Special Circumstances marks the debut of a notably gifted new writer. Siegel writes with passion, intelligence, and an easy good humor that move his complex narrative forward at breakneck speed. He is, on the evidence available so far, a natural storyteller and a welcome addition to the constantly expanding ranks of Lawyers Who Also Write. Readers who admire Scott Turow and John Grisham should take this novel to their hearts. Special Circumstances is the real thing, and comes highly recommended to anyone with an interest in legal thrillers, novels of suspense, and involving, expertly constructed fiction of any sort.
Special Circumstances is simultaneously a courtroom drama, a murder mystery, an examination of the legal profession at its best and worst, and a complex presentation of characters caught at critical moments in their personal and professional lives. At the heart of it all stands Michael Daley: a decent man, a gifted advocate, and a chronic underachiever who has drifted aimlessly through the central passages of his life. After unsuccessfully adopting a series of identities -- as priest, husband, public defender, corporate attorney -- he finds, in the Friedman trial, an occasion he can finally rise to. The movement of the trial toward its dramatic, hard-earned resolution parallels Daley’s own progress toward a coherent, if provisional, accommodation with the circumstances of his own life.
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