The affluent bedroom community of Chestnut Hills is rocked when two of its residents are savagely beaten and raped, stirring horrid memories of a similar, unsolved attack that lead to the victim’s suicide 10 years earlier.
When a routine traffic stop leads to the arrest of Sonny Marx, a wily conman with a lurid past (and a trunkful of incriminating evidence), a door is opened, exposing the community’s vile underbelly, and the tainted hands of those who feed it.
Frank Marino, the morally stunted henchman and top goon for Anthony Ricci, the reputed crime boss of Southeastern Michigan, whose obsession for control over all things illegal, is surpassed only by his obsession to find, and kill, Billy Maxwell, a local drug dealer who murdered his only son before disappearing for parts unknown. Gene Baxter, the underbred but overbearing entrepreneur, far more interested in hosting S&M parties for the city’s well-connected than he is running a legitimate business, or doting on his wife and kids. Michelle “Mickey” Langford, whose push to be elected District Attorney stemmed as much from being sexually assaulted as a teenager, as it did from needing to fill the void left by her broken marriage. Danny Cranston, the one-time cop turned prosecutor, known more for his enthusiastic approach to enforcing the law, than he is in understanding it. Richard Beckett, the seemingly distinguished judge, concerned only with the appearance of impropriety, not the scope of it.
And contentious brothers, Andrew and Ethan Rivers. One, a dogmatic prosecutor who will stop at nothing, absolutely nothing, to beat his brother in court, never mind securing a rape conviction against Sonny Marx – one, a criminal defense attorney whose celebrated prominence is due, in no small measure, to the ruthless means he’ll employ to earn an acquittal… any acquittal.
Before the trial grinds to a close, however, a devastating secret will be unlocked – a secret one brother will endure, and one will not.
A secret that will prey upon an entire community.
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Robert Jaxx is an attorney and author. He lives of the shores of Lake Michigan with his wife and daughters. His new thriller Sunset House will soon be followed by two more novels – Sparrow’s Garden, which is scheduled for release in April, 2018, and, The Cracked, which is tentatively scheduled for release in February, 2019.