"The Call" is fictitious representation of real life incidents, personalities, and issues confronted by the author, a retired California judge, while presiding over trials. A must-read, this is a captivating story that will have great appeal for those interested in the topical issues of abortion and the death penalty, as well as a judge's role in cases involving those issues. However, this is also a book for all who just like an intriguing tale with fascinating characters and themes of sex, love, and commitment.
In this novel, a judge is presiding over a case, entitled the People v. John Fitzgerald. The defendant is a young Irish-American, the son of another judge, charged with murdering a doctor and a nurse about to perform an abortion on a beautiful, older woman pregnant with his child. The prosecutor, an ambitious and attractive Assistant D.A., whose history with the judge makes him wonder whether he should undertake the case to begin with, is seeking the death penalty. The defendant is represented by an Ivy League African-American Public Defender, who gambles that the judge's character and background is such that he will ultimately save his client from the death penalty, even if the jury doesn't. The trial is attended by numerous pro-life and pro-choice proponents, and draws much media attention.
The judge must address numerous trial management and legal issues posed by the case, as well as by attempts by others to influence his decisions and by a staff not always in harmony with his rulings. More critically, the case ultimately requires him to choose between what he personally thinks the result of the trial should be and what the law provides, a conflict with which judges are often presented. The choice he makes in the case, just as he did, at an earlier time, when he resisted the advances of the young Assistant D.A., might not surprise you once you learn his name.