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Prime Witness (Paul Madriani Series #2)

Prime Witness (Paul Madriani Series #2)

4.2 5
by Steve Martini

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When a series of bizarre double murders rocks the small college town of Davenport, California, Paul Madriani is called in as a special prosecutor. But soon Madriani fears there may be more than one killer on the loose. HC: Putnam.


When a series of bizarre double murders rocks the small college town of Davenport, California, Paul Madriani is called in as a special prosecutor. But soon Madriani fears there may be more than one killer on the loose. HC: Putnam.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``The ugly marketplace of justice''--as one character terms the judicial process--is scrutinized with a riveting, you-are-there immediacy in the new legal procedural by the author of Compelling Evidence. When attorney Paul Madriani offers to assist a friend--the county's ailing district attorney, who subsequently dies--in investigating six brutal killings, he becomes entangled in a series of machinations that threaten his career and even his private life. Though Martini's plotting proves ingenious (the story is capped off by a nail-biting encounter in a darkened courtroom), the legal maneuvers themselves take center stage here. From the crime scene--the banks of California's Putah Creek--to a deceptively simple arrest to fascinating pre-trial scheming, Martini packs his novel with the quotidian details of the wheels of justice--and the numerous cogs therein. Madriani's first-person, present-tense narration invigorates the often intricate proceedings with first-rate wisecracks and one-liners. His character descriptions are by turns pithy and funny (frequently both): the prosecuting attorney ``looks like nothing so much as Robert Duvall's incarnation of the Great Santini''; the county's female victim-witness coordinator is ``the crime victim's answer to Don Corleone in drag . . . known as `Attila the Hen.' '' Prime is indeed the word for this involving read. (July)
Library Journal
More courtroom drama, legal wrangling, and concentrated investigation arise from a series of double murders in a rural California college town. Special investigator Paul Madriani hustles to find the killer before he strikes a fourth time. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/93.
School Library Journal
YA-When Paul Madriani agrees to fill in temporarily as Special County Prosecutor, he has no idea that he will become involved in a serial murder case. The search for the ``Putah Creek Killer'' leads to the arrest of a college security guard, Andre Iganovich. Adrian Chambers, the defense counsel, has a shady professional past and a deep-seated dislike for Madriani, who was instrumental in the attorney's previous suspension from the bar association. As the evidence unfolds, discrepancies between the first two double murders and the third one become apparent, leading the prosecution to believe that a copy-cat murderer is on the loose. Threats against Madriani's family, legal posturing, the identification of a witness to the third set of murders, and a killer's desperation combine to produce a thrilling story.-Grace Baun, R.E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Scott Wilkens
When Paul Madriani, at the behest of a sick friend, becomes the acting district attorney of a small town, he quickly finds himself in the eye of a storm created by a series of unexplained murders. Madriani is under attack on several fronts: a county board that has accepted him begrudgingly; an opposing counsel with a vendetta; an inept staff embroiled in office politics; a judge with a personal stake in the case and a deep-rooted dislike for Madriani; and a resentful wife in an already strained marriage. The novel effectively relays the great demands of being a district attorney and also depicts the behind-the-scenes maneuverings of a trial. In some spots, though, the character development is shallow, and the resolution relies too heavily on information never made available to the reader. Still, this letdown comes at the end of a generally satisfying courtroom drama. Marginally recommended.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Paul Madriani Series , #2
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.38(w) x 6.84(h) x 1.13(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Vincent Bugliosi
We unquestionably have a new literary lion in the fictional crime genre.

Meet the Author

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 28, 1946
Place of Birth:
San Francisco, California
B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, 1968; J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, 1974

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Prime Witness (Paul Madriani Series #2) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful wonderful! I love Paul Mandriani, the lawyer and the series. The ending was truly a bombshell. Never could have guessed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great readability and easy movement through the entire submission. Perfect amount of author information.
Aggie36 More than 1 year ago
Highly enjoyed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago