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Blood Flag (Paul Madriani Series #14)

Blood Flag (Paul Madriani Series #14)

4.5 8
by Steve Martini

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Defending a client accused of killing her father, attorney Paul Madriani is drawn into a treacherous conspiracy dating to World War II in this enthralling installment in the New York Times bestselling series.

Paul Madriani and Harry Hinds have a new client: Emma Brauer, a woman accused in the “mercy killing” of her aged father, Robert


Defending a client accused of killing her father, attorney Paul Madriani is drawn into a treacherous conspiracy dating to World War II in this enthralling installment in the New York Times bestselling series.

Paul Madriani and Harry Hinds have a new client: Emma Brauer, a woman accused in the “mercy killing” of her aged father, Robert Brauer. Insisting she’s innocent, Emma tells Paul about a package sent to her father shortly before he entered the hospital. Bequeathed to him by a member of his unit from World War II, the box contains a key and a slip of paper. Emma fears that this package is connected to her father’s death.

When Paul’s young assistant Sofia is murdered, Madriani is blindsided by the realization that Emma’s fears are well-grounded.

Digging into Robert’s military history, Madriani discovers that other members of the Army unit Robert served with have recently died—under similarly suspicious circumstances. When he finds that the box sent to Brauer relates to a mysterious talisman that went missing at the end of the war—a feared Nazi relic known as the “Blood Flag”—Madriani and Hinds realize they are in for the fight of their lives.

With Emma’s life on the line and their own safety in jeopardy, Madriani must uncover the truth before the evil of the Blood Flag is allowed to spin a new web.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Martini’s uneven 14th novel featuring California lawyers Paul Madriani and Harry Hinds (after 2015’s The Enemy Inside) finds Paul and Harry flush with cash after sharing in the windfall from a whistle-blower who helped the feds nail some offshore tax cheats. Their bank balance enables them to take on a new client with a limited ability to pay, Emma Brauer, who is suspected of euthanizing her ailing 89-year-old father, Robert. Some months earlier, Robert became agitated when he received a safe-deposit box key in the mail, along with a paper that may have been a military ID. Some disturbing phone calls later prompted him to ask Emma to take the items out of the house. Right after she did, a burglar tore the place apart. Emma’s arrest leads to further tragedy. That Robert’s death has international implications raises the stakes, but the growing implausibility of the plot comes as a letdown after the book’s powerful opening sections. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (May)
Library Journal
Defending a woman accused of a mercy killing, Paul Madriani discovers that her father had received a package shortly before being hospitalized hinting at a Nazi relic called the Blood Flag that disappeared at war's end. What's more, others in his unit have met suspicious deaths. With a 150,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
After World War II veteran Robert Brauer dies under mysterious circumstances, San Diego attorney Paul Madriani—hired to defend Brauer's daughter on charges of assisting a suicide—discovers the old man was not the only member of his former Army unit to meet with a suspicious end. Shortly before his death, Brauer received a package from an Army buddy containing a key to a safe-deposit box. No sooner has Madriani signed on to the case than his plucky young assistant, Sofia, is murdered, and Madriani and his legal partner, Harry Hinds, find themselves in the middle of a strange plot involving a Nazi relic known as the Blood Flag. Unbeknownst to the lawyers—or the U.S. government—the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad also is in hot pursuit of the flag, which reputedly was bloodied by an accomplice of Hitler's during the future Führer's attempted takeover of Munich's city hall in 1923. Working from inside the California Department of Justice, Mossad will take extreme measures to get their hands on the flag—and they're not the only ones. The trail leads Madriani to the rich and powerful married man with whom Sofia, who was pregnant when she died, was having an affair. Madriani's sensitive wife, Joselyn, who was protective of Sofia, proves her husband's ace in the hole in the investigation. The foreign operatives aren't very interesting, and the international intrigue seems like an add-on to the plot. But otherwise, the novel boasts the sure-handed, suspenseful storytelling that Martini's fans have come to expect. Martini holds serve with his 14th Paul Madriani thriller, in which Hitler's evil legacy continues to haunt survivors of World War II.
Suspense Magazine
“Get ready for a great read…. If 10 stars could be given, Martini rates them all.”
Mystery Scene
“Steve Martini’s writing is smooth, clear and easy to become immersed in. The integrity he writes into his characters feels as fresh as a Pacific Ocean breeze. A rewarding read with strong characters and an outstanding sense of realism.”
“With plenty of surprises waiting just around each corner, Blood Flag is a fast-paced thriller that picks up steam on its way to a shocking, climactic ending that most readers will not see coming.”
Associated Press Staff
“Martini knows how to craft suspenseful and twist-filled legal thrillersMartini knows how to craft suspenseful and twist-filled legal thrillers. . . . The tight and personal stories are so juicy. . . . One of the better mysteries in the Madriani series.”
Providence Journal on Blood Flag
“The spooky, conspiratorial tone and nature of “Blood Flag” harks to those great Robert Ludlum international romps. . . . A slam-bang tale with as many twists as pages. A perfect summer read.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Paul Madriani Series , #14
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Steve Martini is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Trader of Secrets, The Rule of Nine, Guardian of Lies, Shadow of Power, and others featuring defense attorney Paul Madriani. Martini has practiced law in California in both state and federal courts and has served as an administrative law judge and supervising hearing officer. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 28, 1946
Place of Birth:
San Francisco, California
B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, 1968; J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, 1974

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Blood Flag (Paul Madriani Series #14) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
GRACIE9492 More than 1 year ago
Really liked this one...been a fan for a long time and just returned reading his works again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of his best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of his best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gail-Cooke More than 1 year ago
With the first Paul Madriani novel hosts of readers became fans eagerly awaiting his next adventure, and they have not been disappointed. Smart, courageous, humane Madriani has attacked each suspenseful case until its solved and the bad guys have gotten their just due. However, with his 14th thriller, Blood Flag, there is a difference - Madriani and his partner Harry Hinds are rich following an unexpected windfall. There couldn’t be two happier California lawyers until Emma Brauer walks into their offices. Emma’s father, World War II veteran Robert Brauer, died recently under mysterious circumstances. Emma is seen as assisting his demise, sort of a mercy killing. She vehemently denies any such things and tells Madriani about a package her father received several days before his death. While the package which was left to him by a member of his World War II unit held only a key and a slip of paper it frightened him. He asks Emma to take the package out of their house which she does and shortly after that their home is vandalized. Emma is convinced that her father was murdered and the package had something to do with it. Madriani agrees to take her case, but there is a slight hitch. Emma is concerned about her dog when she is taken to jail. Sofia, Madriani’s attractive young assistant volunteers to go to the Brauer house and get the dog. Tension mounts when Sofia doesn’t show up for work and days later her body is found by the side of a road. She has been murdered. With her death Madriani is more determined than ever to find answers which takes him on a strange chase against formidable enemies who want a Nazi relic called the Blood Flag that is supposedly stained with the blood of Hitler’s followers. Neither the lawyers nor the U.S. government know that the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad also want the flag and will evidently stop at nothing to get it. When Madriani looks into records he finds that other members of Brauer’s military unit died under questionable circumstances. It soon becomes a race against time for him to discover the secrets of the flag in order to prove Emma’s innocence and find Sofia’s killer. Sorry to say that for this reader the plot seemed a bit contrived and even predictable with some unnecessary add-ons. Nonetheless, it is a Paul Madriani story which is what fans have been waiting for. Count me among them as I await the next from Steve Martini.
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