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Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday Synopsis

Compelling Evidence (Paul Madriani ,#1)Compelling Evidence by Steve Martini
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a good book. This new-to-me author really surprised me. So first, let me talk about some things that bothered me. I can't actually say I didn't like them, but these things bothered me. This author tried too hard. He wants the reader to think. And he wants the reader to think he is smart. He used a few big words that I didn't know, and that hasn't happened to me in a long while. One or two, maybe, but many, words like "venireman," "attrited," "percipient," and "subaltern," to name a few. He also uses the term "body English" instead of "body language" and that just bothers me. One more thing is that he uses this phrase tooooo often: "He makes a face like..." He makes a face like - is this for real. He makes a face like - are you kidding me. Instead of all the "makes a face likes" he could insert actual dialogue.

On to the good. The main character is Paul Madriani, a defense attorney now that he has struck out on his own, formerly a prosecutor and formerly on the fast path for partner at the firm Potter, Skarpellos. Newly separated from his wife, he has an affair with the boss's wife. That explains why he is no longer with Potter, Skarpellos.  The affair in the past, he would love to reconcile with his wife. He comes to terms with Ben, his old boss, on the eve of Ben's death. It looks like suicide, but the medical examiner classifies it as homicide. Almost immediately, Ben's wife Talia is arrested. She goes to Skarpellos, her husband's partner, for help.  He pays for an attorney during the pre-trial hearings, but after she is held over for trial, she needs a real defense attorney. Naturally, she asks Paul, her former lover, for help. I won't spoil the rest.

Steve Martini does a good job humanizing his characters. Most of them are dynamic characters with both good and bad qualities, though there are two characters that are basically stereotypes. The main characters are well developed. The book was a little slow to start, and sometimes I felt like I had to plod through some areas where Paul is simply thinking, but, overall, it was interesting, and there is a super-twist at the end. This conclusion won't disappoint.

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