California lawyer Greg Monarch was in no mood for visitors. But it's not every day a federal judge comes knocking at his door, especially with a curious request: to review the final appeal of a murderer on Death Row who personally asked for Greg's assistance. Tired of defending killers, Greg has every intention of turning it down--until he discovers the prisoner is a former lover he hasn't seen in two decades: the fiery, impetuous Sarah Trant. Her fate sealed in a verdict rendered five years before, Sarah Trant was found guilty of slashing an old man's throat in central California's sheltered El Nido Valley. All subsequent appeals have been denied. Now, six months from execution, she turns to the one man she hopes can save her. Greg failed once before trying to rescue Sarah from her private demons. This time, however, the demons may not be just in her head. After arriving in the deceptively peaceful valley of El Nido, Greg begins to investigate the events surrounding the original trial, and discovers a seriously compromised case rife with flagrant prosecutorial misconduct, doctored reports, concealed evidence, and witness tampering. But perhaps more alarming is the rich, dark history of the valley itself; a history that seems to have coiled itself around each and every inhabitant, locking them in a conspiracy of silence. For Greg suspects that the earthy, plain-talking citizens of El Nido conceal something deep and damning--and all of them appear to have an unsettling stake in seeing Sarah executed. As gripping as a walk down Death Row, bolstered by an unforgettable cast of characters and an atmosphere so vivid that it radiates menace, Barry Siegel's Actual Innocence is an electrifying, psychologically charged novel of suspense.