Rennell Price has been on death row for fifteen years and has only fifty-nine days left to live. Terri Paget is the latest and last appeal attorney on the case and Rennells last hope for a stay of execution and possibly freedom.
The story starts with a flashback as Terri interviews the now-retired detective who caught Rennell and his brother, Payton; and the now-retired prosecutor who tried them. We learn how these two gross misfits committed their horrendous crime and how their slimy, drug-addicted attorney did nothing for them.
Terri, her attorney husband, Chris, and her stepson, Carlo, a young attorney, then bring in other specialists to examine Rennells life and current mental state. They re-interview anyone associated with the trial and learn about Rennells abusive childhood, why he appears to be retarded, and why Payton was so protective of him. Payton confesses; is it the truth? Can they save Rennell?
The story goes into great detail about the California penal system, appeal system, death penalty process, the workings of the US Supreme Court and the Pagets unending efforts to save Rennell. The whole process takes a toll on the lives of the Paget family as well as Rennell.
Its a bit tedious to get through this story unless youre proficient in legalese. However, you will recognize characters from Mr. Pattersons previous novels. And it might cause you to think about the risks and benefits (if there are such things) of the death penalty.