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Published By Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Publish Date: April, 2009


Hardcover, US $24.95

Wrongful Death

In New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni's most intense and compelling legal thriller yet, attorney David Sloane returns to uncover a ruthless conspiracy that reaches farther and deeper than anything he could have imagined...

Just minutes after winning a $1.6 million wrongful death verdict, attorney David Sloane confronts the one case that threatens to blemish his unbeaten record in the courtroom. Beverly Ford wants Sloane to sue the United States Government and Military in the mysterious death of her husband James, a National Guardsman killed in Iraq. While a decades old military doctrine might make Ford's case impossible to win, Sloane, a former soldier himself, is compelled to find justice for the widow and her four children in what is certain to become the biggest challenge of his career.

With little hard evidence to go on, Sloane calls on his friend, reclusive former CIA agent turned private investigator Charles Jenkins, to track down the other men serving with Ford the night he died. Alarmingly, two of the four who returned home alive didn't stay that way for long, and though the mission's wheelchair-bound commander now works for a civilian contractor, he refuses to talk. The final and youngest soldier is also the most elusive, but he's their only shot at discovering the truth if Sloane and Jenkins can keep him alive long enough to tell it.

Meanwhile, Sloane isn't the only one on a manhunt. As he propels his case into a federal courtroom, those seeking to hide the truth threaten Sloane's family, forcing his new wife Tina and stepson Jake into hiding where they become the targets of a relentless killer. Now Sloane must race to uncover what really happened on that fatal mission, not only to bring justice to a family wronged, but to keep himself and the people closest to him from becoming the next casualties...

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of bestseller Dugoni's fast-paced second legal thriller to feature Seattle attorney David Sloane (after The Jury Master), the plaintiff's lawyer, who's won an astonishing 18 jury verdicts in a row, agrees to take on a wrongful-death claim with a strong emotional tug. Beverly Ford, the widow of a national guardsman killed during the second Iraq War, is convinced her husband perished as a result of inadequate body armor. Sloane soon learns that established case law makes the prospect of victory over the federal government practically impossible. When the lawyer discovers that other members of Ford's platoon have died under strange circumstances since returning to the U.S., he begins to suspect a conspiracy to conceal the truth. While Dugoni does a good job of conveying litigation tactics, predictable situations—Sloane's crusade endangers his wife and stepson—are a reminder that the author's forte is page-turning action, not imaginative plotting. (Apr.) 

From Booklist

David Sloane, the hotshot lawyer hero of Dugoni’s first novel, Jury Master (2006), returns. Now living in Seattle with his wife and stepson, he finds that his ability to win difficult cases has not diminished. When the widow of a man who died in Iraq asks him to take her case, Sloane can’t refuse, even though no one has ever successfully sued the U.S. government for wrongful death during a time of war and won. Facing impossible odds, Sloane starts to investigate, slowly unraveling a conspiracy that will threaten him and everyone he loves. Dugoni has improved dramatically since his first book, and this one is his best yet, mixing the suspense of a Grisham legal thriller with the political angle of a Baldacci. Dugoni is knocking on the A-list legal-thriller door and can be expected to gain entrance sooner rather than later. --Jeff Ayers

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