Loose Among the Lambs

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Chris Davis, an alleged serial child molester, turns himself in to District Attorney Mark Blackwell in a very public way just before election time. It all looks good for Blackwell until Davis goes to trial where he is supposed to plead guilty. Instead, he claims he did not commit the crime.

Blackwell believes him and begins an investigation. Soon he discovers that the real molester may be none other than Davis’ attorney, Austin Paley. The problem is, Paley is a well-respected attorney, and he has a lot of powerful friends who do everything they can to get Blackwell off Paley’s trail. Even Blackwell’s star witness—a child allegedly molested by Paley—suddenly changes his mind. Blackwell figures a payoff has been made, but there is little he can do except begin all over again.

Austin Paley tries his own way of dissuading Blackwell from pursuing the investigation. Paley hints at crimes committed long ago—an arson resulting in a little-reported death that points to several well-placed politicians. Paley claims he has been set up since he is one of the few people who knows the investors involved in the arson scheme. He tells Blackwell that he would be happy to tell what he knows about that long-ago crime, if only Blackwell drops the child molestation charges.

The book has plot twists that keep on going all the way to the end of the book, with bits and pieces strewn along the way that keep the reader going until the highly satisfying end.