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A fugitive from justice shows up on Parker Stern’s doorstep, seeking representation. Ian Holzner—better known as the Playa Delta Bomber—is about to be arrested for allegedly planting a bomb that killed four people in 1975. Parker turns down the case, until the revelation of a startling secret from Parker’s estranged mother all but forces him, against his better judgment, to change his mind.
As media attention swirls around the reemerged Playa Delta Bomber, a bomb explodes and other violent acts occur. Is Holzner the mastermind behind these new attacks? At great personal risk, Parker tries to uncover the truth, all while discovering long-hidden, painful realities about his family and his own past.
Former topnotch attorney Parker Stern, still crippled by courtroom stage fright, takes on a dicey case for an elusive video game designer known to the world only by the name of "Poniard." In Poniard's blockbuster online video game, Abduction!, a real-life movie mogul is charged with kidnapping and murdering a beautiful actress who disappeared in the 1980s. Predictably, the mogul--William "the Conqueror" Bishop--has responded with a libel lawsuit. Now it's up to Parker to defend the game designer in the suit.
In defending Poniard, Parker discovers that people aren't who they claim to be and that nothing is as it seems. At one point, his client resorts to blackmail, threatening to expose a dark secret about Parker. Then, many of the potential witnesses who could have helped the case die prematurely, and the survivors are too frightened to talk. Parker begins to feel as if he's merely a character in a video game, fighting malevolent Level Bosses who appear out of nowhere and threaten to destroy him.
A Los Angeles church, considered by some to be a powerful cult, charges Rich Baxter with embezzling millions. Rich reaches out to former colleague and star trial attorney Parker Stern to come to his defense. Parker despises the cult, but he hasn’t entered a courtroom since developing severe stage fright after his mentor, Harmon Cherry, committed suicide. Rich claims that Cherry did not kill himself—he was murdered by someone connected to the church. At first, Parker doesn’t believe it . . . until disturbing events force him to question what’s really happening.
As the case takes an unexpected turn, Parker surprises himself and agrees to take on the church. But to represent his client and uncover the truth he must overcome his own long-buried secrets.