In the spring of 2003 on a desolate stretch of Arizona highway, Anton Mackey’s life was changed forever. A reckless decision to get behind the wheel when he was in no condition to drive spawned a moment that threatened to destroy everything the 21 year-old had spent his life working toward. In an instant, Anton made a decision to save himself. A decision that claimed the lives of two people.
Eleven years later, Anton is a rising star in the Miami criminal defense community. He is married and has an infant daughter. He is earning a good living and steadily building a name for himself as an aggressive advocate for the accused. Anton shares an office with veteran defense attorney, Jack Savarese. A mentor of sorts, Anton strives to model his practice - and career - after Jack’s. A Miami criminal defense legend, Jack’s accomplishments in the courtroom are second to none. However, Jack remains burdened by the conviction of Osvaldo Garcia, a mentally-ill client from ten years earlier found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for the death of a troubled teen.
When Daniella Avery, the beautiful wife of a man accused of a heinous act of domestic violence, comes into Anton’s office seeking his services, Anton thinks he’s landed a great case with a great fee. But when he succumbs to temptation, he realizes that Daniella is a figure from his past.
Anton finds himself caught between the possibility of being exposed and the fact that his client - Daniella’s husband - may be an innocent pawn in the victim’s attempt to carry out her revenge against Anton. As Anton struggles to balance defending his client while concealing the secret he has sought to forget, he uncovers the truth behind what really happened on that highway eleven years earlier. The truth that may be connected to the conviction of Osvaldo Garcia.
Night-time in Arizona, 2003, and a Winnebago ploughs into a Honda. The rented RV’s driver is young Anton Mackey. He’d been on the Jack Daniels, his thoughts on a booty call. The crash sees him shook up but that’s nothing to the condition of the mother and son in the Honda. Presuming the occupants of the Honda to be dead, Anton decides against calling 911, a call that would end all plans he had for a legal career. Instead he must hide his crime. He torches the wreckage and heads back to his frat pals.
11 years later Anton is in Florida. A private attorney, he has the legal career. Even has his own child and wife. Then Daniella Avery hires him. She’s the beautiful wife of a man accused of a heinous act of domestic violence against her, but all is not what it seems. Anton is hired to represent the accused. Up against him is a prosecutor with a grudge who is also a long-term friend of the Judge, ‘Maximum’ Morales.
He may have killed before but that was an accident, what will happen when Anton is left with an impossible choice and forced to help convict an innocent man for life.
Anton’s past catches up with him in an unpredictable manner showing that justice is not always at the hands of the law.
This is a lengthy but pacy read with many twists and turns. The courtroom scenes are authentic, the characters interesting and complex, and the plot comes together. It’s well written and firmly rooted under the ‘legal’ and ‘thriller’ banners.
About Eric Matheny:
Eric Matheny was born in Los Angeles, California, where he lived until he went away to college at Arizona State University. At ASU he was president of Theta Chi Fraternity. He graduated with a degree in political science and moved to Miami, Florida, to attend law school at St. Thomas University. During his third year of law school, he interned for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, where he worked as a prosecutor upon graduation. In 2009, he went into private practice as a criminal defense attorney. He is a solo practitioner representing clients in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Broward County, Florida. He has handled everything from DUI to murder.
In his free time, Eric enjoys writing crime fiction, drawing from his experience working in the legal system. He published his debut novel Home in 2004, which centers around a successful drug dealer catering to the rich in Orange County. His second novel Lockdown, published in 2005, follows a law student trying to prove that an inmate serving a life sentence in one of California's toughest prisons might actually be innocent.
Eric lives outside of Fort Lauderdale with his wife and two young sons.