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CHILLING EFFECT
A Lucinda Hayes mystery


By Marianne Wesson

University Press of Colorado, 2005 ($23.95)
ISBN: 0-87081-787-6

Reviewed by Susan Johnson

In this, the third legal mystery featuring Boulder, Colorado attorney Lucinda Hayes we find Lucinda challenging the free speech amendment. The reasons for the challenge may have the reader rethinking their thoughts on this issue also.

Lucinda is working after hours and receives a very gruesome and disturbing fax. The object of the fax is an obviously dead, young child, killed by a troubled man after watching the same child porn snuff film repeatedly. The sender of the fax becomes Lucinda's new client. She is the mother of the child and does not seek to sue the man who killed her daughter but the film maker and distributor who she feels is responsible for her daughter's death.

As Lucinda researches this case, she finds herself at odds with her lesbian partner, her long distance lover and even the whole entertainment industry. Even though porn is a seedy business it is considered entertainment and the industry feels that she is threatening their rights also.

Lucinda finds herself drawn into helping research this as she tries to find who is responsible for this film. She discovers that the people in the industry are often justordinary people and taken advantage of themselves.

This book indeed forced me to rethink my thoughts on the free speech cases. The characters were tough and gritty and held my attention to the very last page. I need to go back and try to find the first two books in this thought provoking series.

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