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Father fights to save his son in 'The Conviction'

Father fights to save his son in 'The Conviction'

"The Conviction" (Touchstone), by Robert Dugoni

June 12th, 2012 by JEFF AYERS, For The Associated Press in News

One of the best legal thriller writers in the business unleashes another stellar effort with "The Conviction."

Lawyer David Sloane never loses. His approach and commitment to his cases have consistently delivered positive results for his clients. But his job has caused a rift in his family and now his son, Jake, is in trouble. Jake blames his father for the death of his mother, and the teen begins to act out through alcoholic binges and petty crimes. Sloane tries to help, but Jake seems to be a lost cause.

Sloane takes Jake on a camping trip, hoping to heal their relationship. That night, Jake and another boy are caught vandalizing a store. The judge overseeing their case orders them to spend six months in a boot camp. Sloane arrives in the courtroom after the sentencing. It's too late to say goodbye to his son.

The horror is just beginning, not only for Sloane but also for Jake. The detention center has its own set of rules, and some of the boys who don't fit in end up dead.

"The Conviction" not only examines the dynamics of the father-son relationship, but also the pros and cons of privatization of the justice system. While Jake suffers the harsh reality of a facility worse than a federal penitentiary, Sloane discovers he cannot win.

The names John Grisham and Scott Turow are mentioned when discussing the legal thriller genre. Robert Dugoni is as good, if not better.