Fiction Steve Martini The Jury

ISBN 13: 9780747272441

The Jury

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9780747272441: The Jury

The Attorney, which marked the return of Steve Martini's lawyer-sleuth Paul Madriani, was hailed for its "well-observed courtroom maneuverings" (Christian Science Monitor) and "crisp dialogue and tart observations" (Publishers Weekly). Now Martini delivers the most daunting capital case of Madriani's career.Paul Madriani has ample reason to suspect he's representing a guilty man. Dr. David Crone, a respected medical researcher and principal in mapping the human genome, is charged with the murder of a young colleague: twenty-six-year-old Kalista Jordan, an African American research physician whose body washed up on a beach in San Diego Bay. Forensic evidence links her murder with material in Crone's garage. Crone had both opportunity and motive: Kalista had recently ended their affair and may have been deserting him professionally as well, moving on to a rival genetic research facility. However, when a key witness for the prosecution dies unexpectedly, leaving an incriminating note behind, Crone's innocence seems confirmed--until Madriani hits upon a potentially damning loose end.

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Review:

So much of the action in this courtroom thriller happens outside the jury's purview that it makes one wonder if there's a touch of irony intended in the title. Paul Madriani, the lawyer-hero of five previous Martini novels set in San Francisco, has moved to San Diego for reasons that are never made clear. He's taken on the case of David Crone, a doctor involved in mapping the human genome, who's been charged with the murder of his colleague, a young African American research physician whose ambitions threatened Crone's career.

Crone seems to have had ample motivation for killing Kalista Jordan: witnesses have testified to the friction between them, and Crone himself seems less concerned about the capital murder charge than about what may be going on in his lab. When a key witness for the prosecution dies in what looks like a suicide and leaves a note confessing to the murder, Crone is freed. And in an O. Henry-like twist in the last chapter, a most unlikely killer emerges and threatens Madriani's life.

But even this doesn't do much to enliven this slow-moving novel. There's very little tension on the page or in the plot, and neither the narrative nor the characters offer the reader the kind of excitement found in Martini's previous novels. --Jane Adams

About the Author:

Steve Martini was born in San Francisco and grew up in Southern California. An honors graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, he worked as a newspaper reporter in Los Angeles and as a correspondent at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, specializing in legal issues. After obtaining his law degree, he appeared in state and federal courts; he also served as special counsel to the California Victims of Violent Crime Program. His first novel, Compelling Evidence, was published in 1992 and became a bestseller. He has gone on to write a number of other books, including The Trader of Secrets, Guardian of Lies, The List, The Judge, and Prime Witness, among others. He currently resides in the Pacific Northwest.

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Martini, Steve
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