Death On a High Floor - Charles  Rosenberg Superior legal thriller. Each of the characters has hidden motives. The author clearly knows whereof he speaks as hidden intrigues and conflict within the law firm begin to unfold.

The story is told from the point of view of Robert Tarza, an established and respected (if a bit behind the others in billings) partner in a large law firm. He alsways arrives early in the office and one day discovers the body of another partner, Simon, who had just accused Robert of selling to him a fake two-thousand-year-old coin (Brutus Ides of March Denarius) worth hundreds of thousands, if genuine. The police claim to have evidence that Robert is the killer. Jenna, Robert’s protege, jumps in to provide legal counsel to Robert, but Jenna, we soon learn, had been having an affair with Simon.

The other partners want Tarza to quietly go away, take a leave of absence, whatever. He refuses, so they ingeniously move him into an associate’s empty office several floors down. He arrived one morning to find his office completely empty and his secretary tearfully reporting “they” had determined he had a window loose in his office and it would be “dangerous” for him to stay. He has been moved to “eighty-two” otherwise known as First Year Ghetto. Hint, hint.

Tarza’s house has a study that I can only describe as magnificent and something I wish I could emulate: “All my books are there--almost a thousand of them--on ceiling high shelves covering two adjoining walls. The other two walls are dark mahogany. The floor of the room is wide-plank dark wood, covered by an old oriental rug. . . In one of the corners the is a big chair, its red leather cracked from age and use, with a battered ottoman in front of it. Next to the chair, there is a small, marble-topped table, n which I leave my coin [train, airplane, political, history, sociology] magazines until I get around to reading them.” Add a couple of computers within reach and you have nirvana.

I will also ignore the blatant commercial approval for In-N-Out burgers. Even the reference to the secret menu that I just had to verify on the web.

Rosenberg has an interesting background. He was an editor of the Harvard Law Review and has been a partner in several law firms. He’s also been the script consultant to Boston Legal, L.A. Law, and The Practice.