"Primal fear" by William Diehl is an artfull combination of psychopathology, crime fiction and legal battles. it is the story of Aaron Stampler, a country hick with a genius IQ who is caught red handed at a gruesome murder scene. The bishop he allegedly murdered is found with over 70 stab wounds and his own genitalia thrust down own throat, Aaron is caught in the cathedral near the murder hiding in a confesion box, holding the murder weapon and covered in blood yet swears he is innocent. The bishop was not only a very influencial man but a very popular one and everyone wants to see Aaron fry.
Martin Vail is Chicago's most brilliant lawer, so brilliant his enemies set him up to defend a case he cannot win, Aarons. What appears to be a closed case, with a predetermined outcome is quickly filled with doubts as we discover Martin Vails Genius and more and more evidence is uncovered.
William Diehl successfully depicts the corruption in the legal system and the clear difference between justice and law by revealing the proffessional attitude all lawers and judges are forced to adopt. When Vail discovers that Aaron has a split personality and that he was never conscious of the murder, in fact that Aaron is completely innocent, he is unable to use this as evidence in court due to the social stigma such diseases carry and the difficulty in proving such a case.
When the case finally goes to court, both sides provide excelent arguments, with several superb examples of rhetoric making "primal fear" very interesting from a litterary pespective