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Sleuthing California defense counsel Paul Madriani lands one of his twistiest cases to date. His client, sport fisherman Jonah Hale, won $87 million in a lottery but lost his heart. Jonah's got custody of his eight-year-old grandkid Mandy, because his daughter Jessica is a cokehead party animal. Sprung from jail, Jessica demands cash. Jonah says no. So Jessica and Mandy disappear, with help from marital-rape-victim-turned-fanatical-activist Zolanda Suade. Suade's group, Vanishing Victims, specializes in thwarting courts and bashing rich males. Madriani tries to reason with Suade, who almost pulls a gun on him, then taunts him with a press release: Suade's going public with Jessica's charge that Jonah molested Mandy. Madriani's girlfriend works in Child Protective Services, so he gets a tidbit or two of inside info--the charge is phony, but because CPS can't comment on cases, the smear will suffice to ignite a media firestorm. When Suade turns up dead, media interest does not subside. In court, circumstantial evidence forms a tightening noose around Jonah's neck, and Madriani starts wondering whether Jonah did kill Suade. Also, underworld types who may know Jessica and/or a Mexican drug lord start stalking Madriani, and more corpses pop up. Martini, who covered the Manson trial, then became a lawyer and a bestselling novelist, is great at realistic, ingenious courtroom suspense, media-circus scenes, and dramatizing the impact of office politics on legal proceedings. His characters and prose are workmanlike but sturdy. Always grouped with lawyers-turned-writers Scott Turow and John Grisham, Martini thinks Turow's a better writer (in terms of character and dialogue), and Grisham's a natural-born storyteller who towers over all, but that he, Martini, is a better storyteller than Turow and a better writer than Grisham. The Attorney is evidence that he may be right.
The defense lawyer is Paul Madriani. The accused is his ex-lover, Talia Potter. The victim died of a gunshot wound to the head. He was Paul Madriani's boss, his mentor, his friend. And he was Talia Potter's husband...
Frought with tension and suspense, Critical Mass is Steve Martini at his electrifying best. It is the story of what can happen in a world where private hate and public apathy combine to uncork the sleeping but deadly genie of nuclear terror.
the latest book in Martini's Paul Madriani series. Madriani defends an ex-soldier accused of killing the head of a computer security firm. the method of execution -- a double tap -- points to a man with military experience. complicating Madriani's case is the unwillingness of the defendant to talk about his military past.
Defense attorney Paul Madriani gets caught in a web of deceit and murder involving Cold War secrets, a rare coin dealer who once worked for the CIA, and a furious assassin in one of the most entertaining novels yet in this New York Times bestselling series. A woman pauses in the hallway of a darkened San Diego beach house at night--listening for just the right moment when she can flee before her companion notices that she's gone. A man outside watches the same mansion, waiting for a sign that he can enter on his mission of blood and carnage. So begins this riveting new tale about Paul Madriani and his latest case--that of Katia, a woman accused of an unlikely crime--a trial that will unravel a careful but horrifying conspiracy. Madriani soon realizes that he's signed onto something much more sinister than a botched heist. As he searches for the truth that will clear Katia's name, he finds himself on a path that takes him from Southern California to Costa Rica, and, ultimately, to a secret buried since Castro's rise to power. Together with his partner, Harry Hinds, Madriani must piece together the threads of a decades-old conspiracy involving priceless gold coins, an aging American spy, a disaffected Russian soldier, and a forgotten weapon from the days of JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis. As the separate strands of the story come together, Madriani finds information that will ultimately lead him to the one person who holds the key to it all: a man some call "The Guardian of Lies." In this fascinating thriller from New York Times bestselling author Steve Martini, Paul Madriani faces his most challenging--and most urgent--case yet, a breathless story that combines fact and fiction and will hold readers captive until its final, explosive conclusion.
Judge Armando Acosta has been summarily dismissed from the bench after being arrested on what he maintains is a trumped-up charge of soliciting a prostitute. When the key witness in the case against Acosta is found murdered and all the evidence points to Acosta as the killer, the former judge suddenly finds himself in desperate need of a tough, savvy lawyer to handle his case. An ironic set of circumstances eventually leads him to his longtime enemy Paul Madriani, who must combat police corruption, slurs against his own reputation, physical attacks, uncooperative witnesses, and a flamboyant, politically ambitious prosecutor who's as dangerous as a cobra. In a series of suspenseful courtroom scenes, Madriani mounts a tenuous but ultimately brilliant defense, racing against time to find the evidence he needs--and is certain exists--to prove his client's innocence. A keep-'em-guessing page-turner that will keep readers riveted.
In a change of venue from his courtroom settings, Martini embeds his latest mystery in the cynical world of blockbuster-book publishing.
When a series of bizarre double murders rocks the small college town of Davenport, California, Paul Madriani is called in as a special prosecutor. But soon Madriani fears there may be more than one killer on the loose.
The Old Weatherman dreams of a plan that could be his swan song, an attack to drive a stake through the heart of the right-wing establishment and bury it for good. Now he's found the money, the ideal weapon, and the professional who knows how to use it. And he has set his sights on the perfect target at the very seat of the United States government, in the heart of downtown Washington. It will be a strike heard round the world. San Diego defense attorney Paul Madriani is still reeling from the trauma of a near nuclear explosion he helped avert at the naval base in Coronado. Threatened by federal authorities to keep quiet about the close call in California, Madriani is now faced with a new problem in the steely-eyed and alluring Joselyn Cole, a weapons control expert, who believes he has to go public with what he knows if they have any hope of stopping a similar event in the future. But Madriani has been linked to the murder of a Washington, D.C., political staffer, and authorities believe a shadowy figure called Liquida-a hired assassin known as "the Mexicutioner"-may be responsible. And this man, as the last survivor of the attack in San Diego, might be driven by a bizarre and horrifying star-crossed vendetta, and might now be looking for Madriani himself. What Madriani and Cole begin to fear is that the Old Weatherman and this madman have joined forces and intend to pull the city-and the country-into a vortex of terror before Madriani and Cole can find answers to the enigma that is "the rule of nine."
New York Times bestselling master of suspense Steve Martini returns, ensnaring defense attorney Paul Madriani in a web of terror and death being spun in the shadows of America's most sacred and secretive institution--the Supreme Court. A writer is savagely slain while on a publicity tour--a literary provocateur who craved headlines, but whose last book may have gone too far. His revelations about secret language buried in the U.S. Constitution--and hints about an explosive missing letter of Thomas Jefferson's--may be enough to cause an irreparable tear in the fabric of the nation . . . and perhaps drove a volatile youth to homicide. But Paul Madriani thinks a troubled young man with dark connections has been chosen as a scapegoat to cover up something far deadlier that festers in America's political heart. And in the wake of the strange disappearance of a Supreme Court judge, Madriani must survive long enough to find the devastating answers hidden in the shadow of power.
Defense attorney Paul Madriani is embroiled in a case as perilous as any he has ever faced: one that involves an angry killer who will stop at nothing short of vengeance, and two missing NASA scientists who are holding secrets that a hostile government desperately wants to purchase-in blood if they must. Madriani's daughter, Sarah, has evaded the man known as Liquida, who has stalked her all the way across the country. For her own safety, she is being kept under armed guard on a farm in Ohio. But one morning, itching for a predawn run to shake off the tension that has grown in the hours she's spent waiting for word from her father, Sarah slips from her ring of protection. What she doesn't know is that at the same moment her assailant is outside, waiting patiently in the dark. Meanwhile in California, two men in a parked car argue over millions in cash that could be slipping through their fingers and a scheme involving government technology for sale that could rock the world. Paul Madriani, his companion Joselyn Cole, and his longtime law partner, Harry Hinds, track Liquida, not knowing that their quest will carry them deep into the vortex of international terror.It is a journey that will lead them toward a bizarre and cruel twist of nature-and the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. From the nation's capital to California, from Bangkok to Paris and the jungles of Mexico, Madriani and his party race against time to find Liquida and the scientist who is the "trader of secrets" before he can unleash the weapon that could set the world ablaze.
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