by Edith Cody-Rice
Beverley McLachlin, the former chief justice of Canada retired at the end of 2017 and not only has she been busy judging at an international arbitration court, she has turned her hand to fiction, specifically to two thrillers and a memoir. All are good, but here I am reviewing her latest thriller, Denial. In this book, a second in the Jilly Truit series, Beverley handles the fraught question of assisted death. She knows whereof she speaks, having been on the Supreme Court of Canada when major MAID (medical assistance in dying) decisions were before that court.
Jilly Truit, the protagonist in this and her first thriller Full Disclosure, is a Vancouver criminal defence lawyer with an unhappy history as a child of foster care. She has fought her gritty way to success in a tough, male dominated field. In Full Disclosure, she is a young defence attorney making her name. In this novel, she has achieved a successful practice and is asked by a senior lawyer to take on the case of his uncooperative wife who has been charged with the mercy killing of her mother.
The treatment is articulate, knowledgeable, and puts you squarely in the action. It is, in fact, a page turner and a book to read before the fire with a glass on wine over the Christmas season. I doubt you will guess the outcome. It is amazing how someone who has written eloquent judgments all her professional life can turn such a dab hand to fiction. And I wish I knew who chooses her titles. Each one says something about the central issue in the book. In this case, “Denial” aptly describes the dilemma. Who can find the truth when everyone is in denial?
Published by Simon and Shuster