A review by Christine Alexander (WA)
The Judicial Family Institute welcomed our February 2009 Law and Literature speaker Gordon Campbell, a practicing lawyer, who authored Missing Witness, a fictional legal thriller.
The book is set in 1973 Scottsdale, Arizona. A beautiful woman with a gun enters a house with her twelve year old daughter. When they leave, the man inside is dead. The media, police and the attorney general's office have already declared the woman guilty. And the best trial lawyer in Scottsdale was hired to prove her innocence. The lawyer and his young associate lawyer want to win the case at any cost. There are shocking twists, unforgettable characters and mysteries as the question of guilt versus innocence takes on a profound and disturbing new meaning.
Mr. Campbell spoke to us about the process of writing this book. The setting for the book took place in an area where Mr. Campbell grew up as a child. His character development was intricate and very carefully crafted. He openly admits the junior lawyer in the book is loosely based on himself. Whereas the more experienced lawyer is modeled on a lawyer with whom he practiced. The book was written over a number of years, put to rest, then resurrected and finally finished.
The Judicial Family Institute and the Conference of Chief Justices were fortunate to gain insight into the various stages of writing a legal thriller as well as listening to an absorbing presentation.