THE EXPERT

 

The Expert cover From the Dutton Books jacket...

Rebecca Verona, a Los Angeles attorney with a growing reputation for winning lawsuits involving advanced technology, is handed a career-making case: a prominent Silicon Valley chip manufacturer has been indicted by the US government for making highly advanced superchips and illegally selling them to mainland China.

But there's a catch: two years before, Rebecca had a short-lived but disastrous affair with the president of the company, James Perrein, against whom she has since born an unrelenting hatred. His reasons for wanting her to represent him are characteristically selfish, and not entirely convincing, but Rebecca bows to veiled threats from her managing partner and takes the case.

Only after she agrees does she discover the real reason Perrein wants her as his lawyer: the US Attorney prosecuting the case, David Zuckerman, is the man Rebecca left when she began the affair with Perrein two years ago. Perrein believes Zuckerman will not pursue the case against him with his customary vigor if Zuckerman's former lover, Rebecca, is the defending attorney.

So now Rebecca finds herself forced to defend a man she despises against a prosecutor she's never really gotten over. Worse still, she hires the most renowned computer chip scientist in the world to be an expert witness for the defense, and, as the trial progresses, she comes to have doubts about his ability to effectively present their side of the story.

Rebecca was a figure-skating prodigy in her younger years, living under the cold and emotionally oppressive dominance of her uncle following the untimely death of her father. Overshadowed by her more talented younger sister, Rebecca's personality was shaped by a continual series of progressively escalating humiliations and rejections. The psychological damage she suffered surfaces periodically in episodes of seemingly self-destructive behavior she is powerless to control. And under the intense pressure of the heady mix of exotic technology, interpersonal confusion and an overwhelming desire to win this case, those pressures threaten to overwhelm her and ruin her blossoming career.

As in all of Lee Gruenfeld's previous works, the psychologies of the characters contain the keys to solving the central puzzle. Rebecca's odyssey to save her case as well as her soul is an intricate blend of science, law and personal discovery that races forward to a stunning and satisfying conclusion that will leave you breathless.

 

Dutton Books, 1998
ISBN 0-525-94406-0; 464 pp.
Hardcover: US$24.95

75,000-copy first printing.

Click here to read Chapter One of The Expert.
Click here for review excerpts.

Reminder:
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The softcover edition

Dutton Books, 1998
ISBN 0-451-18807-1; 512 pp.
Hardcover: US$6.99

350,000-copy first printing.

 

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