In her opulent Pacific Heights mansion, above a city glittering in the night, Lara Ashford lies dead. A former beauty queen and the wife of a powerful ex-congressman, she was a woman who made mistakes--married to a man who made even more. Now, from all over San Francisco and across the country, cops and investigators, lawyers, and politicians, are being drawn into the most controversial case to hit the Bay Area in years. They claim they're coming for justice. But for some of them, justice will be at the ultimate price.
Grace Harris and Barrett Dickson are the two attorneys caught in the fray, clinging to their careers, their troubled lives, their shaken ideals. The trial of Elliot Ashford for the brual murder of his wife will turn them into adversaries in the courtroom, even as they find themselves dangerously close to each other outside of it.
With a key piece of evidence mysteriously vanished...with the D.A. trying to run from his secrets all the way to the Governor's mansion...and with influential people pulling strings on both sides, an innocent jury will be drawn into the cross-fire, as a case driven by personal vendettas and hidden motives erupts in violence.
For behind the headlines, the politics, and the legal maneuvering, behind the lies, the evasions, and the stunning reversals--another player is in the game: one with a front row seat, and a history of madness and murder...
In The Alternate, top trial lawyer and bestselling author John Martel combines a richly textured, morally complex portrait of a justice system spinning out of conrol and an electrifying novel of page-turning suspense.