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Triple Jeopardy: A Daniel Pitt Novel


Triple Jeopardy: A Daniel Pitt Novel

It is hard to believe that this is only the second book featuring young lawyer Daniel Pitt. The writing is so smooth and the characters are so familiar that readers will easily fall deep into this latest entry by the second page. This is not due to the fact that Daniel is the son of Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, the lead characters in one of Anne Perry’s long-running series, but rather is a testimony to her skill as a masterful plotter and mystery writer.

TRIPLE JEOPARDY begins as a seemingly slam-dunk court case but then snowballs into something far larger. It becomes less a courtroom drama and more a character- and clue-driven mystery that harkens to the finest work of the late Dame Agatha Christie. The story opens with Daniel reuniting with his sister, Jemima, who he has not seen in several years due to her moving to the United States (or “Colonies,” as it is referred to back in 1910). He also had never met her American husband, Patrick, or his two young nieces. It turns out that Patrick has been looking forward to meeting his brother-in-law for ulterior reasons.

"Anne Perry has always been one of the best writers out there at depicting the intensity of the courtroom, but never before have I seen her combine a deeply layered mystery with jaw-dropping courtroom revelations."

Patrick is a police officer working in the Washington, D.C. area. Shortly after being introduced to Daniel, he pulls him aside to speak privately about a situation concerning a member of the British embassy in the U.S. A wealthy and important family from D.C., the Thorwoods, has become friendly with Patrick and Jemima. It appears that their young daughter, Rebecca, was assaulted in her bedroom and had an expensive pendant ripped from her neck. Her father, Tobias, swears that the man he saw running from their home following the attack was Philip Sidney, a British diplomat. Not only is Sidney allegedly being tied to the Thorwood assault, he also has fled the U.S. for a return to the U.K., where it seems he is going to face charges that he has been embezzling funds from the British embassy.

Jemima and Patrick ask Daniel if he would consider taking on Sidney's embezzlement case, knowing that it would open things up to the bigger charge of assault against Rebecca. Daniel is all for it but needs to sell his law firm on the idea. The head of the firm, Marcus fford Croft, warns him that he better not be planning to defend someone while at the same time serving as judge, jury and executioner for the unsuspecting client. He also is not pleased to find out that Daniel had reached out to Roman Blackwell, a murder defendant Daniel had represented in TWENTY-ONE DAYS, and forcefully reminds him that his duty is to the law first and foremost, not to family and friends.

Daniel teams up with a more experienced attorney, Toby Kitteridge, who does not want to touch the Sidney case. However, TRIPLE JEOPARDY is not so much about the courtroom drama but rather the information Daniel and some of his colleagues are turning up outside the courtroom. Especially helpful to Daniel is Miriam, his boss’s daughter. A Doctor of Forensic Pathology, Miriam looks at things from a distinctly different angle, which proves to be quite valuable to Daniel. It also opens his eyes wide open to what looks like a huge conspiracy to railroad Sidney in an effort to hide far bigger crimes.

When Morley Cross, a young man from the British embassy in D.C., is found floating in the Potomac River, all eyes go back to Sidney to determine if he was even in the country at the time of the murder. For Daniel and Miriam, it appears that this act was committed to silence someone who might be able to reveal what was actually going on and clear Sidney in the process. Daniel doesn't know who to trust and even has some doubts about the motivation of his brother-in-law in initially seeking to take down Sidney. Ironically, it seems that everything might be tied to the accidental death of a wealthy, elderly woman named May Trelawny, who resided far away from the action happening inside the London courthouse.

The final chapters in the courtroom are a thing of beauty, but readers are going to have to lay down their hard-earned cash to pick up a copy of TRIPLE JEOPARDY and find out for themselves how this potboiler of a mystery and legal thriller ends. Anne Perry has always been one of the best writers out there at depicting the intensity of the courtroom, but never before have I seen her combine a deeply layered mystery with jaw-dropping courtroom revelations. This series is off to a very strong start and may begin pushing aside her Charlotte & Thomas Pitt and William Monk novels to the back row of the courthouse as the spotlight shines brighter on young Mr. Pitt once again.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on April 19, 2019

Triple Jeopardy: A Daniel Pitt Novel
by Anne Perry