With a solid plot and appealing characters, the 12th book in Bernhardt's Ben Kincaid legal series demonstrates why this long-standing series has remained popular for more than a decade.

DEATH ROW tells the story of Ray Goldman, who was convicted seven years ago of the murder of Frank Faulkner, his wife and six of his children. Only 15-year-old Erin survived, and her testimony led to Ray's conviction. Appeals have run their course, and Goldman is minutes away from execution. But just before the lethal injection, Kincaid's final appeal is successful, and a reprieve is granted. Kincaid and partner Christina McCall have 30 days to prove Ray's innocence and save his life. Concurrently, homicide detectives Michael Morelli and Kate Baxter are investigating a new case that appears to be a suicide— but there are indications that it could be linked to the Faulkner case and its perpetrator.

The plot effectively alternates between the legal scene of Kincaid and McCall and the procedural environs of Morelli and Baxter. The characters are as interesting as the plot, and the result is a story that holds the reader's attention from the outset until the dramatic conclusion. (Jun., 320 pp., $25.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jo Peters