Gene Lyons
September 05, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Key Witness

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
J.F. Freedman
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B

No sooner has corporate litigator Wyatt Matthews won the biggest lawsuit of his career than he suffers a spasm of middle-aged idealism and volunteers to spend six months in the public defender’s office. His first client is a teenage black stickup artist accused of being the ”Alley Slasher,” a rapist and serial killer. As he confronts a mountain of circumstantial evidence and a cunning jailhouse snitch, Matthews must also contend with his society wife’s outrage over his involvement with the case. Despite the ingenious plot, Key Witness won’t win any writing prizes; the dialogue often reads like a poor translation from an unknown foreign language. Still, J.F. Freedman exhibits the kind of raw storytelling power that keeps readers turning pages deep into the night. B

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