John Lescroart. The Second Chair (2004) 400 pp.
In San Francisco, Laura Wright and her drama teacher Mr. Mooney are
killed in his apartment. Laura’s lover, Andrew Bartlett, the father of
her unborn child is arrested two months after the double homicide and charged
with special circumstances murder. Amy Wu, an associate in the law firm
in which Dismas Hardy is the managing partner, takes the case even though
she believes her client is guilty. With his parents’ permission, Amy plea
bargains for her seventeen year old client so that he will plead guilty
if he’s charged as a minor. She explains to Andrew that he will be remanded
to a juvenile youth facility for eight years and then would be a free man.
Andrew agrees to Amy’s suggestion since the evidence against him is so
overwhelming, but at the last minute he declares his innocence. Dismas
takes a more active role in the case, seeking evidence, interviewing witnesses
and acting as second chair in Andrew’s upcoming hearing.