Sandrine's Case

Sandrine's Case

5.0 7
by Thomas H. Cook
     
 

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Legendary crime writer Thomas H. Cook, who is peerless whem it comes to finding the humanity behind every crime, offers one of his most compelling books in Sandrine's Case, in which a college professor faces the trial literally for his life when he is accused of murdering his wife, Sandrine.

Samuel Madison always wondered what Sandrine saw in him. He was a meek,

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Overview

Legendary crime writer Thomas H. Cook, who is peerless whem it comes to finding the humanity behind every crime, offers one of his most compelling books in Sandrine's Case, in which a college professor faces the trial literally for his life when he is accused of murdering his wife, Sandrine.

Samuel Madison always wondered what Sandrine saw in him. He was a meek, stuffy doctorate student, and she a brilliant, beautiful, bohemian with limitless talents and imagination. On the surface their relationship and marriage semed perfectly tranquil: jobs at the same small, liberal arts college, a precocious young daughter, a home filled with art and literature, and trips to some of the world's most beautiful cities and towns. And then one night Sandrine is found dead in their bed from a deadly overdose of pain medication and alcohol, and Samuel is accused of poisoning her.

As the truth about their often tumultuous relationship comes to light, Samuel must face a town and media convinced of his guilt, a daughter whose faith in her father has been shaken to its core, and the truth about his wife whose intelligence knew no bounds, yet kept shattering secrets that could set him free...or condemn him to death. SANDRINE'S CASE is a powerful mystery about what it means to be a husband and a father and a man, and whether true evil could lurk within the heart of a seemingly ordinary man.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this slow-burning, intricate thriller from Edgar-winner Cook (The Crime of Julian Wells), Sam Madison and his wife, Sandrine, both professors at Georgia’s Coburn College (he of literature, she of history) and parents of a grown daughter, appear to have a solid marriage. But below the surface there are problems, which culminate in Sandrine’s death from a cocktail of Demerol and vodka. While the coroner rules the death a suicide, the police suspect foul play and soon zero in on Sam as his wife’s killer. The local prosecutor is so certain of Sam’s guilt that he seeks the death penalty. In the course of the murder trial, which runs from unexpected revelations on the witness stand to torrents of legalese as the attorneys jockey for power, Sam reflects on his relationship with the brilliant, beautiful, and vexing Sandrine. Through Sam’s memories, Cook pulls off the tricky task of rendering Sandrine—a lover of ancient history, particularly Cleopatra, and the intricacies of language—as vividly as if she had never died. This crime novel, one of his best, builds to an unforeseen, but earned, climax. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
A psychological courtroom thriller from Cook (The Crime of Julian Wells, 2012, etc.). Husband and wife Sam and Sandrine Madison are both professors at Coburn College in Georgia, but one evening, Sandrine dies from an overdose of pain medications and liquor. Is it suicide or murder? Sam's strange behavior leads to his arrest, and his subsequent murder trial forms the structure of the story, told in his own words. The couple had grown apart over the years because Sandrine saw Sam as becoming increasingly indifferent and disconnected from her. Even when he learns Sandrine has Lou Gehrig's disease and will surely die, he shows little sympathy or emotional support. He holds his town of Coburn in contempt and considers his students ignoramuses unworthy of his erudition. (Do these kids even know that "unique" doesn't take an adjective?) Sam's thoughts and speech are full of literary references that further separate him from ordinary people. If he ever gets around to writing the great book he vaguely plans, he won't write it in his office--he doesn't have one of those--but in his "scriptorium." So Sam is an easy man to dislike, both for the townspeople and the reader. Maybe Sandrine committed suicide, as Sam claims. Or maybe he murdered her to escape the increasing burdens of her care, as the prosecutor wants the jury to think. Day by day, the state builds its case while the defense tries to tear it down. Sam's own memories show Sandrine's increasing frustration and rage with him, while conversations with the defense attorney reveal more of Sam's personality than the defense dares allow the jury to know. Defense and prosecution are equally skilled and devoted to winning their cases, so the trial's outcome--and the truth--are not easy to predict. A marvelous tale of human nature.
Booklist
“Holsopple’s performance as Sam Madison is more than worth the price of admission.”
Booklist

From the Publisher
“Narrator Brian Holsopple dishes out just the right recipe of pathos, irony, tenderness, and style in Cook’s latest. . . . Stay with Holsopple for the verdict and the unusual ending. It will be worth it.”
AudioFile

“A powerful reading by Brian Holsopple, who brings to life an unusual love story. . . . A wonderful blend of mystery and romance makes for an exceptional listen!”
The Bookwatch

The Bookwatch
“[A] slow-burning intricate thriller from Edgar-winner Cook. . . . One of his best.”
Publishers Weekly [HC starred review]

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802126085
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
08/06/2013
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.10(d)

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