Starred Review. This stellar legal thriller from
bestseller Patterson (Exile) both informs and entertains. On the
eve of getting a divorce, Damon Pierce, a 40-year-old partner in a huge
San Francisco, Calif., law firm, who specializes in international
litigation, e-mails Marissa Brand, a woman he was once in love with in
college, to update her on his life. Marissa is married to Bobby Okari, a
firebrand reformer whose Nigeria-like country, Luandia, is awash in oil.
With these riches come the usual scenarios: ecological disasters, a
brutal dictator with murderous henchmen, a rapacious foreign oil company
and an oppressed populace. After everyone in Okari's village is
slaughtered, Bobby is arrested for the lynching of three oil workers.
Damon, because he's a good man and because he's still in love with
Marissa, signs on to defend Bobby from the bogus charge. Patterson has
exerted all his considerable skill in creating a nightmare atmosphere
that will cling to readers long after the last page is turned. Author
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