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Naked Justice (Ben Kincaid Series #6)

Naked Justice (Ben Kincaid Series #6)

5.0 3
by William Bernhardt

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As Tulsa's first black mayor and a former college football hero, Wallace Barrett was a city treasure--until he became the prime suspect in the gruesome murder of his wife and two daughters. Seen splattered with blood and fleeing his house after the crime, the mayor needs a miracle. Enter Ben Kincaid.

While Kincaid may not be the slickest attorney in Tulsa, he has a


As Tulsa's first black mayor and a former college football hero, Wallace Barrett was a city treasure--until he became the prime suspect in the gruesome murder of his wife and two daughters. Seen splattered with blood and fleeing his house after the crime, the mayor needs a miracle. Enter Ben Kincaid.

While Kincaid may not be the slickest attorney in Tulsa, he has a knack for pulling off the impossible. But with a frenzied media, a string of damning expert witnesses for the prosecution, and surprise testimony that could rip right through Kincaid's already tenuous defense, impossible never looked so tough.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wallace Barrett is a former star college quarterback with an acting background who is now the first black mayor of Tulsa, Okla. In the prologue of Bernhardt's sixth Ben Kincaid novel (after Cruel Justice), the Barrett family visits the local Baskin-Robbins; a few hours later, everyone except Wallace is dead, and Wallace is the obvious suspect. Caroline appears to have been the classic abused wife, while the couple's two young daughters seem to have been caught up in a violent marital feud. As Wallace's attorney, Ben is forced to grapple with some very familiar snags in the case: there is a nationally televised highway chase, a contaminated crime scene, a bloody shoe print and a jury selection fraught with questions of racial bias. Bernhardt tries to make the story his own with a final plot twist based on an unknown piece of information about a vasectomy and a pregnancy. He also tries to invest the novel with some freshness by way of two subplots. One deals with Ben's single parenting of his young nephew during his sister's apparent disappearance; the other concerns a myasterious stalker who plagues Ben via letter bombs, a car chase and e-mail (there's little surprise, however, when the stalker's identity is revealed). At the end of the novel, Ben appears to abandon the law, but this intriguing turn toward character and away from the headlines comes far too late to redeem this legal thriller from its too obvious echoes of an all too familiar trial. Author tour. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Wallace Barrett, Tulsa's first black mayor and a former football star, has it all-including gorgeous wife Caroline and two delightful daughters. Then Caroline and the girls are found murdered in their home following a public argument between Wallace and his wife. Barrett, after being spotted running from the crime scene, leads the police on a chase down the Indian Nation Turnpike, with full media coverage (sound familiar?). As reports flood in of past "domestic disturbances" in the Barrett household, Wallace's violent temper, and allegations of child abuse, Barrett soon becomes the only suspect and calls on attorney Ben Kincaid to plead his case. As evidence, including DNA and blood tests mounts against his client, Ben finds himself entangled in his toughest-and most highly publicized-case yet. In his sixth book featuring Kincaid, Bernhardt (Cruel Justice, LJ 9/15/95) again proves himself master of the courtroom drama. Buy two!-Lori Dunn, Montgomery Cty. P.L., Troy, N.C.
School Library Journal
YAAs this mystery opens, Tulsa's black mayor, Wallace Barrett, is arguing with his wife at a local ice-cream shop. Several hours later, the woman and Barrett's daughters are found brutally murdered, and the mayor is speeding down the turnpike. A questionably sealed crime scene, DNA testing, and a televised trial follow, but as the story develops, readers are also handed entwined plot lines that parcel out information in a manner that will hold their interest and keep them guessing. This action-packed novel with a surprising twist raises thought-provoking moral issues of race and justice.Bobbi Thomas Skaggs, Robinson Secondary, Fairfax County, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Hangdog Tulsa lawyer Ben Kincaid (Cruel Justice, 1996, etc.) is stuck with another hopeless case—a mayor who allegedly killed his wife and daughters.

How's this for an original opening? Handsome, magnetic Wallace Barrett, a former football player turned politician, has a public argument with his wife over their two young girls; hours later, a neighbor who's heard cries from his house sees Barrett bolting the scene, leading the police on a dramatic high-speed chase until he crashes his car into a three-count indictment. Faster than you can say O.J., Barrett's retained feckless Ben, whom he's convinced is on the likely trial judge's good books. Barrett figures he'll need all the help he can get, because his late wife's sister, buff exercise counselor Cynthia Taylor, is already peddling a book about him larded with allegations of domestic abuse, and the D.A.'s office, headed by Ben's nemesis Jack Bullock, has stopped looking for another suspect. Meantime, Ben, who's been struggling to take care of the apathetic nephew his decamped sister's parked with him, keeps flashing back to painful memories of his own late father's indictment for murder. He's being sued by a TV station for smashing a camcorder (in defense of Cynthia Taylor, no less). And he's being stalked by someone who keeps threatening him with the tag line "Sick heart . . . You're next." Will Ben's investigator be able to identify the suspicious figure spotted taking money from the sleazy acting mayor? Will Barrett take the stand in his own defense? Will Ben, like Lt. Columbo, eventually realize what most readers will have seen from the beginning? Will all the evidence finally come together with a single satisfying snap?

Yes, yes, yes, no. Ben turns in a creditable job in the courtroom (and runs a mean five-minute mile), but not even the dream team could pull all the threads of this tangled case together.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Ben Kincaid Series , #6
Product dimensions:
4.22(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.01(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

William Bernhardt made his debut as a novelist with Primary Justice, a bestseller that launched what Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine called "one of the best new series going.  Bernhardt's subsequent novels include Blind Justice, Deadly Justice, Perfect Justice (which won the Oklahoma Book Award), Cruel Justice, and Double Jeopardy.

As an attorney, William Bernhardt has received several awards for his public service, and in 1993 he was named one of the top twenty-five young lawyers in the nation. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with his wife, Kirsten, and their children, Harry and Alice.

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Naked Justice (Ben Kincaid Series #6) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MoSC More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. Very well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago