Final Argument

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Ted Jaffe was once a highly successful prosecuting attorney in Jacksonville, Florida. He was so successful, in fact, that he was ultimately persuaded to abandon public service for a highly lucrative position with a prestigious private firm. Even as Jaffe begins to reap the rewards commensurate with his new station, however, his personal and professional life begins to unravel.

He learns that his beloved son Darryl is a drug addict, and he and his wife Toba must cope with a parent’s most demanding challenge. At the same time, a chance encounter calls into question the innocence of the last person he prosecuted: Largely because of Jaffe’s talent, Darryl Morgan was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of wealthy real estate developer Solomon Zide. Then Jaffe discovers that a detective on the case fabricated testimony which helped to send Morgan to Death Row.

Of all the individuals he prosecuted during his career, Jaffe was least inclined to question Morgan’s guilt. Still, his conscience will not allow him to ignore the new information, and here opens the case before Morgan is electrocuted for a crime he may not have committed.

To further complicate matters, Jaffe had an adulterous relationship with Solomon Zide’s wife, Connie. Admittedly, he terminated the affair before the murder occurred, but Jaffe is cognizant that sleeping dogs must needs be ignored. Nevertheless, despite the risk to himself jaffe must try to prove the innocence of the very man he sent to prison.

Clifford Irving once again demonstrates that he is able to pique a reader’s curiosity and sustain that emotion until the last page is turned. FINAL ARGUMENT is destined to add new laurels to Irving’s considerable reputation as a novelist.