Two Lost Boys

Death Row lawyer L.F. Robertson makes her debut with a powerful story of secrets, fidelity and a fatally flawed judicial system. Robertson's protagonist, Janet Moodie, is an appeals lawyer. Following her husband's suicide, Janet swore off the high-stakes capital cases to maintain her sanity, but a death row appeals attorney approaches her for help when she "was feeling disenchanted with what I was doing instead."

Andy Hardy and his brother Emory were convicted of kidnapping three prostitutes and killing two of them. Andy was sentenced to death while Emory received life in prison. Right away Janet identifies weaknesses in Andy's case. She has no doubt Andy was complicit in these heinous crimes, but his original attorney seemed to make no effort to save him from being condemned to die. What starts out as typical appellate work with a lot of boilerplate reports Janet can complete on auto-pilot turns into an intense investigation that unearths dark secrets some people would rather never saw the light of day.

Two Lost Boys is a bold mystery, and a critical examination of capital punishment and the justice system. Robertson's insider knowledge of this emotionally taxing subset of the legal system enables her to communicate the complicated processes without bogging down readers with excessive jargon or slowing down her plot with unnecessary detail. And through Janet's competence and compassion, Robertson authentically depicts the humanity of the condemned without discounting or ridiculing legitimate concerns of citizens. Two Lost Boys is an all-around stellar debut. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

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