Double Tap (Paul Madriani Series #8)

Double Tap (Paul Madriani Series #8)

4.0 13
by Steve Martini

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Now Madriani is faced with daunting ballistics evidence: a so-called "double tap"-two bullet wounds tightly grouped in the victim's head, shots that could have been made only by a crack marksman. Paul's client, Emiliano Ruiz, is an enigma—a career soldier who refuses to discuss his past though it is clear that he is a battle-tested pro. Ruiz is accused of

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Now Madriani is faced with daunting ballistics evidence: a so-called "double tap"-two bullet wounds tightly grouped in the victim's head, shots that could have been made only by a crack marksman. Paul's client, Emiliano Ruiz, is an enigma—a career soldier who refuses to discuss his past though it is clear that he is a battle-tested pro. Ruiz is accused of killing a beautiful businesswoman and guru of a high-tech software empire catering to the military. A key to the case: the murder weapon is one used solely in special operations, where the "double tap" has become the signature of the most skilled assassins.

Ruiz is sitting on secrets-there's a seven-year gap on his military résumé, for which Madriani can find no details. And, more troubling, he discovers that the victim and her company were involved in a controversial government computer program designed to combat terrorists. Madriani finds himself in a deadly legal quagmire—with a client who is unwilling to cooperate and prosecutors who stonewall his every question about the victim's shadowy business and his client's past. Finding justice, and the unvarnished truth, has never been so elusive—or so dangerous.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In veteran Martini's exciting eighth legal thriller starring Paul Madriani (after 2003's The Arraignment), the San Diego defense attorney takes on yet another especially difficult case. When Madelyn Chapman, the owner of a computer software company that sells a controversial security program to the U.S. government, is found shot twice in the head in her La Jolla home, the closeness of the bullet wounds indicates a "double tap," a feat typical of a highly skilled military marksman. Army Sgt. Emiliano Ruiz, a 20-year vet who served in Panama and the first Gulf War and who freelanced as a security guard (and occasional sex partner) for Chapman, is arrested for the killing. After the flashy defense lawyer originally in charge of the case quits, apparently under pressure, the more compassionate and less publicity-minded Madriani and his partner take it on. Ruiz turns out to have a seven-year gap in his resume: was he in fact doing dirty work for Special Ops? And can Madriani find out his secrets in time to keep the sympathetic soldier from life in prison? The compelling plot builds to a conclusion that should surprise even longtime fans. Agent, Esther Newberg at ICM. BOMC main selection; Doubleday, Literary Guild and Mystery Guild alternates. (July 26) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Read by Kymberly Dakin. Simultaneous with the Knopf hardcover. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Attempting to defend his latest client charged with murder, Paul Madriani (The Arraignment, 2002, etc.) is hamstrung by none other than the U.S. government. The San Diego County DA's office maintains that Emiliano Ruiz, the ex-Army sergeant who acted as software queen Madelyn Chapman's bodyguard before she fired his company, shot his ex-client twice in the head. They have the murder weapon, an Army .45 issued to Ruiz; they have videotape of Madelyn and Ruiz making whoopee in her office; they have film showing him apparently stalking her shortly before her death. What Madriani has is nothing more than a suspicion that Isotenics, the company Madelyn ruled, is sitting on a nasty secret that supplies the real motive for Madelyn's murder. Isotenics, he's convinced, has stolen Paradize, a program capable of threshing through vast amounts of raw data in search of patterns that might indicate terrorist activity, from bankrupt engineer James Kaprosky, tweaked it enough to release it as Primis and licensed it to the government, who under the Information for Security Program is using it to spy on not only its own employees but-hang onto your hat-every citizen who's ever logged onto a government Web site. Naturally, Madriani's subpoenas for Madelyn's business records are vigorously opposed by lawyers representing both Isotenics and the Feds. After an interminable opening movement, Madriani has nothing better to do than engage in endless courtroom skirmishes while he waits for a ruling on his fishing expedition. As usual, Madriani shines in the courtroom, and the last surprise is unguessable. But was it really fair to make us wade through so many red herrings and so much blather to get there?Real-lifefears of government snooping under the Patriot Act will probably send this case to the top of the charts, though it's far from Martini's best work. Book-of-the-Month Club main selection; Doubleday Book Club/Literary Guild/Mystery Guild alternate selection

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Paul Madriani Series, #8
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.28(w) x 6.74(h) x 1.13(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Double Tap (Paul Madriani Series #8) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
CarolG70 More than 1 year ago
More Grisham than Patterson. More thinking person's lawyerly read than gory crime details.
bravewarrior More than 1 year ago
Abridged/CD: I had a bit of a problem with this audio because Joe Mantegna read it and he does the voice of the gangster on The Simpsons. It took a while to get into it because of that. I did enjoy the trial scenes. There is a midget prosecutor, who holds no punches, and goes up against our defense lawyer hero, Paul Madriani. It starts as a woman gets shot in the head twice in a military style "double tap" and her ex-military bodyguard is on trial for her murder. There were points that I felt should have been more detailed, but this was abridged. I felt the ending could have been better and it was a bit of a cop out. The big twist was kind of a yawn.
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Antysu More than 1 year ago
This was my first Steve Martini book but it was riveting... I found myself not wanting to shut the CD off once it was going... Very unpredictable and enjoyable... I will look for more books in this series..
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Guest More than 1 year ago
How did I miss this thriller when it came out in 2005? Thank goodness I found it now and couldn't put it down once I started reading. As a federal courtroom deputy clerk for 10 years and a legal secretary for 20 years, this is simply one of the best courtroom drama thrillers I have read. A truly great read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Madriani is a lawyer facing one of the toughest cases he has had for a while. A case that has already been walked away from by a high profile lawyer for undisclosed reasons. His client, Emiliano Ruiz, is accused of killing the head of a large software company, Madelyn Chapman, in an unusual style used by Special Forces called double tap. Given his military background, the placement of two shots in rapid succession into the target¿s head is something that Ruiz knows how to do. Add to that the fact that he served as Ms. Chapman¿s bodyguard, had an affair with her, and his gun was used in the killing, and the net of circumstantial evidence around Ruiz is pretty tight. Paul and his partner set out to gather evidence that can either clear Ruiz or at least cast enough doubt on his guilt to save his life. The way the two of them go about their task reminded me a bit of Joe Friday and his partner Bill from the old Dragnet series. Their investigation keeps hitting roadblocks whenever they look into a seven year gap in Ruiz¿s records or try to find out about a shadowy general who was working with Madelyn on a secret software contract. The trial begins with Paul in possession of little evidence to help his client. Someone, it seems, wants to keep a lid on things and the lengths they are willing to go to keep their secrets may be the only hope Paul has of saving Ruiz. I found the story engaging and the plot very plausible, but the book didn¿t always flow smoothly. At times it seemed like Steve Martini left off without finishing some thoughts and I couldn¿t tell whether it was his writing style or laziness. I also had to go back over the dialog in several places to understand just who was speaking. The inclusion of some historical perspective in the glimpses into the life of Paul¿s uncle Evo added depth to the book. Still, if he weren¿t an established author, I wonder if Mr. Martini could catch the eye of an editor with this offering. If a book doesn¿t keep my interest I will drop it in the middle and I don¿t review books that I don¿t finish. The fact that I post a review means that the book is pretty good. I¿m not a fan of lawyer stories (I don¿t think I¿ve ever stayed awake through an episode of Perry Mason) but I finished and enjoyed Double Tap. If you like courtroom drama and a good mystery, I recommend reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A $200 tip to a valet parker from a beautiful young woman driving a red Ferrari? That's sure to catch your attention. Then the young woman buys an expensive piece of art glass, so dear that the shop owner 'wonders whether his calculator possessed enough digits to cipher the sale and its consequent tax.' Intriguing, what? But wait, don't become too interested in this gal because by page 21 she's quite dead with two holes in her head, a double tap, the mark of an accomplished assassin. The eighth tale in Martini's popular series starring attorney Paul Madriani finds our protagonist a bit more introspective, more determined and faced with the daunting task of defending career soldier Emiliano Ruiz who is accused of killing the woman, Madelyn Chapman, CEO of a major software firm, Isotenics, Inc. The evidence against Ruiz seems indisputable - he was on a security force protecting her, a video tape plainly shows that they had an affair, and he has the skills to deliver a double tap, two bullet wounds maybe an inch apart. With the help of his garrulous pal, Harry, Madriani begins the investigation only to discover that Isotenics and the government were partners in an antiterrorist program that involved computer software able to spy on virtually everyone. To further complicate matters, Ruiz has a seven year gap in his resume, and he's not talking about it. It's a bit of a stretch to believe that much of Madriani's passion in defending Ruiz is because this soldier reminds him of his beloved Uncle Evo, a shell shocked veteran. And, the conclusion when the real killer is revealed does seem a bit contrived for this reader. However, fans of courtroom procedure will have a field day as Martini recounts the trial. Templeton a dwarf attorney with more tricks up his short sleeve than Houdini is a masterful characterization. Hopefully, we'll meet him on the big screen some day along with General Satz 'who had a long list of get-even announcements waiting to be printed.' An attorney as well as a writer, Martini, offers many insights into the ways and means employed by legal eagles when they go toe to toe in a courtroom. Enjoy! - Gail Cooke
harstan More than 1 year ago
Successful wealthy CEO of Isotenics, Inc. Madelyn Chapman enjoys her bi-coastal lifestyle that includes abodes in Manhattan and Virginia. However, one day when she returns to the house she considers her home in La Jolla, California, someone assassinates her with a double tap, two precise bullets to her head. The police follow clues that lead to career veteran Emiliano Ruiz. He hires attorney Paul Madriani to represent him. Paul faces an uphill battle as not only evidence places the accused near the crime scene; Emiliano had the skill to perform the precision operation. Adding to his dilemma is that Emiliano provides no background information about himself especially a seven year data hole in the middle of his long military career. The prosecutors cooperate as much as his client refuses to impart information on the victim¿s link to the military. Still Paul continues to dig to insure he bestows the best defense he can for his silent client. --- DOUBLE TAP is a terrific thriller that has the hero frustrated at ever turn as his client refuses to cooperate and the prosecution is even less forthcoming. Paul keeps digging for information, but for every step forward he takes two steps backward. Still he wants to put up a strong defense even if he wonders if Emiliano committed the homicide. Steve Martini is at his supreme best with this tale that showcases a struggling legal defense unable to obtain any cooperation.--- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Madriana is a man to be reckoned with, a man any Southern woman takes home to curl up with or travels down any avenue he cares to lead. I can't wait for the next trip he takes me through in the fantasy world this fantastic author creates.