"A thoroughly entertaining page-turner." –Phillip Margolin
Leeman Hayes, a black teenager in Tulsa, is accused of brutally murdering a young woman. As attorney Ben Kincaid struggles to pull together a defense, a young boy is falling into the clutches of a child molester. Ten-year-old Abie Rutherford, lonely and desperate for approval, thinks the handsome, smiling stranger in the baseball cap might be that friend he has longed for.
When Abie Rutherford vanishes without a trace one hot summer day, Ben Kincaid, like everyone else in Tulsa, fears the worst. Then a bone-chilling discovery compels Ben to forge a link between the missing boy and the seemingly hopeless case of Leeman Hayes–thereby igniting the fuse for the most explosive courtroom case of Ben’s career.
"An enthralling murder mystery . . . The ending is both surprising and explosive." –The Sunday Oklahoman
About William Bernhardt
William Bernhardt is the author of more than twenty novels, including Primary Justice, Murder One, Criminal Intent, Death Row, Capitol Murder, Capitol Threat, Capitol Conspiracy, and Nemesis. He is one of fewer than a dozen recipients of the H. Louise… More about William Bernhardt
The authors I edit tend to attract devoted — one might even say passionate — readers. And readers who relay the depth of their passion in letters. William Bernhardt is one perennial recipient of zealous fan mail. (One admirer wrote that she has "never been much of a novel reader. In fact, the last entire book that I can remember reading was TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, when I was in high school." But a friend handed her CRUEL JUSTICE — and she "just simply could not put it down."
A more recent example of this ardor came in a letter from a U. S. Army private stationed in Bosnia:
"I’ve been in country for six months now. During the day we are occupied with all kinds of work, but at night we try to come up with anything fun that would keep our minds off the fact that we are isolated from our families, disconnected from our lives back home, and jeopardize our lives being in Bosnia. Our amusements are limited to reading, watching old movies, playing games, and listening to music. I have never been a reader. As a matter of fact, I hate reading. But after looking through our miniature library, I discovered CRUEL JUSTICE. I thought I’d give it a try. . . After reading the first five chapters of your novel, I couldn’t put it down. I read it during my breaks, during meal times, during my free time, and before going to bed. . . It took me only four days to read CRUEL JUSTICE. Now a book that’s 464 pages would usually take me at least two weeks to read. But your book is so clever that I just didn’t want to put it down. . . Thank you for sharing your talents with everyone. You have a great gift."
Needless to say, once I learned about this soldier’s enthusiasm for William Bernhardt, I arranged for copies of other Bernhardt novels to be sent his way.
–Joe Blades, Associate Publisher
Mass Market Paperback
Published by Ballantine Books Dec 28, 1996| 480 Pages| 4-3/16 x 6-7/8| ISBN 9780345408037