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Book review: Presumed Guilty by Mark McGinn

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Presumed Guilty is the third book in the Sasha Stace series. Sasha is a lawyer in New Zealand’s South Island. After many years at the bar, she is weary of criminal law. She’s tired of “living in a world where two showers a day is not enough.” Promotion to the High Court bench offers a brighter future, but when her ex-partner faces murder charges, Sasha agrees to defend him, and puts that future at risk. Sasha is an intriguing and sympathetic character. The dramatic courtroom scenes are well drawn, and shadowy political plotters add to the suspense. The author builds a realistic backdrop with detailed descriptions of the murder scene and beautiful coastal Akaroa. The criminals are convincingly creepy and ruthless, and some of them meet suitably nasty fates. The author keeps some shocking and unexpected twists for the very end. They’re worth waiting for. The large supporting cast and weight of back history distract from the flow of events on occasion. I didn’t want to know quite