Sheldon Siegel. The Confession (2004) 353 pp.
Publisher’s description: “San Francisco criminal defense lawyers Mike
Daley and Rosie Fernandez need a confession—but they get much more. Mike
Daley hasn’t gone to confession much since he left the priesthood twenty
years ago and became a lawyer, but that doesn’t stop his old friend and
seminary classmate, Father Ramon Aguirre, from trying to get him there.
‘It wouldn’t kill you to go to church every once in awhile,’ he says. But
it does kill someone. For several months, a ruinous sexual harassment suit
has been building against the San Francisco Catholic Archdiocese, and when
Maria Concepcion, the plaintiff’s lawyer, is found dead, an apparent suicide,
an almost audible sigh of relief is heard in certain quarters. But that
is before the police find evidence of murder. Even worse—the evidence pointes
to Father Aguirre, who has become a popular and benevolent figure in San
Francisco’s historic Mission District. Mike and his ex-wife law partner,
Rosie Fernandez, jump in to take Father Aguirre’s case, but what starts
out as difficult quickly becomes impossible as forensics, witnesses and
secrets in Father Aguirre’s past all appear to incriminate their client.
The Archdiocese has its own lawyers, and they want Mike and Rosie off the
case. Soon, Mike’s and Rosie’s wits are the only things keeping Father
Aguirre from a life sentence or worse, and that may not be enough, unless
they can conjure up a miracle of their own.”