Dan Gordon. Murder in the First (1995) 239 pp. [pbo]
Publisher’s description: “Alcatraz. The prison fortress off the coast of San Francisco. No man had gotten out alive before his time was up, until a 20-year-old petty thief named Willie Moore broke out. Recaptured, then thrown into a pitch-black hellhole for three agonizing years, Willie is driven to near-madness by a sadistic warden, and finally, to a brutal killing. Now, up on first-degree murder charges, he must wrestle with his nightmares and forge an alliance with Henry Davidson, the embattled lawyer who will risk losing his career and the woman he loves in a desperate bid to save Willie from the gas chamber. Together, Willie and Henry will dare the most impossible act of all: get Willie off on a savage crime that the system drove him to commit—and put Alcatraz itself on trial.” Novelization of the 1995 film starring Christian Slater, Kevin Bacon, and Gary Oldman, directed by Marc Rocco. Based on the screenplay by Dan Gordon.
Setting: Alcatraz; San Francisco