A brutal double-murder with no eyewitnesses. A remorseless defendant with one of the city’s premier defense attorneys on his side. A young prosecutor who must systematically doubt almost everything he thinks he knows about his case if he wants to see justice done. And hovering over it all, the certain knowledge that occasionally the innocent are convicted and the guilty go free. Put these elements together, and you have the makings of a gripping crime novel.
But that novel, gripping as it would be, is precisely the book first-time author Kevin Flynn has not written. Instead, Flynn’s Relentless Pursuit gives us a view of the criminal justice system as it really functioned in a real D.C. murder case, the 1994 trial of Norman Harrell for the murders of Diane Hawkins and Katrina Harris. Flynn served as the federal prosecutor in that trial, and he writes with an emphasis on hard fact that makes his account not just a page-turner, but an eye-opener as well.