Shadow of Power (Paul Madriani Series #9)

( 67 )

Overview

The echoes of a murder reach deep into the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court in this electrifying new thriller featuring defense attorney Paul Madriani from New York Times bestselling author Steve Martini.

Terry Scarborough is a legal scholar and provocateur who craves headline-making celebrity, but with his latest book he may have gone too far. In it he resurrects forgotten language in the U.S. Constitution—and hints at a missing letter of Thomas Jefferson's—that threatens to ...

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Shadow of Power (Paul Madriani Series #9)

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Overview

The echoes of a murder reach deep into the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court in this electrifying new thriller featuring defense attorney Paul Madriani from New York Times bestselling author Steve Martini.

Terry Scarborough is a legal scholar and provocateur who craves headline-making celebrity, but with his latest book he may have gone too far. In it he resurrects forgotten language in the U.S. Constitution—and hints at a missing letter of Thomas Jefferson's—that threatens to divide the nation. Then Scarborough is brutally murdered and a young man with dark connections is charged. What looks like an open-and-shut case to most people, doesn't to defense attorney Paul Madriani. He believes there is much more to the case, and that the defendant is a pawn caught in the middle, being scapegoated by circumstance.

As the trial spirals toward its conclusion, Madriani and his partner Harry Hinds race to find the missing Jefferson letter—and the secrets it holds about slavery and scandal at the time of our nation's founding and the very reason Scarborough was killed. Madriani's chase takes him from the tension-filled courtroom in California to the trail of a Supreme Court justice now suddenly in hiding and lays bare the soaring political stakes for a seat on the High Court, in a country divided, and under the shadow of power.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Steve Martini's ninth Paul Madriani novel places the ace San Diego defense attorney in a distinctly prickly situation. The murder of a legal scholar/provocateur makes front-page headlines because of the racist implications of his writings. The arrest of a young man with connections to hate groups only makes the case more volatile. Madriani's decision to defend the homicide suspect ignites a firestorm that leads eventually to the Supreme Court. A tightly threaded legal thriller.
Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Martini's entertaining ninth Paul Madriani legal thriller (after 2005's Double Tap) offers an improbable if intriguing premise. San Diego, Calif., attorney Madriani and Harry Hinds, his longtime partner, agree to represent Carl Arnsberg, a racist facing execution for the bludgeoning-by-hammer murder of author Terry Scarborough, whose nonfiction bestseller, Perpetual Slaves, has actually led to riots in the streets. Scarborough focused the U.S. public on the retention in the Constitution of offensive language defining African-Americans as three-fifths human, despite subsequent amendments overriding those statements. He intended to follow Perpetual Slaves with a sequel that would reveal the existence of a secret letter written by Thomas Jefferson whose contents Scarborough believed would prove even more incendiary. Madriani and his team race frantically to trace a copy of that letter, which disappeared from the victim's briefcase at about the time of his murder. Compelling courtroom scenes, which display a sophisticated knowledge of legal trench warfare, compensate for some less-than-credible plot twists. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061230899
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/31/2009
  • Series: Paul Madriani Series , #9
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 258,202
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Martini

Steve Martini is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including The Rule of Nine, Guardian of Lies, Shadow of Power, and others featuring defense attorney Paul Madriani. Martini has practiced law in California in both state and federal courts, and has served as an administrative law judge and supervising hearing officer. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

George Guidall is one of the foremost narrators in the audiobook industry, having recorded over 500 unabridged books ranging from classics to contemporary bestsellers. He is the recipient of the 1999 Audie Award presented by the Audio Publishers Association for the best narration of unabridged fiction.

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

Read an Excerpt

Shadow of Power
A Paul Madriani Novel

Chapter One

I open the envelope and start to paw through the photographs, the stuff sent to me in response to our discovery motion two weeks earlier. There are color glossies of the murder weapon, a common claw hammer with a fiberglass handle covered by a molded-rubber hand grip. In the photo it is lying on a tiled surface in a pool of blood. A small ruler lies on the tile next to the hammer for scale.

The next picture is a close-up of the claws themselves. A patch of bloody skin trailing several wisps of dark hair clings to the edge of one of the claws. The police photographer must have shot with a macro lens to get all the detail. No doubt they will want to use this one in front of the jury.

The next photo shows an elongated skid mark, apparently made by a shoe that slid in the blood and left a red comma coming to an end at the wall. The skid mark arcs out of the picture, making clear that its owner must have gone down when he hit the blood.

The fourth photo is a particular problem for us. I show it to Harry, who is seated next to me at the small metal table in the jail.

Harry Hinds and I have been law partners, "Madriani & Hinds," since our days back in Capital City years ago. We handle many kinds of cases, but predominantly we do criminal defense. Harry is more than a partner. For years he has been like an uncle to my daughter, Sarah, who is now away at college. I am widowed. My wife, Nikki, has been dead for almost fifteen years. To look at him, Harry hasn't seemed to have aged a day in the twenty years I've known him. He takes the evidence photo in his hand and looks at itclosely.

It shows a palm print in blood and three very distinct fingerprints: the first, second, and third fingers of the right hand superimposed in rusted red on the clear white tile of the entry hall's floor.

"And they're a match?" he asks.

"According to the cops," I tell him.

"How did this happen?" says Harry. "How did you get your fingerprints not only in the blood on the floor but on the murder weapon itself?" This, Harry puts to the young man sitting on the other side of the table across from us.

Carl Arnsberg is twenty-three. He has a light criminal record—one conviction for assault and battery, another for refusing to comply with the lawful orders of a police officer and obstruction of justice during a demonstration in L.A. two years ago.

He looks at Harry from under straight locks of dark hair parted on the left. The way it is combed and cut, long, it covers one eye. He snaps his head back and flips the hair out of his face, revealing high cheekbones and a kind of permanent pout. Then he rests his chin on the palm of his left hand, elbow on the table holding it up.

The pose is enough to piss Harry off.

There is a small swastika planted on the inside of Arnsberg's forearm, discreet and neat. It has all the sharp lines of something recent, none of the blurring that comes as flesh sags and stretches with age. His other arm is a piece of art. The words Our Race Is Our Nation wrap his right forearm. This is followed by a number of pagan symbols in ink.

Arnsberg's pale blue eyes project contempt for the system that placed him here. It is an expression sufficiently broad to embrace Harry and me. I'm sure Arnsberg sees both of us as part of the process that keeps him here, in the lockup of the county jail.

"I asked you a question," says Harry.

"I told you what happened. How many times do I have to tell you?"

"Until I'm satisfied that I've heard the truth," says Harry.

"You think I'm lying."

"Trust me, son, you don't want to know what I'm thinking right now."

"Fine! I brought him his lunch to the room," says Arnsberg.

"Thought you said it was breakfast?" says Harry.

"Maybe it was. Maybe he slept late. I don't know. What difference does it make?"

"Go on." Harry has his notebook open and is jotting a few items now and then.

"I knocked on the door. Like I told you before, and like I told the cops, the door opened when I hit it with my hand. Not all the way, just a crack. I didn't use a passkey. I guess whoever closed it last, it didn't catch. That would probably be your killer," he says. "That's who you should be looking for."

"You didn't see anybody pass you in the hall, between the elevator and the door?" I ask.

"No. Not that I remember."

"Go on."

"So when the door opened, I just leaned toward the crack a little and hollered 'Hello?'—like that. Nobody answered, so I pushed the door open a little more. I didn't look in, I just yelled again. Nothing. I knew I had the right room, the big Presidential Suite on the top floor. I'd been there plenty of times, delivering meals and picking up trays. So I sorta backed in, pushing the door with my back and shoulder. I yelled again. Nobody answered. At the same time, I started to undo the tablecloth with one hand, let it sorta drop down in front of me."

"Why did you do that?" I ask.

"You learn to do it so you can fling it out on the table and put the tray down on top. But I did it for another reason, too. To give myself some cover," he says. "You hear stories—waiters who barged into a room and found the guest, maybe a woman who didn't hear 'em knock, coming out of the shower in the buff. It's happened."

Shadow of Power
A Paul Madriani Novel
. Copyright © by Steve Martini. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 67 )
Rating Distribution

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(20)

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(18)

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(16)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 67 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Slave To The Details

    Shadow of Power is one of the best courtroom dramas to come along since Anatomy of a Murder. Even though the summer beach season is upon us, author Steve Martini has written a novel so detailed with the insides of the courtroom that a beach reader is unlikely to keep up. He assumes an intelligent reader, and he rewards accordingly. Faced with a cunning and bright prosecutor, the unlikeable defendant up against overwhelming odds needs defense attorneys just as smart and dedicated to the principles of justice upon which this country is founded. Taking us through what one of his own characters calls 'a long, complicated story,' Martini weaves a tale to draw the admiration of those who like their crime dramas full of interesting surprises without stooping to cheap shots and cute tricks.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    Recommended mystery reading

    Draws the reader into the plot and keeps you in suspence.
    Recommended read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    engaging legal thriller

    San Diego, California legal partners Paul Madriani and Harry Hinds reluctantly agree to represent Carl Arnsberg on a first degree murder charge that if convicted would most likely result in capital punishment. Arnsberg, a known racist, is accused of using a hammer to murder nonfiction author Terry Scarborough, whose bestseller Perpetual Slaves led to rioting. --- Scarborough exposed the section of the Constitution written by the revered Founding Fathers that still remains part of the land of the law having never been repealed in spite of the Bill of Rights and the Civil War Amendments. The document claims that Negroes be counted as three-fifths human. His publisher says that Scarborough¿s next exposé would be based on a letter written by one of the Holy Fathers Thomas Jefferson that would make his first book look like a kindergarten primer. The letter considered key to the defense by the legal team vanished when the author was killed. --- Although the twists and the underlying foundation require the reader to ignore probability, fans will appreciate the latest Madriani legal thriller due to the compelling courtroom trial that affirms the theory that the American judical system is a contact sport. Madriani is at his best as he defends a client he dislikes against evidence that could fill up Death Valley. Plausibilty may be doubtful, but entertainment is definite. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2012

    Really Good Book!

    Wow, Great Book, Very long run time, Great for long trips.
    Good story line.
    Audio was good, narration was good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    Very Boring

    This book did not keep my interest...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Recommended as good fiction

    Steve's goes on some political rants which don't enhance the story much, but all-in-all a well told who done it. I was disappointed in the last chapter because I thought all the loose ends were just jumbled together and tied into something that would work, but as in any good mystery, you never know who done it until those ends are tied.

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  • Posted August 7, 2010

    Really enjoyable!

    xxx

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This book may anger you

    But I still recommend it. Steve Martini writes a tale set in what could be modern day government. Parts of this book made me angry. It seemed so real. Maybe someday it will. Or maybe it already happened to some extent but we don't know about it. Who knows? Anyways, Steve Martini doesn't disappoint with this Paul Madrini book. And once again, you can guess all you want, but you never really know where he is going. And that's what makes his books such good reads! Surprise after surprise, turn after turn. I've yet to be disappointed from a Steve Martini novel. Looking for an incredible author, read everything by Steve Martini.

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  • Posted July 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reliable entertainment

    Martini does not stray far from his formula for success and entertaining. Ligt and well-paced this is another example of that formula.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    Save your money!

    Read less than 100 pages and threw it away. One of the stupidest books I've ever opened. I'll never buy anything of his again!

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  • Posted June 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Into the weeds...

    What started out as a great thriller, turned soggy at the end with a mistrial (kissing your sister), a stubborn jury member and a foresaken lover. The Supreme Court Justice was a complete red herring. This was not Martini's best outing and I truly like his work.

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  • Posted June 3, 2009

    Dull reading which includes lengthy trial hearings. Subject matter may be insulting to African-Americans. No real "story" in this book.

    Feel I cannot lend out this book because of the disturbing subject matter.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2008

    A throughly gripping novel . . . .

    Steve Martini is a masterful storyteller who knows how to tell a story that will grab the mind and soul of the reader and render them powerless to put the book down until it is read from cover to cover. Not a word was wasted in this book . . . . I enjoyed it immensely.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2008

    A reviewer

    Mr Martini has done it again with the 9th Madriani novel. It compels the reader to go to the Library of congress and read the American Constitution just to make sure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2008

    Steve Martini Does It Again

    Excellent legal thriller! I couldn't put it down. If you like legal thrillers that keep you riveted, this is the book for you!

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    Posted January 8, 2010

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    Posted January 27, 2011

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    Posted April 11, 2010

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