The Murder Rule

In the slow-burning, suspenseful thriller The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan, a brilliant law student, Hannah Rokeby, infiltrates a nonprofit legal team. They are bent on overturning the conviction of Michael Dandridge, the man who killed Hannah's father and raped her mother.

Hannah is a third-year law student at the University of Maine in 2019. She manipulates her way onto the law team of the University of Virginia's Innocence Project. The director of the team, Robert M. Parekh, becomes impressed by her craftiness. Hannah's motives are unclear, but diary entries from Laura Rokeby, Hannah's mother, shed light on her reasons. According to the diary, Dandridge killed Hannah's father and raped Laura 25 years ago. Local authorities didn't believe Laura, and Dandridge was never charged. Parekh believes Michael Dandridge was wrongly convicted of a different murder-rape, driving Hannah's urge to join Parekh's team. The team's only shot at a retrial is fast approaching; Parekh's legal professionals and law students are desperately seeking evidence to overturn Dandridge's conviction. Bolstered by her mother's narrative, Hannah is equally committed to stopping them from within. Neither Hannah nor Parekh are able to see the truth of what happened. Relationships will be ripped asunder and much blood will be spilled before the stunning conclusion.

In her first stand-alone thriller, McTiernan (The Ruin) takes inspiration from the real-life story of a law student who worked at the Innocence Project. The novel's version of events is filled with twists and turns aplenty and will keep readers engrossed all the way to the explosive finale. --Paul Dinh-McCrillis, freelance reviewer

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