Disillusioned with her corporate legal career, attorney Charlotte Ambler volunteers to handle the final appeal of Christopher Ritter, a Florida death row inmate whose execution is imminent. Ritter had been a prominent biologist before being convicted ten years earlier for the brutal murder of a prostitute. He denies killing the woman but is tormented by guilt for other, secret transgressions. The only appeal he will allow is to prove that he is innocent—a kind of appeal which is almost impossible to win.
Ritter claims he was framed by a shadowy figure named Craft, but as Charlotte studies the evidence she concludes that Ritter is a dangerous psychopath who should not go free. Then a piece of evidence turns up that confirms a key part of his story. Pursuing her investigation, she is thwarted by hidden forces that seem determined to see him executed. In a race against the clock, she searches for the elusive Craft and finds herself in the cross-hairs of a psychopathic killer.
THE DEVIL’S CHAPLAIN is a gripping tale of deception and self-deception, betrayal and violence, in which lawyer and client find common ground in their quest for justice and human values.
“A riveting story that hinges on clues so elusive that the tension is exquisite.” – Midwest Book Review
“Brilliant… A highly entertaining mystery with a heroine as compelling as she is gutsy.” — Ken Bruen
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Bruce Hartman is the author of seven previous novels, including The Rules of Dreaming, The Philosophical Detective, and, most recently, Potlatch: A Comedy. A graduate of Wesleyan University and Harvard Law School, he lives with his wife in Philadelphia.