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Missing Justice (Samantha Kincaid Series #2)

Missing Justice (Samantha Kincaid Series #2)

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by Alafair Burke, Betty Bobbitt
     
 

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In the second entry in this "sharp, new crime series," the search for a missing judge leads Samantha Kincaid into Portland politics and a labyrinth of crime, corruption, and cover-ups
(Publishers Weekly)
Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid is back at work after an attempt on her life and a promotion into the Major Crimes Unit. When the

Overview

In the second entry in this "sharp, new crime series," the search for a missing judge leads Samantha Kincaid into Portland politics and a labyrinth of crime, corruption, and cover-ups
(Publishers Weekly)
Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid is back at work after an attempt on her life and a promotion into the Major Crimes Unit. When the husband of Portland, Oregon, city judge Clarissa Easterbrook reports her missing and Samantha is called out on the case, she assumes her only job is to make the district attorney look good until the judge turns up. When the police discover evidence of foul play, however, Samantha finds herself unearthing secrets that Clarissa had wanted to stay hidden, the lingering personal tolls of a crime that occurred decades ago. And when those secrets lead to the discovery of corruption at the highest levels of the city's power structure, Samantha realizes that her quest for justice could cost her not only her job but her life.
In the skillfully plotted, highly suspenseful follow-up to her acclaimed debut, Judgment Calls, Alafair Burke once again demonstrates that "she's got what it takes" (Michael Connelly). With its irreverent heroine and seamless blend of squad rooms, street scenes, and courtroom drama, Missing Justice confirms Burke's place among the genre's most talented and exciting newcomers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Burke's lively second Samantha Kincaid mystery (after 2003's Judgment Calls), the Deputy District Attorney has just joined the Major Crimes Unit in Portland, Ore., when a local judge, Clarissa Easterbrook, goes missing and is then found murdered. As Kincaid sifts through possible suspects, she also adjusts to the personalities in her new office, including her surprisingly friendly supervisor. Evidence of the judge's affair with a politician and an increasingly confusing crush of contracts, judgments and financial papers make it difficult to believe that Kincaid would seriously consider Melvin Jackson, a poor black man, as the likely murderer. A former drug addict, Jackson was in danger of losing custody of his kids in a case Easterbrook was considering just before her death. Eventually, Kincaid turns to a more obvious source of trouble. Kincaid is an appealing if perhaps too familiar a type-a slightly seasoned, feisty woman who runs impressive distances and confides her endearing foibles to the reader. Burke does a good job of integrating the political and personal lives of her characters, with the detectives of the Major Crimes Unit being particularly well drawn. Witty and concise dialogue helps redeem the somewhat stiff plotting. Agent, Philip Spitzer. (June 2) Forecast: Blurbs from such big names as Sue Grafton, Lee Child, Michael Connelly and Linda Fairstein, plus Burke's being the daughter of James Lee Burke, should help ensure a successful national author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Following an impressive debut (Judgment Calls), Burke's Samantha Kincaid returns for another adventure, this time revolving around the disappearance of Portland city judge Clarissa Easterbrook. Samantha, newly assigned to the city's Major Crimes Unit, investigates. After an initially cold trail, strong evidence quickly surfaces, and an obvious suspect is arrested. Samantha then unearths the pasts of both the victim and her family and friends, which indicate more complicated reasons for Easterbrook's disappearance. To make matters even thornier, Samantha also learns that her father may have indirect knowledge of the incident, owing to his past involvement with some of the case's players. With excellent pacing, Burke strikes a nice balance between the cops and the lawyers. She doesn't force the drama, and the dialog is better here than in her first effort. This one should be popular with those who enjoy a little mystery with their crime fiction. [Previewed in Mystery Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/01.]-Craig Shufelt, Lane P.L., Oxford, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Promoted from Vice to Major Crimes, Portland (OR) Deputy DA Samantha Kincaid (Judgment Calls, 2003) gets her first murder case. Twelve hours after leaving his wife Clarissa home in bed, Dr. Townsend Easterbrook returns to find her missing. But one of her shoes soon turns up, followed by her dog-spotted in an unlikely parking lot a few miles away-and, in due time, her corpse, battered and left outside an office park. Who would have reason to kill an administrative-law judge, most of whose civil cases were both low-stakes and routine? The cops suspect the grieving widower, but after a ham-handed full-court press on him backfires in a shower of lawyers, they fix on an easier target: Melville Jackson, a janitor/handyman who was evicted from his public housing on Clarissa Easterbrook's orders. The case seems perfect. Jackson repeatedly threatened the victim; his fingerprints are on the knocker of her front door; and the hammer that killed her is found in his place. Any other prosecutor would sit back and enjoy the ride, but Samantha's soon brewing schemes with Jackson's shaggy court-appointed counsel, figuring out whether the defendant could have been framed by folks whose power stretches from the legal system to her own family. A deftly extended episode of Law & Order, whose structure it mimics without adding anything compelling or new. Burke's neatest surprise is why Samantha, tossed off her first big case, ends up happy anyway. Agent: Philip Spitzer
From the Publisher

“The second Kincaid mystery by the daughter of James Lee Burke is a very clever whodunit long on red herrings, shadowy motives, and sly humor. The author's background as a former deputy DA in Portland lends gritty ambience to this modern parable of greed and ambition.” —Booklist

“[Kincaid is] a slightly seasoned, feisty woman who runs impressive distances and confides her endearing foibles to the reader. Burke does a good job of integrating the political and personal lives of her characters, with the detectives of the Major Crimes Unit being particularly well drawn.” —Publishers Weekly

“Samantha Kincaid is one feisty, smart, articulate soul...she is appearing in her second novel in what's proving to be the beginning of a tough, funny, incisive new mystery-procedural series...clear-eyed, sardonic...Burke's first novel, Judgment Calls, was terrific: tight, savvy, ingenious and suspenseful, and this one proves that it was no one-shot deal.” —Providence Journal

“In Missing Justice, Burke really hits her stride. And so does her protagonist...she's smart, she's tough, and she's unafraid-in short, just the way we like our heroines.” —New Orleans Times Picayune

“A taut mystery/thriller with fine characters from an author who debuted with her own voice and a good understanding of how to make a book work...her ADA Kincaid is a solid feature character, bright, flawed, feisty and very much her own woman...it is a fine and fast read.” —Statesmen Journal (Salem, OR)

“Burke is definitely a comer and a keeper.” —Chicago Tribune

“Are you born with great genes for writing fiction? Or is it something you learn at your Daddy's or Mommy's knee? Whatever it is, Alafair Burke, daughter of James Lee, has it...this is a fine, hidden-secret novel...the fun is in the unraveling of the story, and Burke makes the most of that...Kincaid is a great character.” —Toronto Globe and Mail

“Alafair Burke advances the story with ingenuity and a sly, sexy charm. Samantha is autonomous and classy as a woman obsessed with cracking her case. Yet she is never unapproachable. She wins arguments with elan--and the author uses clear explanations of actual law without seeming legalistic.” —Desert Morning News (Salt Lake City)

“Alafair Burke made a promising debut with Judgment Calls...Kincaid returns in another absorbing legal thriller.” —The Seattle Times

“As a former prosecutor herself, Burke knows the inside of a courtroom, and it shows in the details. The most compelling scenes in the book are set in the halls of justice.” —Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)

“Perfect summer escapism...a satisfying mix of courtroom drama, criminal investigation and colorful characters.” —Tucson Citizen

“Entertaining, complex” —Dallas Morning News

“Extremely talented.... Missing Justice is a finely wrought aggregate of the elements of a police procedural, merged with the architecture of a legal thriller and a tightly plotted 'old-fashioned' mystery.... In this second outing for them, both Burke and Kincaid come off as very talented and justly claiming their place among the work of writers like Linda Fairstein and Jan Burke...she has the gift every writer longs for: to grab the reader's attention on page one and hold on to it until the last page is read.” —Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum, Bookreporter.com

“A delectable vehicle for Samantha. Alafair Burke advances the story with ingenuity and a sly, sexy charm.” —Dennis Lythgoe, Desert Morning News

“Each of her two books can be read as a stand-alone...buy them both. You won't be disappointed.” —Barbara Franchi, Reviewingtheevidence.com

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781742854786
Publisher:
Bolinda Publishing Pty, Limited
Publication date:
09/01/2011
Series:
Samantha Kincaid Series, #2
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

From Missing Justice:

Prosecutors have bad days. Our files are filled with death, rape, desperation, and degradation. Even in so-called "victimless crimes," we spend our work hours thinking about acts that could be committed only by pathetic, miserable people who have lost the hope we all need to maintain our humanity. Compare that to fighting over money for a banking client, and it looks like we're doing the heavy lifting.

But, in the end, I'm still just a lawyer. I issue indictments, plead out cases, and go to trial. When it comes to the investigation, I might lead the police on procedures. But it's the police who do the work. They're the ones who kick in a door when a search needs to be executed. They're the ones who climb through the Dumpster when a gun gets tossed.

And Johnson and Walker would be the ones to visit Clarissa Easterbrook's family members tonight to tell them that their lives would never be the same again.

Meet the Author

A former deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon, Alafair Burke now teaches criminal law at Hofstra Law School and lives in New York City. She is the daughter of the acclaimed crime writer James Lee Burke. Her three novels in the Samantha Kincaid series, Judgment Calls, Missing Justice, and Close Case are available in paperback from St. Martin's Press. Dead Connection is her first stand-alone thriller.

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