolved quickly. Throw in a nasty cop who was first on the murder scene,but did not follow protocol and you have the set up for an intriguing legal crime thriller where Peter sets out to prove his clients innocence and is taken to places and possibilities that are as dark as the crime itself. He faces a race against time to get his client off and with the evidence stacked against him, the only way to do it is to find out the truth of what really happened. I absolutely loved this read. I read the book in three sittings, which must be a record for me. The story is fantastically told. Great characterisation, great attention to detail in the description of San Francisco, the story whizzes along as the pages are turned without noticing. The story is quite dark and complex, yet it's an easy read, most likely because the story is so well told. I was drawn in from the start. Peter is a brilliant central character, so much potential and talent as an attorney but with such a damaged past. You have total empathy with him and cheer him along from the first chapter where we find him in court where he tries to get an African Grey Parrot on the witness stand. I knew then this guy was for me!I would have no hesitation in recommending this book and giving it five stars. The fact that a slow reader like myself managed to finish it over three nights should tell you everything about the appeal this story had to me. I would like to thank NetGalley and Thomas And Mercer for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • L.A. Starks
    January 1, 1970
    I liked Dugoni's "My Sister's Grave," so I picked this up since it's by the same author. The 7th Canon is actually Dugoni's first book. However, it was not initially commercial so he shelved it until recently.The 7th Canon is set in San Francisco in the 1980s. The time frame is a bit of a problem: readers get a wink and a nod from various characters on the subjects of mobile phones and computers. It's not ideal to apply a current lens to a historical (and the 1980s are historical) novel--too eas I liked Dugoni's "My Sister's Grave," so I picked this up since it's by the same author. The 7th Canon is actually Dugoni's first book. However, it was not initially commercial so he shelved it until recently.The 7th Canon is set in San Francisco in the 1980s. The time frame is a bit of a problem: readers get a wink and a nod from various characters on the subjects of mobile phones and computers. It's not ideal to apply a current lens to a historical (and the 1980s are historical) novel--too easy to be taken out of the book. Also, a tiny note: 3-year-olds don't sleep in cribs. Babies climb out and fall from cribs as soon as they can stand and walk (one year). Parents typically move them to something lower to the ground.These small points aside, the book is well-plotted. The characters are heartfelt and wonderfully drawn with the exception of one cardboard villain. The main character has deep problems to overcome, and the pace is accelerated by concern over his Uncle Lou, who's just had a heart attack. Dugoni has good knowledge of criminal procedure and the plot has a satisfying amount of action.I highly recommend The 7th Canon to readers who like books set in San Francisco, who like Dugoni's other books, or those who like historical mysteries. This is a wonderful "first" book.
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  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    This is by first Robert Dugoni book but it won't be my last. I had heard of him of course but had him mixed up with another author named Robert whose book I loathed. Luckily I finally got it straightened out and it allowed me to enjoy this book. I received this from Net Galley in exchange for a fair review. Peter Donley is a lawyer working in his uncle's law firm in San Francisco's Tenderloin district in 1987. They take on hard luck clients who have trouble paying but do represent the Archdioce This is by first Robert Dugoni book but it won't be my last. I had heard of him of course but had him mixed up with another author named Robert whose book I loathed. Luckily I finally got it straightened out and it allowed me to enjoy this book. I received this from Net Galley in exchange for a fair review. Peter Donley is a lawyer working in his uncle's law firm in San Francisco's Tenderloin district in 1987. They take on hard luck clients who have trouble paying but do represent the Archdiocese. They also provide some unusual methods including calling a parrot to the witness stand and then have the district attorney object to him leading the witness. Father Thomas Martin runs a boys shelter and discovers a dead boy there. The police come in and arrest him for murder and being a pedophile. Donley is called in by the firm's main client, the Archdiocese, to represent the priest as his uncle is in the hospital after a heart attack in court. The story has lots of twists and turns. The reason it didn't get five stars is the motive for the killing was apparent about half-way through. It got four stars as the characters are so darn likable. In spite of troubles in their past, Donley, Martin, the private detective, the uncle and the journalist are just so endearing. You just want to sit down and visit with them. San Francisco is brought lovingly to life. I can close my eyes and just the scenes in my head. San Francisco is just such an interesting place and my memories go back to when Woolworth's and the Emporium were still open but this is a fine depiction of the times.
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  • sue
    January 1, 1970
    I’m not going into much detail at all here.I need to say I’m not much into legal dramas in books. But this one sure changed my mind.It’s very fast paced with a good flow of utter suspense.
  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    This is a really different type of book to Dugoni's Tracy Crossehite series, which I love, and for the first third I was thinking that it might not be for me. It felt like it was maybe written before those novels as the narrative wasn't quite as tight. But there was this one moment when everything came together (for me it was when two characters met and started working with each other) and all of a sudden the chemistry was there. I'm in no position to make demands to Robert Dugoni but I'd read t This is a really different type of book to Dugoni's Tracy Crossehite series, which I love, and for the first third I was thinking that it might not be for me. It felt like it was maybe written before those novels as the narrative wasn't quite as tight. But there was this one moment when everything came together (for me it was when two characters met and started working with each other) and all of a sudden the chemistry was there. I'm in no position to make demands to Robert Dugoni but I'd read the hell out of a series with those two... It was a good thriller with some great moments, well worth a few hours of your time, and an excellent basis for a new series (yes I know I've made my point). Thanks to Robert Dugoni, Thomas & Mercer, and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lyn
    January 1, 1970
    Good legal thriller.Blending elements of mystery and psychology into an intriguing novel set in San Francisco in the late 1980s, author Robert Dugoni has crafted a page turning and entertaining work.Young lawyer Peter Donley is learning the ropes in his uncle’s law firm when a murder in a young men’s shelter run by an unorthodox but charismatic priest sets into motion a chain of events that will change Peter’s life forever. Dugoni describes the murder investigation and Donley’s representation of Good legal thriller.Blending elements of mystery and psychology into an intriguing novel set in San Francisco in the late 1980s, author Robert Dugoni has crafted a page turning and entertaining work.Young lawyer Peter Donley is learning the ropes in his uncle’s law firm when a murder in a young men’s shelter run by an unorthodox but charismatic priest sets into motion a chain of events that will change Peter’s life forever. Dugoni describes the murder investigation and Donley’s representation of the priest and an unraveling tale of corruption and abuse that adds color to the thriller and gives the narrative greater depth.The setting is also an integral part of why this works because of Dugoni’s deft depiction of San Francisco’s Tenderloin district and his colorful portrayal of the area’s legal and police community.
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  • Jean
    January 1, 1970
    Peter Donley is an up-and-coming young attorney working in his uncle Lou Giantelli’s law firm. He’s had some courtroom experience, most recently a case involving establishing the identity of a missing parrot, but come Christmas Eve, Donley’s life is about to become very interesting – and very, very busy. Chapter one had me chuckling. By the time I was finished with chapter two, I was hooked.Uncle Lou has a heart attack and a stroke, leaving all of his cases to nephew Peter to handle. On top of t Peter Donley is an up-and-coming young attorney working in his uncle Lou Giantelli’s law firm. He’s had some courtroom experience, most recently a case involving establishing the identity of a missing parrot, but come Christmas Eve, Donley’s life is about to become very interesting – and very, very busy. Chapter one had me chuckling. By the time I was finished with chapter two, I was hooked.Uncle Lou has a heart attack and a stroke, leaving all of his cases to nephew Peter to handle. On top of that, a streetwise teenager is murdered in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district at a shelter for young men. The priest who runs the home is arrested for the crime. The archdiocese is one of Lou’s few well paying clients, so when the archbishop calls, his law firm comes running. Peter Donley has never handled a murder case before. Will he be up to the task?When I saw that the Catholic Church was involved, I immediately assumed that the title involved Canon Law of the Church, but the title, The 7th Canon, is explained in a discussion Donley has with the office secretary-cum-drill sergeant, Ruth-Bell. She quotes Lou, “‘It’s my job to defend my client to the best of my ability, regardless of his guilt or innocence…A lawyer should represent a client zealously within the bounds of the law.’” As Donley meets with Father Thomas Martin, he becomes convinced of his innocence. His quest to prove his innocence digs up some grimy secrets that someone is going to great lengths to keep buried. Donley and private investigator Frank Ross work some long, hard hours and put their safety at risk to find the evidence that will exonerate their client. I’m a fan of Robert Dugoni’s Tracy Crosswhite series as well as his David Sloane series. Although a standalone, this has the makings of a great series too. Please! Mr. Dugoni writes in his acknowledgements that he originally penned The 7th Canon in 1996 and has spent years toiling over rewrites. In my opinion, it was well worth it! Donley struggles with the memories of an abusive father. Ross, a recovering alcoholic, has suffered a great loss in his life, and there are other supporting characters who have potential as well. The author doesn’t give us this information all at once. He ekes it out of these long-suffering, noble-hearted men a small piece at a time. By the end of the book, I felt like I understood them, and I felt the catharsis right along with them.So Mr. Dugoni, it would be great if you’d write another Peter Donley book. But please, don’t wait another twenty years to have it published.Thanks to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer, and the author for providing me with an ARC copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.5 stars
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    I think that THE 7THE CANON is an excellent thriller. The story takes place in 1987 and I was thrilled to read a book that takes place in the 80s, before all modern inventions like cell phones, etc. It's not that far back in time, but I quite enjoy reading books from that time. Probably because I'm a child of the 80s. THE 7THE CANON is a story about injustice and corruption, always a fascinating subject. One can't help wonder through the book why some of the characters in the book seem so desper I think that THE 7THE CANON is an excellent thriller. The story takes place in 1987 and I was thrilled to read a book that takes place in the 80s, before all modern inventions like cell phones, etc. It's not that far back in time, but I quite enjoy reading books from that time. Probably because I'm a child of the 80s. THE 7THE CANON is a story about injustice and corruption, always a fascinating subject. One can't help wonder through the book why some of the characters in the book seem so desperate to get Father Thomas Martin convicted. What are they hiding? Will Donley be able to free Father Thomas Martin, and is he really innocent?READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!
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  • Lee
    January 1, 1970
    A priest who runs a shelter for homeless and troubled youth becomes the prime suspect in the death of one of these youths. He has taken in a young man who seems very troubled and agitated but several hours later when the priest is unable to locate the boy he decides that the boy has left the shelter. Not long after the priest goes to fix a fuse in the basement and he discovers the boy's body, stabbed to death. Attorney Peter Donley, who has only been in practice at his uncle's law firm for three A priest who runs a shelter for homeless and troubled youth becomes the prime suspect in the death of one of these youths. He has taken in a young man who seems very troubled and agitated but several hours later when the priest is unable to locate the boy he decides that the boy has left the shelter. Not long after the priest goes to fix a fuse in the basement and he discovers the boy's body, stabbed to death. Attorney Peter Donley, who has only been in practice at his uncle's law firm for three years is handed the case due to his uncle's illness, but does not believe a word of it. Trouble is he has to prove it so along with private eye Frank Ross they set out to find the truth. Along the way they will have to deal with a very bent cop known as Connor, a very shady character who is only out for himself, a guy that Donley is sure has blood on his hands and Donley may well be right, even more so than he thinks.Once again Robert Dugoni has provided us with another gem, great story, believable characters and lots of action. Thanks to Netgalley, the author and publisher for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Tooter
    January 1, 1970
    Received my copy through Netgalley. 4.5 stars. Excellent!
  • Jim
    January 1, 1970
    Peter Donley is a young lawyer with a wife and two year old son. For the past three years he has worked in his uncle's no-frills law firm in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district where people come before profits. Just as Peter is considering an offer to move to a more lucrative firm a new case lands in his lap. A case that will force him to confront his own past.Father Thomas Martin runs a shelter for homeless boys. With a shaved head, earring, and tattoo he is not your stereotypical priest. When Peter Donley is a young lawyer with a wife and two year old son. For the past three years he has worked in his uncle's no-frills law firm in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district where people come before profits. Just as Peter is considering an offer to move to a more lucrative firm a new case lands in his lap. A case that will force him to confront his own past.Father Thomas Martin runs a shelter for homeless boys. With a shaved head, earring, and tattoo he is not your stereotypical priest. When the body of a teenage resident, Andrew Bennet, is found in the shelter's recreation room, Father Martin is quickly accused of murder. Peter's uncle, Lou Giantelli, normally would have represented Father Martin but he has suffered a heart attack. Peter convinces the Archbishop to not turn the case over to another law firm and let him represent Father Martin.The case against Father Martin has a problem. One of the detectives who was first on the scene did not follow procedure and if this fact comes out the evidence may not be allowed in court. The District Attorney has political ambitions. He can't afford to plea bargain so he attempts to manipulate Peter into requesting one. Peter may be inexperienced but he is not stupid. The meeting with the D.A. only arouses his suspicions and resolve to prove Father Martin's innocence."Everybody uses everybody. It’s how you get to the top. It’s how you stay on top"Frank Ross is private investigator who had been hired by Peter's Uncle Lou to look into the deaths of other teenage boys (not at the shelter). Ross is a former police detective currently on suspension. He and Peter eventually meet and together work to solve the case of who killed the boys. Each has personal baggage and this case may be the opportunity to deal with their own past and see that justice is done for Father Martin .According to the author in his acknowledgement this was an early story written many years ago and put in a drawer. It was taken out and rewritten several times over the years before eventually being published. The setting is 1987. Technology was vastly different. Some things we take for granted today did not exist. However, this does not really detract from enjoying the story. This story is vastly different from Robert Dugoni's Tracy Crosswhite series. It is a legal thriller but there is little courtroom action. One of the few courtroom scenes takes place at the opening of the book and was quite humorous. If you don't normally read legal thrillers you should not let that deter you from checking out this book. Most of the action takes place outside the courtroom.This is a story of good vs evil. The haves and the have nots. Maybe, just maybe, people who don't use others will come out on top.
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  • Monnie
    January 1, 1970
    After reading just two books by Robert Dugoni, I've become a fan; so when I got the chance to read an advance copy of this one in exchange for an honest review, I jumped. It's a standalone that's not part of either his Tracy Crosswhite or David Sloane series, though, so I crossed my fingers that my high expectations would be justified.They were uncrossed by the end of the first chapter; when I got near the end, they were holding my Kindle so tightly that no one could possibly pry it out of my ha After reading just two books by Robert Dugoni, I've become a fan; so when I got the chance to read an advance copy of this one in exchange for an honest review, I jumped. It's a standalone that's not part of either his Tracy Crosswhite or David Sloane series, though, so I crossed my fingers that my high expectations would be justified.They were uncrossed by the end of the first chapter; when I got near the end, they were holding my Kindle so tightly that no one could possibly pry it out of my hands until I finished. Not that it's a problem at our house; the only other person here is my sweet hubby of 54 years, and he knows better than to try, bless his heart.The story begins when a teenage boy is found murdered in a shelter for boys. Father Thomas Martin, the priest who found him - who runs the facility in a run-down, dangerous part of San Francisco - is charged with the murder. As a friend of the local Diocese, attorney Peter Donley's uncle Lou, for whom he's been working for the past three years, asks him to look into the situation. Evidence that may have been obtained illegally, a priest who vehemently refuses to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence and his uncle's sudden health crisis prompt Peter to take the case even though he's not totally convinced of Father Tom's innocence.Peter has a wife and young son and is debating whether to move on to a job with more money and more potential for career advancement. But for now he's got a client, and with that comes an obligation to follow the 7th Canon from the American Bar Association Code: "A lawyer should represent a client zealously within the bounds of the law." So, he begins to prepare a defense; and the more he delves into the lives of the priest, the victim and a hell-bent for power district attorney, the more convinced he becomes that his client isn't a killer. Proving it, though, won't be easy; ultimately, the only way to clear the priest's name may be to find the real killer - and that could mean putting his own life in danger.Early on, I said this book is a standalone; but honestly, I'd be very happy to see the "good guys" again. The characters are both likable and capable, and the potential for a new series stuck in my mind throughout. How about it, Mr. Dugoni? I'm ready if you are!
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  • CL
    January 1, 1970
    I love the Tracy Crosswhite series and Rovert Dugoni does not disappoint with the Peter Donley character. Father Thomas Martin has been accused of murdering one of the homeless boys his shelter has taken in for the night. Now Peter Donley must find the real killer before he is convicted for a crime that Father Thomas said he did not commit and for which Peter believes he is innocent. But who would want to kill a homeless boy and frame a priest. As he prepares for his first criminal case Peter di I love the Tracy Crosswhite series and Rovert Dugoni does not disappoint with the Peter Donley character. Father Thomas Martin has been accused of murdering one of the homeless boys his shelter has taken in for the night. Now Peter Donley must find the real killer before he is convicted for a crime that Father Thomas said he did not commit and for which Peter believes he is innocent. But who would want to kill a homeless boy and frame a priest. As he prepares for his first criminal case Peter digs deeper and deeper into the details and he finds it is bringing up from his past feelings he thought he has buried. All the while Dixon Connor the policeman who obtained evidence Peter needs to get excluded is one step ahead of them which also leads Peter to believe there is more to this crime than a Father killing a homeless boy. I would like to thank the Publisher and Net Galley for the chance to read this ARC.
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  • Tulay
    January 1, 1970
    Great fictional story."Kids, they don't do anything except get born, and then they pay the price for someone else's mistakes and disappointments." This story is about Father Martin and people around him to help him and the kids.
  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    The Seventh Canon is the requirement for an attorney to do his or her best in defending their client, regardless of guilt or innocence. This book starts off with an immensely likeable young attorney named Peter Donley. Donley works for his uncle with an odd assortment of non-paying clients but also luckily the Archdiocese of SF. He grew up with an abusive father, which makes him even more sympathetic. Then there is a murder at a shelter for young boys in the Tenderloin. The priest in charge is i The Seventh Canon is the requirement for an attorney to do his or her best in defending their client, regardless of guilt or innocence. This book starts off with an immensely likeable young attorney named Peter Donley. Donley works for his uncle with an odd assortment of non-paying clients but also luckily the Archdiocese of SF. He grew up with an abusive father, which makes him even more sympathetic. Then there is a murder at a shelter for young boys in the Tenderloin. The priest in charge is immediately charged with the murder. In fact, the detective leading the case is a total jerk, a prejudiced misogynist. This is 1987 but the detective still seems like a total two dimensional cliche. Likewise the two prosecutors. They both come across as nothing more than political animals. All the “bad guys” seem more cartoon characters than real. That said, the plot moves at a fast clip and the book is an easy, fun read. Just don't look for anything earthshaking or deep. The ending is not a big surprise. My thanks to netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    I must say that Robert Dugoni is becoming a must read for me. After reading his Tracy Crosswhite series, I knew that I wanted to check out his David Sloane novels. As luck would have it, a new book came out featuring a new character, Peter Donley. So I decided to read this one instead. Also, as it happens, this is a novel Robert started back in the 90's but had put on the back burner. I'm so glad that he didn't give up on it and finished it. This was a great legal thriller! Talk about adrenaline I must say that Robert Dugoni is becoming a must read for me. After reading his Tracy Crosswhite series, I knew that I wanted to check out his David Sloane novels. As luck would have it, a new book came out featuring a new character, Peter Donley. So I decided to read this one instead. Also, as it happens, this is a novel Robert started back in the 90's but had put on the back burner. I'm so glad that he didn't give up on it and finished it. This was a great legal thriller! Talk about adrenaline rush and going from page one and not stopping till the last page. Dugoni's writing is superb and I certainly hope that he continues with this character. Although, if its a stand alone, its still great. If you like fast-paced, legal thrillers....I highly recommend this one. **Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    Mr. Dugoni once again delivers a fast-paced police/political crime thriller. This one takes us back to 1987 when a priest is arrested for the murder of a boy who was in his shelter. Since a priest is involved, we're not too surprised when evidence of pedophilia shows up. (Not my opinion, just an unfortunate fact). However, all is not as simple as that! We are taken on a ride with some pretty awesome characters. I loved Peter, Father Tom, Uncle Lou, Ross, Sam and more. Dugoni's characterizations Mr. Dugoni once again delivers a fast-paced police/political crime thriller. This one takes us back to 1987 when a priest is arrested for the murder of a boy who was in his shelter. Since a priest is involved, we're not too surprised when evidence of pedophilia shows up. (Not my opinion, just an unfortunate fact). However, all is not as simple as that! We are taken on a ride with some pretty awesome characters. I loved Peter, Father Tom, Uncle Lou, Ross, Sam and more. Dugoni's characterizations are fully developed and you become invested in them. Lots of action to keep you turning the pages. Another great read by Robert Dugoni and I hope to see more of Peter.**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**
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  • Louise Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    A priest becomes the prime subject in the death of a minor who was staying in the shelter for homeless and troubled youths that the priest runs.The priest finds the boy's body when he went down the basement to fix a fuse. The boy had been stabbed.A young lawyer who has worked for 3 years in his uncles practice becomes the priests defence lawyer. He believes the priests innocent so to prove it and a private investigator set out to find the truth.Another great read from the author. Action packed a A priest becomes the prime subject in the death of a minor who was staying in the shelter for homeless and troubled youths that the priest runs.The priest finds the boy's body when he went down the basement to fix a fuse. The boy had been stabbed.A young lawyer who has worked for 3 years in his uncles practice becomes the priests defence lawyer. He believes the priests innocent so to prove it and a private investigator set out to find the truth.Another great read from the author. Action packed and believable characters all make a great read.I would like to thank Net Galley, Thomas & Mercer and the author Robert Dugoni for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kylie H
    January 1, 1970
    I really did enjoy this story set in San Francisco. Peter Donley is a lawyer employed by his Uncle Lou. Her has his own demons and soon becomes embroiled in a case where a priest is accused of murdering a child prostitute in his shelter. The evidence is damning but Peter stakes his career on believing Father Martin and trying to help him.The story is fast paced, but is laced with humour that enhanced the characters rather diminishing the awful crime that is unfolding. A really intriguing stand a I really did enjoy this story set in San Francisco. Peter Donley is a lawyer employed by his Uncle Lou. Her has his own demons and soon becomes embroiled in a case where a priest is accused of murdering a child prostitute in his shelter. The evidence is damning but Peter stakes his career on believing Father Martin and trying to help him.The story is fast paced, but is laced with humour that enhanced the characters rather diminishing the awful crime that is unfolding. A really intriguing stand alone novel from an author who is a great story teller.
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    Canon 7 of the ABA moral code of responsibility states “a lawyer should represent his client zealously within the bounds of the law”. Attorney Peter Donley takes it to heart but puts his own spin on just how far he should go to save his client.Father Tom Martin runs a shelter for troubled boys. When one is found murdered, the DA wastes no time naming him as the killer. Peter works with his Uncle Lou who has made a career out of defending the disadvantaged. But when Lou ends up in hospital, the c Canon 7 of the ABA moral code of responsibility states “a lawyer should represent his client zealously within the bounds of the law”. Attorney Peter Donley takes it to heart but puts his own spin on just how far he should go to save his client.Father Tom Martin runs a shelter for troubled boys. When one is found murdered, the DA wastes no time naming him as the killer. Peter works with his Uncle Lou who has made a career out of defending the disadvantaged. But when Lou ends up in hospital, the case falls to Peter & he’s quickly swept up in a conspiracy of lies, revenge & family secrets.There’s something fishy about the case & Peter hires PI Frank Ross to help with the investigation. Ross used to be a cop & knows all the players well. But there’s another layer to the story involving powerful men who will do anything to keep the truth buried & Peter is soon way out of his comfort zone.The story is set in 1987 but was written in 1996. I enjoyed this author’s Tracy Crosswhite series & it’s interesting to note the evolution of his style. Initially I found some of the other characters more compelling than Peter but as the story progressed & he began to colour outside the lines a bit, I became a fan.The addition of Frank Ross is a turning point & it’s the relationship between these 2 men that spurs the plot forward. On the outside, they couldn’t be more different. But they share a similar code of ethics & desire to uncover the truth that puts them in synch & I enjoyed their interaction. Each has a rich back story that is slowly revealed & informs their motivations. Strong secondary characters, believable dialogue & atmospheric settings add to the story. It’s a smart, fast paced legal thriller that begs the question……soooo…..Mr. Dugoni, there are 8 more canons in the ABA’s code. When can we expect the next one?
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