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The Legacy (Joseph Antonelli Series #4)

The Legacy (Joseph Antonelli Series #4)

3.8 5
by D. W. Buffa, D. W. Buffa, D.W. Buffa

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A young black student is on trial for the murder of a hot-shot California senator. The student claims he is innocent, but all the evidence indicates otherwise. Joseph Antonelli leaves his Oregon law practice to put up a case for the defence. He soon discovers a world of deceit, betrayal and naked ambition.


A young black student is on trial for the murder of a hot-shot California senator. The student claims he is innocent, but all the evidence indicates otherwise. Joseph Antonelli leaves his Oregon law practice to put up a case for the defence. He soon discovers a world of deceit, betrayal and naked ambition.

Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
A former defense lawyer, D. W. Buffa has earned a reputation for writing taut courtroom dramas -- such as The Judgment, his 2001 Edgar nominee for Best Novel -- marked by a highly effective use of realistic legal maneuvers and litigation tactics to produce tension. In The Legacy, he once again thrusts his protagonist, Portland attorney Joseph Antonelli, into an absorbing, complex case, one that will lead to terrifying revelations and a trail of corruption, old world money, destroyed innocence, and plenty of dirty politics.

Jeremy Fullerton, a California senator with presidential ambitions, is shot in the front seat of his car after giving a fiery speech. Jamal Washington, a young black medical student, is arrested fleeing the scene and charged with murder despite his protests that he was only trying to aid the dying senator. Enter Antonelli, who is willing to stake his reputation -- and possibly his life -- to clear Washington in a case that is bound to uncover secrets a lot of powerful people would prefer to leave buried. Eventually Antonelli tracks the intricate machinations behind the murder to a grand conspiracy in Italy, where the outcome is something completely unexpected.

Buffa uses a sure and steady hand to tell an elaborate tale that moves from the modern-day courts back to a cabal formed decades earlier. Thought-provoking and filled with intricate twists, The Legacy offers fleshed-out characters and a fulfilling story that digs deep into the very ideals of our judicial and political systems. (Tom Piccirilli)

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Joseph Antonelli Series , #4
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.13(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

Read an Excerpt


MOUSE IS DEAD. Those words had gone through my mind every morning for three months. Mouse is dead because of me.

When I sat up, Bonnie rolled her shoulder and sighed in her sleep. The sky through our bedroom window was just beginning to brighten.

The image of Raymond, his eyes open and unseeing, lying stockstill on EttaMae's front lawn, was still in my mind. I lurched out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom. My feet hurt every morning, too, as if I had spent all night walking, searching for EttaMae, to ask her where she'd taken Ray after carrying him out of the hospital.

So he was still alive? I asked a nurse who had been on duty that evening. No, she said flatly. His pulse was gone. The head nurse had just called the doctor to pronounce him dead when that crazy woman hit Arnold in the head with a suture tray and took Mr. Alexander's body over her shoulder.

I wandered into the living room and pulled the sash to open the drapes. Red sunlight glinted through the ragged palms at the end of our block. I had never wept over Raymond's demise, but that tattered light reflected a pain deep in my mind.

IT TOOK ME over half an hour to get dressed. No two socks matched and every shirt seemed to be the wrong color. While I was tying my shoes Bonnie woke up.

"What are you doing, Easy?" she asked. She had been born in British Guyana but her father was from Martinique, so there was the music of the French language in her English accent. "Gettin' dressed," I said. "Where are you going?"

"Where you think I'ma be goin' at this time'a day? To work." I was feeling mean because of that red light in the far-off sky. "But it's Saturday, baby." "What?"

Bonnie climbed out of the bed and hugged me. Her naked skin was firm and warm.

I pulled away from her. "You want some breakfast?" I asked. "Maybe a little later," she said. "I didn't get in from Idlewild until two this morning. And I have to go back out again today." "Then you go to bed," I said. "You sure? I mean... did you need to talk?" "Naw. Nuthin's wrong. Just stupid is all. Thinkin' Saturday's a workday. Damn."

"Are you going to be okay?" she asked. "Yeah. Sure I am." Bonnie had a fine figure. And she was not ashamed to be seen naked. Looking at her pulling on those covers reminded me of why I fell for her. If I hadn't been so sad, I would have followed her back under those blankets.

FEATHER'S LITTLE YELLOW DOG, Frenchie, was hiding somewhere, snarling at me while I made sausages and eggs. He was the love of my little girl's life, so I accepted his hatred. He blamed me for the death of Idabell Turner, his first owner; I blamed myself for the death of my best friend.

I WAS SITTING at breakfast, smoking a Chesterfield and wondering if EttaMae had moved back down to Houston. I still had friends down there in the Fifth Ward. Maybe if I wrote to Lenora Circel and just dropped a line about Etta — say hi to Etta for me or give Etta my love. Then when she wrote back I might learn something. "Hi, Dad."

My hand twitched, flicking two inches of cigarette ash on the eggs. Jesus was standing there in front of me. "I told you not to sneak up on me like that, boy." "I said hi," he explained.

The eggs were ruined but I wasn't hungry. And I couldn't stay mad at Jesus, anyway. I might have taken him in when he was a child, but the truth was that he had adopted me. Jesus worked hard at making our home run smoothly, and his love for me was stronger than blood.

"What you doin' today?" I asked him. "Nuthin'. Messin' around." "Sit down," I said.

Jesus didn't move the chair as he sat, because there was enough room for him to slide in under the table. He never wasted a movement — or a word. "I wanna drop out of high school," he said. "Say what?"

His dark eyes stared into mine. He had the smooth, eggshellbrown skin and the straight black hair of people who had lived in the Southwest for thousands of years. "It's only a year and a half till you graduate," I said. "A diploma will help you get a job. And if you keep up with track, you could get a scholarship to UCLA."

He looked down at my hands. "Why?" I asked. "I don't know," he said. "I just don't wanna be there. I don't wanna be there all the time." "You think I like goin' to work?" "You like it enough," he said. " 'Cause if you didn't like it, you'd quit."

I could see that he'd made up his mind, that he'd thought about this decision for a long time. He probably had the papers for me to sign under his bed.

I was about to tell him no, that he'd have to stick out the year at least. But then the phone rang. It was a loud ringer, especially at sixthirty in the morning.

While I limped to the counter Jesus left on silent bare feet.

"Hello?" "Easy?" It was a man's voice. "John? Is that you?"

"I'm in trouble and I need you to do me a favor," John said all in a rush. He'd been practicing just like Jesus. My heart quickened. The little yellow dog stuck his nose out from under the kitchen cabinet.

I don't know if it was an old friend's voice or the worry in his tone that got to me. But all of a sudden I wasn't miserable or sad. "What you need, John?"

"Why'ont you come over to the lots, Easy? I wanna look you in the eye when I tell ya what we want." "Oh," I said, thinking about we and the fact that whatever John had to say was too serious to be discussed over the phone. "Sure. As soon as I can make it."

I hung up with a giddy feeling running around my gut. I could feel the grin on my lips. "Who was that?" Bonnie asked. She was standing at the door to our bedroom, half wrapped in a terry-cloth robe. She was more beautiful than any man could possibly deserve.

"John." "The bartender?" "Do you have to leave today?" I asked. "Sorry. But after this trip I'll have a whole week off." "I can't wait that long," I said. I gathered her up in my arms and carried her back into the bedroom. "Easy, what are you doing?" I tossed her on the bed and then closed the door to the kitchen. I took off my pants and stood over her.

"Easy, what's got into you?"

The look on my face was answer enough for any arguments she might have had about the children or her need for sleep.

I couldn't have explained my sudden passion. All I knew was the smell of that woman, her taste and texture on my skin and tongue, was something I had never known before in my life. It was as if I discovered sex for the first time that morning.

Copyright © 2002 by Walter Mosley

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Legacy (Joseph Antonelli Series #4) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author paints a vivid picture of the character
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anybody who read THE DEFENSE or THE PROSECUTION knows D.W. Buffa can write. Okay, he's a little Gothic for my taste, but it worked. Good characters, good plot, and a deliberate style that as my wife puts it, "gets the movie going in your head." That's why I can't understand what happened with THE LEGACY. It's not just moving the setting from Portland to SF -- Dashiell Hammett he ain't. It's not just a flaw in his protagonist, attorney Joseph Antonelli (supposedly the world's best lawyer, although if this was a horror film, Antonelli would be the guy who keeps following the kitten into the dark room where the killer waits with a double-bladed axe). Nope, it's as if Buffa, who has been improving with every book, suddenly forgot how to write. Think I'm kidding? Every noun in this book gets at least two modifiers. Every smile is "sadly knowing" or "grimly determined" or worst of all, "mirthful pleasing". What the hell is a mirthful pleasing smile? And the heroine, who Antonelli goes out of his way to assure is probably the most attractive, accomplished woman in the free world, instead seems like the sort of dame who enters every room looking for a couch to faint on. And plot twists -- Antonelli leaves the former KGB agent's store, and one minute later -- he's hardly to the curb -- it blows up! Nonetheless it takes another page and a half before his pulse quickens. Wait -- maybe this is that Bruce Willis movie, where's he's really already dead... Okay, I'm being cruel, but this is a big disappointment. Where the hell was the editor? I mean, who's job is it to tell the author that the work in progress isn't Dr. Zhivago, it's Valley of the Dolls? Let's hope it's an aberration. At least don't be dumb enough to buy it retail. Wait til it comes out in paper. Better still, wait til it's in the library. Better still, don't read it -- it'll just spoil the other books for you. Of course, awful as it is, it's still miles better than Lisa Scottoline's COURTING TROUBLE, which I notice is on the "Reader's who bought this also bought..." list at the bottom of the screen. What is this, a conspiracy?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Film and television actor Mark Feuerstein gives a confident, compelling reading of Buffa's fourth legal who-dun-it featuring Portland, Oregon based attorney Joseph Antonelli. U.S. Senator Jeremy Fullerton is shot and killed while in his car in San Francisco. The night was, of course, dark and foggy. Prime suspect is a young black man, Jamaal Washington, who was wounded by police while apparently trying to escape the scene. Fullerton was not just any senator - he was prime fodder for a presidential nomination. Politics, as we know, makes strange bedfellows - it also makes for suspenseful mystery novels. Because of the late senator's exalted position not a lawyer in San Fran wants to touch the case. Joe Antonelli does more than touch it after he is contacted by an older lawyer in the City by the Bay who wants to help the young defendant for reasons unknown. The mystery gets murkier as someone who claims have dynamite information about the Senator's past meets a sudden death. Buffa's forte is courtroom scenes, and Feuerstein delivers them impeccably.