An icon's life implodes—at two in the morning
World renowned, revered actor Aaron Julian is awakened at two a.m. by his agent who informs him that he has been accused of sexual harassment. Young actresses will break the story on prime-time TV that morning—with their lawyer, the attorney who led the charge in the priests' sexual abuse cases.
Aaron and his celebrity pop-singer wife, Veda, vehemently deny the charges, and hire powerful defense lawyer Raquel Rematti. But when the plaintiffs' lawyer is murdered in Central Park, the stakes sky-rocket and the conspiracies spiral out of control.
Despite revelation after revelation, Aaron continues to proclaim his innocence. And in his defense, Rematti uses every tool in the legal system to produce courtroom drama that is unparalleled.
The outcome—impossible to predict—is guaranteed to stun and to linger with you for a long time.
Fans of John Grisham and Scott Turow will devour this cutting-edge thriller
I do like a bit of crime when it focuses on legal matters, lawyers and the justice system. I just don't read enough of it. Accusation was a fantastic read and another reminder of what I'm missing by ignoring this trope of crime fiction.
Accusation is the third in Paul Batista's Raquel Rematti series but I didn't get any sense of missing out from not having read either of the previous two. Defense lawyer, Rematti is hired by rich actor, Aaron Julian after he has been accused of inappropriate behaviour towards several young women he has encountered either during film work, auditions or in the social scene surrounding his job and celebrity.
Aaron denies the allegations vehemently, but mud sticks and it's hard to prove a negative, especially when judged in the court of public opinion. His accuser's lawyer gets murdered and Julian is dragged deeper into the mire on the periphery of a murder investigation.
Justice, celebrity, #MeToo, investigations, targets, press releases, court battles, TV interviews, data mining, provocative photos, marital pressures, lawyerly advice and tactics, police stings, escalations, corruption, deceit, Grand Jury sittings, evidence fabrication, whistleblowing, and a helluva lot more besides.
I really enjoyed this one. It's a topical subject and it's a bit of an eye opener, in respect of how perceptions of people can be manipulated by how a story is presented in the media. It was also interesting seeing the lengths some in authority will go to try and secure a conviction. I'm always ready to believe the worst of people in positions in power. For a short book, it's fast-moving and very busy.
I liked the main character.... her calm outlook her wisdom, her capabilities. I enjoyed the dynamics between her and the accused, Aaron Julian and also with Julian, his wife and his manager-cum-fixer.
4.5 from 5
Read - August, 2021
Published - 2022
Page count - 224
Source - review copy from Edelweiss - Above the Treeline site
Format - Kindle