Conviction an imaginative Wild West tale
THE CONVICTION. By Robert Dugoni. Touchstone. 372 pages. $25.
“The Conviction” begins with an out-of-control teenage boy, Jake, stepson of lawyer David Sloane, who is a familiar character to Robert Dugoni’s fans.
Threatened with incarceration if he does not shape up, Jake has to go through rehab for substance abuse.
Beforehand, Sloane decides that he and Jake should get away for a while.
He teams up with an old cop friend and his teenage son to take a trip into what was once the Gold Rush country in the High Sierras of California.
On the first night, the two boys are arrested for breaking into the local general store.
Without their fathers’ knowledge, they are whisked off to the courthouse, tried and sentenced by a rogue judge and sent to a remote rehab boot camp called Fresh Start, where they suffer much cruel and unusual punishment.
A lightweight, fast-moving tale, there is much to stretch the imagination from the many improbabilities to the cliched Wild West characters.
Courtroom scenes are well done and so is the portrayal of the wild country up in the California Sierras.
Reviewer Frances Monaco, a writer based in Charleston