Worthy Brown is a slave. His owner takes Worthy and his daughter to Oregon to look for new opportunities, but also to flee the problems that he has created in the south. Attorney Caleb Barbour is not a nice man. He is also a lawyer with no ethics. That has gotten him in trouble.
Then there is Matthew Penny, another lawyer with great moral character and a desire to serve even those who cannot afford to pay him. Needless to say Penny and Barbour are not going to like each other. Especially when Worthy Brown realizes that he can be demand his freedom from Barbour since Oregon doesn't hold to slavery. Barbour grants the request but keeps Worthy's daughter, Roxanne.
Worthy hires Penny to sue Barbour to get his daughter back. Thus enters the intrigue of a lawsuit.
Woven throughout this though is the other stories. Sharon Hill is a former prostitute who seduces men to get her way and her money. Enter Benjamin Gillette a wealthy widower whom Hill sets her sites on. Then enter Judge Jed Tyler who sets his sites on Hill. So, now you have a love triangle where there truly is no love.
Wrap all this up with a true love story in Penny falling in love with Heather Gillette, Benjamin's daughter, and you add to the mix.
The story is written in pure Phillip Margolin style. It is fast paced and intriguing. You are drawn in by the good development of the characters and you are also drawn in by the historical background of Oregon in the mid 1800's. Add to that the issue of slavery, the presidential election of Lincoln and a bunch of other hard nose characters and you have a story that you will thoroughly enjoy.
This is a great end of summer read as you head towards the fall and back to the major routines of life. Enjoy!