Picks and Pans Review: Special Circumstances

updated 03/13/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/13/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Sheldon Siegel

This sophomoric exercise in lawyer-bashing revolves around the trial of a defense attorney who stands accused of murdering two partners in a posh, profitable San Francisco firm teeming with ruthless, greedy and unprincipled megalomaniacs. Though the novel's ostensible hero, Mike Daley, is less consumed by status and money than most, he's not encumbered by ethical considerations either, going so far as condoning kidnapping by his investigators and protecting the identity of a murderer when it serves Daley's purpose. Siegel, a corporate lawyer, does manage to keep the plot moving. However, he borrows far too heavily from the O.J. Simpson trial and is overly enamored of such pop culture touchstones as Seinfeld. And he's no literary stylist—unless you consider endless exchanges of "Objection!" "Overruled!" a form of poetry. (Bantam, $25)

Bottom Line: Indefensibly lame

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