The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni

The 7th Canon
By Robert Dugoni

Thomas & Mercer

December, 1987. Lawyer Peter Donley is new to the job, but not inexperienced.

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“. . . a page-turning thriller with flawed heroes . . .”

When his uncle and senior partner falls ill, Donley takes on the difficult case which drops into their laps via the local Catholic Archdiocese. Father Thomas Martin runs a shelter for homeless youths in San Francisco’s infamous Tenderloin district. Now he stands accused of torturing and murdering a street boy. To add to Martin’s woes, a large quantity of child pornography was found in his office. Donley finds the matter distasteful, but knows he has to obey the Seventh Canon of the Bar Association: “A lawyer should represent a client zealously within the bounds of the law.”

Donley soon feels there’s something strange about the case. Due process was not observed at the crime scene. Witnesses vanish or run scared. Evidence is tampered with. A hard nosed veteran cop seems to have a grudge to settle against street youths. Normally ruthless DA Gil Ramsey offers a deal that would railroad Martin into a life sentence with parole instead of the death penalty. It appears someone powerful is pulling strings behind the scene to finish the case against Martin– and possibly kill Martin himself. Donley enlists Detective Frank Ross to help search out the truth behind the crime. What they discover hits too close to home for both men and puts their lives–and Donley’s family–in danger. 

In The 7th Canon, 1980’s San Fransisco comes to life as Dugoni crafts a page-turning thriller with flawed heroes and a deep knowledge of his subject.

Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews