Court is in session. Put yourself in the jury box and listen to the testimony. Is the defendant guilty or not guilty? Decide for yourself. If you like riveting legal thrillers, you might like some of these titles selected by Reader Advisor Cheryl Hassler.
Above the Law by J.F. Freedman.
Attorney Luke Garrison becomes a special prosecutor for former classmate Nora Ray, now a district attorney investigating a foul-up by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Digging into the case, he finds numerous sordid secrets among the northern Californians. Luke Garrison series, book 2. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex. RC 49515.
Act of Revenge by Robert K. Tannenbaum.
Assistant district attorney Roger "Butch" Karp and his private investigator wife Marlene Ciampi both take on cases involving Mafia family members. They soon learn that the two crimes are related. Butch and Marlene's twelve-year-old daughter, Lucy, witnesses a murder in Chinatown that is also connected. Butch Karp series, book 11. Strong language and violence. RC 49010, BR 12505.
Compelling Evidence by Steve Martini.
Attorney Paul Madriani worked for Ben Potter's firm until Ben discovered Paul was having an affair with Ben's young, promiscuous wife, Talia. Now, a year later, shortly after Ben and Paul reconcile, Talia is accused of murdering Ben. Paul, who becomes Talia's attorney by default, knows his client's only hope is finding someone else with a stronger motive. Paul Madriani, series, book 1. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. RC 34895.
Degree of Guilt by Richard North Patterson.
Distinguished attorney Christopher Paget is raising his fifteen-year-old son Carlo. Carlo's estranged mother, television journalist Mary Carelli, is in town to interview novelist Mark Ransom but instead is accused of his murder. Not only does her story of Ransom's rape attempt have some inconsistencies for Paget and his assistant to sort out, it also involves a surprising group of well known people. Christopher Paget series, book 2. Violence and some explicit descriptions of sex. RC 35883, BR 9811.
Expert Testimony by Grif Stockley.
Arkansas public defender Gideon Page plans an insanity plea when he defends Perry Sarver, the admitted killer of popular state senator Hart Anderson. Sarver, a patient of Anderson's psychiatrist wife, allegedly wanted his doctor free to marry him, a desire Page empathizes with after meeting her. But the District Attorney's office is not going for it as they think the murder is a contract hit. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. RC 36305.
Final Appeal by Lisa Scottoline.
Attorney Grace Rossi is clerking for federal judge Armen Gregorian when he surprises her by confessing his romantic feelings. The next morning Gregorian is found dead and declared a suicide. Rossi suspects murder and investigates a variety of people, including his politician wife, who might have wanted Gregorian dead. Bennie Rosato & Associates series, book 2. Strong language, violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex. RC 45220.
Final Argument by Clifford Irving.
Ted Jaffe is settled into a Sarasota law partnership until a collect call from Elroy Lee in the Jacksonville jail startles him. Lee wants to admit perjury in a case that Jaffe once tried as prosecutor. Jaffe has personal reasons to avoid the case, but he cannot risk the death penalty for a man who may be innocent. Jaffe represents Lee and the ensuing courtroom scene yields more than one surprise. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. RC 37411.
First Offense by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg.
Probation officer Ann Carlisle has been raising her son, David, alone since her husband disappeared from his highway patrol car four years ago. Shortly after Ann begins dating district attorney Glen Hopkins, she is shot outside her office. Glen suspects the parolee who rescues her, but Ann is becoming convinced that her husband is stalking her. Strong language, violence, and explicit descriptions of sex. RC 38781.
Hard Evidence by John T. Lescroart.
After marrying newly widowed Frannie and adopting her child, and with a baby on the way, Dismas Hardy leaves his bartending and goes back to law. As a new assistant district attorney, Hardy itches for a murder, and when he finds a human hand in a shark while volunteering at an aquarium, he demands the case. But before the murder is solved, Hardy is defending the accused. Dismas Hardy series, book 3. Strong language, violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex. RC 38231.
High Crimes by Joseph Finder.
When the FBI tries to arrest Tom Chapman, his wife Claire Heller, a Harvard law professor, learns that Tom is really army sergeant Ron Kubik, a fugitive for thirteen years. Claire defends her husband at his court martial because she is determined to know the truth about him. Some strong language and some violence. RC 46358, BR 11706.
In the Presence of Enemies by William J. Coughlin.
After five years with a firm, probate attorney Jake Martin knows that if he does not make partner now he will be let go. Meanwhile his wife, who has been given partnership in another firm, is treating him very coolly. The death of banker Augustus Daren offers the perfect chance for Martin to prove his worth. Instead, Martin is soon risking his career defending Daren's young, determined widow against Daren's grown children and employees. Strong language. RC 37828.
Legal Briefs: Legal Stories by Today's Best Legal Thriller Writers edited by William Bernhardt.
Short stories involving lawyers and the legal system by eleven established authors. The stories include: The Divorce by G. Stockley; Poetic Justice by S. Martini; Stairwell Justice by J. Brandon; The Client by R.N. Patterson; What We're Here For by W. Bernhardt; Cook County Redemption by M.A. Kahn; The Jailhouse Lawyer by P.M. Margolin; Voir Dire by J. Healy; The Birthday by J. Grisham; Roads by P. Friedman; and Carrying Concealed by L. Scottoline. RC 47441.
Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow.
This is a novel of the seamiest aspects of a prosecuting attorney's office and an intense courtroom drama. Attorney Rusty Sabich is accused of the brutal murder of his colleague, Carolyn, a beautiful but amoral lawyer. The crime occurs during the final week of a fierce election campaign in which Rusty's boss vies for office with a charismatic former employee. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. RC 26965.
Primal Fear by William Diehl.
Chicago Archbishop Rushman steps out of his shower one February morning and comes face to face with a person holding a butcher knife. A short time later, a young man covered in blood and holding a knife is found in a confessional. Martin Vail, on orders from Judge Shoat, must defend Aaron Stampler pro bono. But what appears to be an open-and-shut case becomes quite different when Vail puts his team to work. Martin Vail series, book 1. Violence, strong language, and descriptions of sex. RC 36757.
The Rainmaker by John Grisham.
Before Rudy Baylor graduates from law school and starts his new job, he must provide free legal advice at a senior center. His clients are a couple whose grown son is dying of leukemia and whose insurance company has abandoned them. Rudy's excitement over their promising case is dashed by the news that his much-needed job offer has been withdrawn. And that is only the beginning of his bad luck streak. Some strong language. RC 39879, BR 10091.
Rules of Evidence by Jay Brandon.
Police detective Mike Stennett, who works San Antonio's east side, is not one of black attorney Raymond Boudro's favorite people. Considering Stennett's arrest record and his reputation, Boudro suspects he is racist and violent. When Stennett asks Boudro to defend him against charges of murdering a black drifter, the attorney surprises himself by taking the case. Strong language, some violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex. RC 35444.
The Simple Truth by David Baldacci.
When Rufus Harms, a military prisoner for 25 years, suddenly files an appeal to the Supreme Court, his defenders start dying in mysterious accidents. Supreme Court clerk Sara Evans and John Fiske, brother of one of the victims, begin to investigate. Meanwhile, Rufus escapes. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. RC 47257.
The Undertaker's Widow by Phillip Margolin.
Judge Richard Quinn's first homicide case proves to be dangerous. State representative Ellen Crease, in the middle of a campaign, shoots and kills a burglar who has just murdered her husband. Soon evidence suggests she hired the guy as a hit man. Strong language, violence, and descriptions of sex. RC 47914.