Skin in the Game
R. P. Finch
Worlds that don’t touch: a stodgy, mega law firm and an urban strip club, the Mob, the CIA -- and a quantum physics lab. Young Eben Burnham, a science buff and shy, first-year lawyer in a cut-throat Wall Street law firm, tries to represent start-up nanotech companies but he doesn't anticipate that any of these worlds will come into play, that his first client's quantum-physics product will have revolutionary secret code-breaking abilities of interest to both the CIA and the Mob, that his money guy might be penniless, that an egomaniacal and incompetent senior partner and a variety of Brooklyn street thugs and strippers will land on his plate -- or that his dream will lead to his own kidnapping.
ISBN: 978-1-60489-108-9 Trade paper $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-60489-109-6 Library binding $30
R. P. Finch has written Skin in the Game from the vantage point of personal experience gained from his practice of law, although his experience with street thugs and the Mob, strip clubs and the CIA remains shrouded in mystery. His story, "The Truth About Falling," was published in Fine Print in connection with its national short-story competition. R. P. Finch has received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Duke University and a J.D. from the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill and lives with his wife, Kathy, in Atlanta, Georgia. Skin in the Game is his first novel.
The fat man stood at the urinal. The young associate standing tall but stoop-shouldered beside him had been puzzling over a thought-experiment in quantum physics called ‘Schrodinger’s Cat’ when at the edge of his vision he’d observed the man entering the restroom, taking up his stance, unzipping, struggling as if to wrest a chick from its nest. And in the next moment the associate was startled when the man, clearly a partner in the law firm, launched both a halting splatter and a twisted tale of property interests granted down the generations in the estate all law students call ‘Blackacre’, followed by a question as to how the dreaded Rule Against Perpetuities applies.
The partner shook off. “Am I talking to the wall?”
Wrestling with the fact that the correct answer would be ‘yes’, and realizing that he recalled nothing of the Rule Against Perpetuities, the associate pictured himself backing, head down, out of the paneled restroom, past the Burnham & Wood receptionist and across the rosewood-and-marble lobby where each piece of original artwork hung highlighted in its own pin-spot. Unspooling time, he would start over and proceed instead to his tiny shared office. His hobby was reading about quantum physics, whose weird logic could be said to imply that if he weren’t in the men’s room to observe the partner then the partner wouldn’t be there either. Might not be in any one place. Might not exist.