Death's Witness: A Novel

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Overview

"This well-crafted legal thriller has the feel of the real, because it was written by a first-rate lawyer who is also a very good writer." -Alan Dershowitz, author of Preemption: The Knife That Cuts Both Ways

Paul Batista, one of the country's foremost defense lawyers, has written the ultimate legal thriller with murder in its heart. When Tom Perini, a legendary Heisman Trophy winner turned criminal lawyer, is found brutally murdered in Central Park, his widow Julie not only must unravel the mysteries of her ...

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2006 Hard cover First edition. New in very good dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 313 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade.

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Death's Witness

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Overview

"This well-crafted legal thriller has the feel of the real, because it was written by a first-rate lawyer who is also a very good writer." -Alan Dershowitz, author of Preemption: The Knife That Cuts Both Ways

Paul Batista, one of the country's foremost defense lawyers, has written the ultimate legal thriller with murder in its heart. When Tom Perini, a legendary Heisman Trophy winner turned criminal lawyer, is found brutally murdered in Central Park, his widow Julie not only must unravel the mysteries of her husband's secret double life, but survive long enough to discover the truth. A thriller and courtroom drama of corruption and greed so authentic it reads like tomorrow's headlines.

"A spectacular new addition to the legal thriller genre. Fast, smart and exciting, with richly drawn characters and a race-horse pace. Death's Witness is definitely a winner!"
-Jack Ford, anchor, Good Morning America

"A great read!"
-Fred Graham, anchor on Court TV and former CBS news correspondent

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Editorial Reviews

Bookpage
Death's Witness is an outstanding debut novel.
Publishers Weekly
The verdict on Batista's debut legal thriller: guilty of delivering not only sharp courtroom drama but steamy romantic escapism as well. Vincent Sorrentino, a crackerjack Manhattan DA (not unlike Batista, a commentator on Court TV), is leading the legal team for 14 defendants accused of bribing Congressman Daniel Fonseca, including Selig "Sy" Klein, owner of a shady trucking empire personally represented by Sorrentino's colleague and friend, Tom Perini, a former Heisman Trophy winner. Tom's murder while running in Central Park shatters his wife and toddler's world and almost lands Fonseca a mistrial. Grieving Julie Perini suffers more shocks as she learns about her husband's secret underworld association connected to the ongoing trial. Batista provides a gripping, if sometimes confusing, insider look into the seamy side of justice and the politics behind criminal shenanigans. The sweet resolution might feel too good to be true, but is still satisfying. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The murder of a high-profile lawyer places his curious widow in jeopardy. During his evening run in Central Park, defense attorney and former Heisman Trophy-winner Tom Perini is joined by another jogger who shoots him in the head. His widow, Julie, with toddler daughter Kim, tries to stay strong through the resultant media flurry and Manhattan funeral full of famous faces. At the time of his death, Tom was on a team of lawyers defending Congressman Danny Fonseca on a charge of bribery; additionally, Tom alone represented Selig "Sy" Klein, the elderly (alleged) mobster charged with bribing Fonseca. Julie is questioned by FBI Special Agent John McGlynn, who determines that she knows almost nothing about her husband's business affairs. Shortly after, the reader learns that McGlynn hired the hit man who killed Tom. Julie returns to her career as a broadcast journalist-a move that emboldens her to dig for answers about Tom's murder. She makes the mistake of contacting McGlynn with her concerns, which alerts him to Julie as a potential problem. Julie's digging for information runs parallel to the unfolding trial and Tom's possible role in wrongdoing. Julie meets with Sy Klein and, not long after, he's also murdered. It's only when Julie calls McGlynn again to talk about Klein that she begins to understand that he won't be helping her; the darker truth about his involvement remains for her to discover. When the FBI makes a move to seize all of Tom's personal papers, Julie appeals to his partner and friend, Vincent Sorrentino, a standup attorney leading Fonseca's defense team. Meanwhile, a journalist informs the skeptical Julie that New York magazine is about to publish an expose on Tom'sactivities. Julie and Sorrentino team up to uncover the truth. Can they do it in time? With the exception of some engrossing scenes of complex legal maneuvering, Batista's fiction debut is fairly ordinary and predictable.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402206658
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/18/2006
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

One of the leading criminal defense trial lawyers in America, Paul Batista is also one of the country's most familiar and widely known television personalities. Over the past fifteen years he has made hundreds of appearances on Court TV, MSNBC, and CNN. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. He is the author of several legal textbooks, including Civil RICO, the leading treatise on the federal racketeering law, now in its third edition. Paul Batista is also a published poet.
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Read an Excerpt

1.Like the thousands of other runners who regularly used Central Park, Tom Perini knew precisely how long its outer roadway was: a total of six-point-two miles. There were various exits, entrances, and combinations of the internal roadways which Tom had charted for years, beginning at twenty-one when he first spent a heady week in New York for his Heisman Trophy ceremony, press conferences, and appearances. Tom knew how to switch and integrate the roads that dissected the interior of the park for the length of any particular run he wanted: one mile, two-and-a-half miles, four, or the full six-point-two.
On this long May evening he wanted three miles. He entered the park at the Engineers' Gate at 90th Street and Fifth Avenue. The run to the top of Central Park-the no-man's land where Harlem and East Harlem joined at an invisible seam-and then the gradual southern sweep to the east-west transverse above the reservoir would combine for the three-mile course.
Around the area of the Engineers' Gate there were, as he expected, other runners, dozens of them. The light from the setting sun washed to a smooth glow the gray stone surface of the Church of the Heavenly Rest across Fifth Avenue from the Engineers' Gate. Stretching his legs and arms, he stared at the distinguished church and the huge, colorful banner hanging over the entrance's carved wooden doors. There was only one word on the banner: Rejoice.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2007

    Great novel

    This outstanding book, as Alan Dershowitz and others have said, has the feel of the real, since it's written by a very experienced criminal lawyer who is also a widely published poet and able to write a consummate thriller.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    Re: A GREAT NOVEL....!!!!!

    What a great read...!!!!!!!

    Kept me VERY INTERESTED right to the final page!!!!

    Can't wait to read 'Extraordinary Rendition'...

    Got to be another GREAT READ...WORTH EVERY PENNEY...!!!!!

    Hope he writes more...One of my favorite authors!!!!!

    Thank you Mr. Battista....!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    I recommend this book for those who like mystery.

    First time I read something from this author. Will be looking for more of his books. Kept my interest throughout the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Top notch

    Had a hard time putting it down

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