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The Arraignment
by Steve Martini
Binding: Audio Cassette, Abridged edition
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Weight: 0.34 pound
Dimension: H: 0.75 x L: 7.1 x W: 0.43 inches
ISBN 10: 0671046942
ISBN 13: 9780671046941
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Book Description:

A riveting new novel by the bestselling author of The Jury.

Defense attorney Paul Madriani tackles the most challenging case of his career the chilling murder of a friend on a crowded city street in this brilliantly suspenseful new novel in the bestselling series.

After a friend and fellow lawyer is killed along with his client in a hail of gunfire outside the federal courthouse in San Diego, attorney Paul Madriani takes on another client, who, he suspects, is involved in double murder. Madriani wants to know who killed his friend and why. He is torn by questions of conflict between his duty to a client who may be a killer and the need to know the truth. Madriani wonders whether he himself had been marked for death, only to have a friend die in his place.

Madriani is drawn into a vortex of crime that spans the Americas. Without realizing, he is suddenly riding the crest of a dangerous wave involving a family of wealthy international developers and people who murder for money. When the police focus on the wrong motive for the killings, thereby threatening to close the book on another unsolved crime, Madriani sets off on a deadly quest that takes him from California to the steaming jungles of Mexico and the ancient cultures of the Yucat n. There he discovers that while death may be driven by distant and exotic motives, the killer, like a serpent, lies much closer at hand. /Content /EditorialReview EditorialReview Source Amazon.com Review /Source Content When Paul Madriani's old friend, flamboyant criminal defense lawyer Nick Rush, is gunned down on the streets of San Diego along with a client, Madriani sets out to find the killer. He follows the trail through shady real estate dealings, cross border smuggling, political corruption, and a nasty fight between Rush's ex and his young trophy wife over a hefty life insurance policy. Eventually the case leads Madriani to the Yucatan Peninsula near Canc n, where the last third of the book takes place a dandy locale for skullduggery, even if it does make you suspect that the author thought up the plot while vacationing there.

The Arraignment is marred by some sloppy, foggy headed writing ('The neighborhood exudes the kind of aura picked up by a sixth sense that lingers and lifts the hair on the back of my neck'), and the plot, after its initial bang, sags for a while before it gets moving again. However, the sheer vigor of Martini's prose, his densely inventive plotting, and his sharply drawn characters carry you happily, tensely along. The book's action scenes including a hand to hand fight in a shabby apartment and an unforgettable poolside shooting at a Canc n resort are told in fresh, vivid prose that unfolds with hypnotic clarity. And the denouement is great fun, although the complex plot takes a lot of explaining at the end. Martini's not perfect, but he's still one of the best legal/adventure thriller writers going. Nicholas H. Allison


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