BOOK REVIEW: BEACH ROAD
In the very exclusive section of Beach Road in East Hampton, New York live many rich folks that could care less about the rest of the world. Being white, most of these people don’t normally see a black person in the area. One exception is a mansion owned by movie star T. Smitty Wilson. Wilson has built a regulation size basketball court for his friends to use. The friends vary from ex-NBA stars to current prospects for the pros or college, guys that are too good to play a regular street game of basketball. White or black, they play, many times against each other while letting tempers and pride flare. Wilson rarely was home but the stars along with other famous people such as movie stars were welcome to use his court anytime.
Dante Halleyville is one of the brightest prospects. He was expected to draw a huge bonus and salary at draft time. Dante was only in high school but could match the moves and actions of the best and was happy to demonstrate his high level of play. Tom Dunleavy was a former professional athlete that took full advantage of playing with “the best” on the court. Tom is now a defense attorney in the Hamptons. These games became so intense, sometimes causing tempers to flare many times.
One day during the brutal battles on the court a fight broke out. This was no ordinary fight so the others standing around watching should have tried to break it up, but they took no action. Michael Walker drove in for a basket and contact all around started more shoving and pushing. As Tom Dunleavy tried to break it up, Michael Walker appeared with a gun in his hand and pointed it at the side of one of the other boys’ head. Tom did all he could to get Walker calmed down, finally being successful. Everyone then left the area thinking all was over.
When three of the boys that were on the court that day were found murdered execution style, everyone tried to figure the mess out. Then when Michael Walker was also found dead, the police knew they had a real tough investigation ahead. Immediately Dante Halleyville was arrested for the four murders. A gun was found with his fingerprints all over it. Dante’s grandmother, Marie, knows Dante could not have killed anyone and Tom knows Dante was not guilty either. Tom, even though he is an attorney, is not very adept at criminal law and is reluctant to take Dante’s case but Marie talks him into defending Dante.
An old flame of Tom’s, Katherine Costello, is also an attorney that works for a large firm. She has a falling out with her employer and combines with Tom to defend Dante. The two of them start digging into all the evidence connected to both shootings. The chemistry gets very interesting between Tom and Kate at times, but their defense of Dante is first and foremost on their minds. Several key police officers and detectives, the prosecuting attorneys, the Coroner, and other friends and enemies of Dante and the murdered boys, interact throughout the book. The action is fast and furious with many unexpected twists and turns. When you think you are at the end of the case you have another curve or two thrown at you. This is a very good story that picks up steam as it goes on. I will not tell any more so you can enjoy this good read.
REVIEWED BY CY HILTERMAN
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