Recently widowed attorney Paul Madriani is struggling to hold on to what is left of his family when he and his young daughter are caught up in yet another family tragedy. Paul's sister-in-law, Laurel Vega, is involved in a bitter custody battle with her ex-husband, Jack, who wants to take their children to Washington DC. When her case ...
Recently widowed attorney Paul Madriani is struggling to hold on to what is left of his family when he and his young daughter are caught up in yet another family tragedy. Paul's sister-in-law, Laurel Vega, is involved in a bitter custody battle with her ex-husband, Jack, who wants to take their children to Washington DC. When her case disintegrates, Jack's new wife is found dead in the family home. Laurel is arrested and charged with murder. Madriani takes on her defence but the evidence against Laurel is daunting and her own failure to cooperate - in particular, to tell Paul where she was on the night of the murder - leaves the reader wondering if perhaps he is defending a guilty woman. But what actually happened that night is more tragic than anything revealed so far. And it is up to Paul to uncover the shattering piece of evidence that will lead to the terrible truth.
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Publishers Weekly, 1994-06-20 A vicious custody battle escalates into a murder trial in this gripping courtroom drama, Martini's third to be narrated by defense attorney Paul Madriani ( Compelling Evidence , Prime Witness ). Before Madriani's wife, Nikki, died of lung cancer, she asked that Madriani look after her sister, Laurel, who's now going through a bruising custody battle with her ex-husband, Jack Vega. When Jack's young new wife, Melanie, is murdered, all the evidence points to Laurel as the killer: not only was she was seen threatening Melanie and arguing with her just before the murder, but when she's captured by the police, she has the dead woman's compact in her purse. Madriani takes on Laurel's case, but it's an uphill battle. Potential witnesses for the defense have mysteriously disappeared; while searching for them and pursuing other leads, Madriani uncovers evidence that points to a very different motive for murder--and a very obvious suspect. The action builds to a rousing climax through a brilliant series of trial scenes with several surprises. The characters are sharply drawn, the facts of the case are presented simply and the courtroom psychology is laid out vividly. Martini, who knows how to tell a story, wastes little time setting up his premise; by the time the trial starts, readers will find their fingers glued to the pages. 175,000 first printing; $250,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection. ( July)
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