Paul Mathry discovers his father isn’t dead after all – he’s in a high security prison where visitors are not allowed. Paul turns his back on his mother, his fiancé, and the prospect of a good job, and devotes himself to finding out if his father really is a murderer. He makes contact with the original witnesses involved in his father’s case, only to discover how thin the prosecution really was. His journey back in time is full of peril as he’s up against the powerful bigwigs of the town, those who see no sin in perverting the course of justice to suit themselves. But Paul’s dogged persistence, along with the help of new friend, Lena, and a news reporter looking for his big chance, pays off, and his father wins an appeal. Together, they manage to blow apart the original trial with solid evidence of wrong-doing. But Paul’s father, now freed from fifteen years of prison is not the kind, gentle man Paul remembers – he’s been hardened by the sheer injustice of it all and the cruel misery of prison hardship, and all seems lost until the final few pages.
This is classic Cronin; full of characters, one man fighting against all the odds and exposing how flawed the judiciary system can be. There’s always a strong feeling of integrity and honesty being played out against greed, and the worst flaws of the human condition, and every strata and class of life is well represented. Compelling, and thoroughly enjoyable.