978-0-515-13213-7 / 9780515132137

The Jury





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About the book:

So much of the action in Steve Martini's courtroom thriller The Jury 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,

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