If you’d like to immerse yourself in a suspense novel that gets your attention on page one, and keeps you guessing till the very end, grab a copy of The Advocate’s Daughter, by Anthony Franze (St. Martin’s Publishing Group, 2016.)
A real-life appellate and Supreme Court lawyer at a leading Washington, DC firm, Anthony brings us into the fictitious life of Sean Serrat, one of the most respected legal minds in the country, who is on the short list to be nominated to the highest court in the land. When Sean’s law-student daughter, Abby, is ruthlessly murdered in the Supreme Court library, her African American boyfriend is arrested, but soon Sean suspects he’s not the culprit, and sets out on his own to unveil the truth.
“Sean ran up the stairs, but he felt hands on his arms. Two officers, one holding each bicep, were saying something, but he couldn’t process the words. Pacini also was yelling something he couldn’t make out. Their grip tightened as he started up the stairs. But he managed to break away.
“‘No, Sean, no!’ Pacini yelled as Sean pushed through to the dark crevice
between two massive bookshelves.
“Abby’s body was twisted, shoved into the bottom shelf. Blood was smeared on her face, her hair matted. She was pale white.
“And that’s the last thing Sean would remember from that day. That terrible day.”
As Sean delves deeper into the circumstances surrounding his daughter’s last days, he is forced to unearth a buried secret from his youth, and also discovers many more secrets than his own in the hallowed halls in DC. But some of the most powerful people in the country will stop at nothing to make certain that Sean never exposes the truth.
“Beyond the family aspects of the novel, The Advocate’s Daughter is about the price of secrets–both for those who keep them and those they love,” Anthony explained in an interview with Phillip Margolin, author of 17 best-selling novels and a former criminal defense attorney. “I’ve always been fascinated by stories you hear about prominent people who turn out to have dark secrets from their past. It must be such a burden to carry them around. And then when the secrets come out, as they always do, it’s not just the wrongdoers who pay the price. It’s their loved ones, their spouses, their kids,” Anthony continued. “So I took a youthful incident–a secret–and made it the force that motivated my protagonist to become one of the most prominent lawyers in the country. And then that same secret surfaces and threatens to cost him everything and everyone he loves.”
Anthony has what seems to be an effortless way with words, whether he’s masterfully portraying grief-stricken parents, a Supreme Court justice coming unhinged, or a brilliant and unshakable defense attorney. “Whether it’s a complex legal brief for a client or a heart-pounding chase scene for his latest thriller, Anthony is easily among the most gifted writers I’ve known,” said Stanton Jones, a partner in Anthony’s D.C. law firm. “For several years I’ve enjoyed reviewing sections of the manuscripts for his novels. He has an unparalleled ability to turn out spectacular content in lightning speed.
“I like to joke that I can barely find time to read all the great stuff he writes; I have no idea where he finds the time to write all of it. On a more personal level, Anthony has been an amazing mentor to me at the law firm. And he’s an inspired and inspiring dad to his three kids. In The Advocate’s Daughter, I especially loved how he developed Sean’s commitment to his daughter, his sons, and his wife. That storyline has Anthony written all over it,” Stanton explained.
ABOUT ANTHONY FRANZE
A graduate of Notre Dame Law School, 40-something Anthony has worked on over 30 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and been named to the DC Super Lawyers list for appellate law. The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and other prestigious publications often quote or cite him concerning the Supreme Court, and he has been a commentator on high-court issues for The New Republic, Bloomberg, The National Law Journal, and Supreme Court Insider.
The author also has been an adjunct Professor of Law, and has lectured at law schools abroad. His articles have been published in leading law journals, including the Harvard Journal of Law and the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law.
Anthony is the father of a daughter and two sons, one of whom has been accepted to New York University, dad proudly told us. Dabbling in fiction as a kid, he played guitar in a rock band in high school and college, then picked up writing again after the birth of his first child. “I was up at weird hours, and I have memories of my son bundled in my lap and me pecking away at the computer. It kind of took off from there. It was a great creative outlet,” he says.
Anthony’s first novel, The Last Justice, was released in 2012. He is working on a third thriller.