Prime Witness (Paul Madriani Series #2)

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Overview

"Steve Martini is a master of the genre," says John Grisham about the bestselling author of Compelling Evidence. "He writes with the agile, episodic style of a lawyer quick on his feet and one step ahead of his many enemies." Martini has joined the front rank of novelists whose legal thrillers have created a phenomenon in recent years. Now, the writer hailed by Vincent Bugliosi as "a new literary lion in the fictional crime genre" delivers a seamless novel of high suspense and brilliant courtroom intrigue. Over just five days, the rural college
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Prime Witness (Paul Madriani Series #2)

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Overview

"Steve Martini is a master of the genre," says John Grisham about the bestselling author of Compelling Evidence. "He writes with the agile, episodic style of a lawyer quick on his feet and one step ahead of his many enemies." Martini has joined the front rank of novelists whose legal thrillers have created a phenomenon in recent years. Now, the writer hailed by Vincent Bugliosi as "a new literary lion in the fictional crime genre" delivers a seamless novel of high suspense and brilliant courtroom intrigue. Over just five days, the rural college town of Davenport, California, is rocked by two sets of brutal murders. When two more bodies are discovered, Paul Madriani, the brilliant defense attorney from Compelling Evidence, is tagged as the special prosecutor who must find the murderer, dubbed "the Putah Creek Killer" - and quickly. Following a trail of mounting physical evidence, Madriani and the police are led to a college security guard, who is arraigned on multiple charges of murder. But things begin to spin out of control when Madriani confronts Adrian Chambers, the suspect's defense attorney, who harbors a checkered past and a deep-seated vendetta against Paul. Even worse, while the evidence linking the suspect to the first four slayings is irrefutable, something is clearly different with the last two murders. As the trial slowly proceeds, Madriani begins to realize there is another killer at large. Only during the trial - when he is fighting for the conviction of one killer and the identification of another - does Madriani discover terrifying answers that go far deeper than anyone imagined. Answers that will shock, mesmerize, and hold the reader captive until the last page.

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.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780515112641
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/28/1994
  • Series: Paul Madriani Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 222,757
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Martini
Steve Martini
A former journalist and attorney, Steve Martini has combined both halves of his résumé into a successful franchise of legal thrillers, most of which star the attorney Paul Madriani. According to Vincent Bugliosi, “We unquestionably have a new literary lion in the fictional crime genre."

Biography

Writer-turned-lawyer-turned-writer, Steve Martini has established himself as a bankable literary star in the legal thriller genre. His titles, many starring that embattled esquire Paul Madriani, have taut, two-word titles: The List, The Judge, The Jury, The Attorney. And he gets raves for his taut plots as well. A Detroit Free Press reporter once confessed that when she accidentally left her plane ticket and Martini novel in an airport restroom, she frantically dropped out of line at the gate and ran back to the ladies room -- for the book.

Martini began his writing career as a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, a legal newspaper, where he covered the California statehouse in the early 1970s. He specifically went to work for a legal publication because he planned to practice law. And, after receiving his law degree from the University of the Pacific in northern California, he set aside his reporter's notebook for private practice.

On the side, he continued to write, and he published his first novel, The Simeon Chamber in 1988, in which an attorney and his client are endangered by their possession of what may be the diaries of Sir Francis Drake and are in a chase that takes them to San Simeon, the castle-style estate in California built by William Randolph Hearst.

In 1992, Martini published his second book, Compelling Evidence, a taut thriller that introduced his popular recurring character, attorney Paul Madriani. In the novel, Madriani defends his former mistress on charges that she murdered her husband, the man who just happened to be the senior partner at Madriani's law firm. A national bestseller, the novel won the author a critical and popular following. Since then, with few exceptions, Madriani has been the centerpiece of Martini's fiction, squaring off against slick politicians, politically ambitious prosecutors, and a compelling cast of flawed clients with agendas all their own.

Although Martini is now a full-time writer, his long tenure in the legal trenches has obviously left its mark. Nowhere do his legal thrillers ring more true than in the courtroom scenes, which have won the praise of the master himself, fellow attorney-turned-bestselling novelist John Grisham. In assessing his colleague's skills, Grisham has said: "Steve Martini is a master of the genre...He writes with the agile, episodic style of a lawyer quick on his feet and one step ahead of his many enemies."

Good To Know

Martini covered the Charles Manson murder case in the 1960s as a reporter for The Los Angeles Daily Journal, a legal newspaper.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Steven Paul Martini
    2. Hometown:
      California
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 28, 1946
    2. Place of Birth:
      San Francisco, California
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, 1968; J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, 1974

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2014

    Lish

    Wonderful wonderful! I love Paul Mandriani, the lawyer and the series. The ending was truly a bombshell. Never could have guessed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    Great readability and easy movement through the entire submissio

    Great readability and easy movement through the entire submission. Perfect amount of author information.

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  • Posted January 20, 2013

    Great Read.

    Highly enjoyed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2009

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    Posted September 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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