Witness for the Dead by Michael Fredrickson

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Inspired by a true case in Boston, Michael Fredrickson's Witness for the Dead is a powerful and realistic new novel that will be this year's outstanding legal thriller. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is breaking apart Boston's Italian Mafia. The once powerful mob a lead by Larry "The Rabbit" is now in shambles. And the FBI has just brought in Arthur Patch, a young Boston restaurateur whose establishment is well known for its authentic Sicilian cuisine. Arthur might have information that will bring down Larry on a charge of loansharking.

But Arthur wants to cut a deal with the Feds, and that deal does not involve betraying The Rabbit." Arthur knows who the FBI's leading informant is, and backed by his lawyer, Jimmy Morrissey, Arthur threatens to let this information become public unless he is given leniency. Morrissey, acting on his own, lets the story slip to the press, and the resulting publicity is blistering. Heads will roll within the FBI and the Boston underworld. And the snitch is on the run.

The most powerful mobster in the underworld, and brother to the Governor of Massachusetts, Butchy Crimmins has brought down many powerful men in the Boston underworld. For years, the acknowledged head of the Boston Irish mob has been given free reign by his friends in the Bureau for information against his Italian Mafia counterparts who control parts of the city. That free reign gave Butchy freedom to kill, extort, steal, and kidnap-a reign of terror that has been deliberately ignored by the FBI in its war with La Cosa Nostra.

Now Butchy is on the run with his girlfriend, Mavis Reiley with the FBI, the District Attorney, and the criminal underworld of Boston all on his trail. The only way to bring Butchy down is to get Mavis to reveal her whereabouts. If she falls for the trick, who will get there first? And who, if anyone, will survive the collision?


About Michael Fredrickson

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Michael Fredrickson was born in rural Minnesota. He received his B.A. from Macalester College, studied English literature at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and at the University of Toronto. He worked as a college professor, a hippy farmer, an auto mechanic, a lumberjack, a bar musician, and a singing telegrapher before obtaining his law degree from Harvard Law School. Fredrickson spent five years working in a large Boston law firm before becoming general counsel to the state agency that polices lawyers in Massachusetts. He has also taught legal ethics and other subjects at Boston law schools. His fascination with the ethical dilemmas lawyers face is evident his crime novels, particularly" A Cinderella Affidavit" (1999) and "A Defense for the Dead" (2004). His second novel, "A Witness for the Dead" (2001), was a Boston Globe bestseller and the biggest seller of the year at Spencer's Mystery Bookshop in Boston. Fredrickson lives with his wife and son in the Boston area. He summers on Cape Cod and still returns regularly to visit friends and family in Minnesota. He has participated both as a teacher and as a student in the Demos Writers' Workshop.
Published May 1, 2001 by Forge. 384 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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With the help of his lawyer, Jimmy Morrissey, Arthur cuts a deal—he agrees to remain silent about the collaboration between fugitive Irish mob boss Tommy Crimmins and the FBI, and in return the subpoena is thrown out.

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