If America is a lunatic asylum, then California is the Violent Ward. Mickey Murphy is a criminal lawyer with an office in LA's downtown low-rent district, an ex-wife who bleeds him for money, clients who would plead the Fifth Amendment if they could count that high, and an unrequited passion for his wealthiest client's wife. To make matters worse, Mickey finds himself embroiled against his wishes in an elaborate and clever scam that's going askew, and being interrogated by the LAPD about a brutal murder. With an observant eye and ear for the California `scene', Deighton once again uses his brilliant storytelling skills to propel an exciting and suspenseful narrative at breakneck speed to a dramatic climax in a riot-torn city. This new reissue includes a foreword from the cover designer, Oscar-winning filmmaker Arnold Schwartzman, and a brand new introduction by Len Deighton, which offers a fascinating insight into the writing of the story.