Trial by Fire (Joseph Antonelli Series #7)

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Defense attorney Joseph Antonelli's new client is a professor accused in the stabbing murder of his lover, a successful attorney. The case has everything: illicit sex, wealth, a high-profile killer, and a beautiful victim. Antonelli firmly believes his client is not guilty. To prove it, he has to bait the real killer out of hiding. What he discovers will challenge everything he knows about murder, justice, celebrity, and the price of innocence.

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Overview

Defense attorney Joseph Antonelli's new client is a professor accused in the stabbing murder of his lover, a successful attorney. The case has everything: illicit sex, wealth, a high-profile killer, and a beautiful victim. Antonelli firmly believes his client is not guilty. To prove it, he has to bait the real killer out of hiding. What he discovers will challenge everything he knows about murder, justice, celebrity, and the price of innocence.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this intelligent, gripping legal thriller, the latest in Buffa's Edgar-nominated series to feature San Francisco DA Joseph Antonelli (The Defense, etc.), Antonelli agrees to join his law partner and longtime friend, Albert Craven, on a national talk show to discuss the media craze surrounding the case of a young married woman, Angela Morgan, allegedly murdered by her husband. Also on hand for the discussion with the blowhard host, Bryan Allen, are up-and-coming attorney Julian Sinclair and young, attractive assistant DA. Daphne McMillan. Antonelli and Craven are so impressed by Sinclair's performance and his perfect background, that they invite him to join the firm. Unfortunately, Sinclair has a problem McMillan is brutally murdered in his house, and he can say only that he didn't do it. The resulting media frenzy (driven to a large degree, as before, by Allen) puts the Morgan case to shame, and during the trial, Antonelli fails to convince the jury of Sinclair's innocence. Each new chapter brings another unexpected, not to mention unlikely, surprise. Even as credibility is strained to the breaking point, the fast-moving dialogue and fine sense of characterization keep the reader hanging on for the ride. Agent, Wendy Sherman. (Apr. 21) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Righteous Frisco attorney, unwillingly drawn into the world of celebrity lawyer punditry, defends a younger version of himself on a murder charge. Renowned San Francisco courtroom star Joseph Antonelli, who elegantly narrates his own story, succumbs to the pressure of law partner Albert Craven to appear on the popular Brian Allen Show, a public affairs program featuring talking heads at loggerheads. Other panelists include telegenic trial lawyers Paula Constable (women's rights), Daphne McMillan (district attorney) and earnest young law professor Julian Sinclair, a firebrand who reminds the middle-aged Antonelli (and Craven) of himself as a young lawyer. So impressive is Sinclair that Craven instructs Antonelli to recruit him for their firm. Antonelli thus befriends the earnest Sinclair and is near closing the deal when he gets an uncharacteristically frantic late-night call for help from Sinclair. The brutally murdered body of Daphne McMillan is at Sinclair's house. Antonelli agrees to defend him, though not at first convinced of his innocence. The case is made more difficult by the common belief that Daphne and Sinclair were lovers; Sinclair claims he was only her close friend and confidant. She poured out her heart to him about her unhappy marriage to Australian industrialist Robert McMillan (Rupert Murdoch-like), who emerges as the most likely suspect if Sinclair is innocent. The sincerity and integrity of prosecuting attorney Maddy Foster make the trial an extreme challenge for Antonelli, and the verdict comes about halfway through the story. Further plot developments, involving the aforementioned players, spring from the trial's outcome and expand on Buffa's theme of the justicesystem compromised if not perverted by celebrity and the sensationalism of media play, with Antonelli embarking on an obsessive quest for the entire truth. In his seventh Antonelli outing (Breach of Trust, 2004, etc.), the often prosy Buffa has found an effective balance. His murder plot is a McGuffin for interesting ruminations on 21st-century justice.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399152818
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/21/2005
  • Series: Joseph Antonelli Series , #7
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

D. W. Buffa has written a captivating novel filled with remarkable prose and jaw-dropping suspense-one no lover of evocative mysteries should be without.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2005

    Now I want to read the series

    This was the first book I read in the Joseph Antonelli series by the author. I found it to be truly excellent and well worth the read. In the novel, attorney, Joseph Antonelli, defends another attorney, Julian Sinclair, who is accused of murdering a married woman. I found the author highly readable. I have not yet read another book in this series but I did not find it to matter. There is quite a bit of insightful commentary on how the media often 'decides' on a defendant's guilt or innocence prior to the trial and the difficulty of the defendant to get a fair trial. The storyline itself kept me reading. Yes, the attorney, Antonelli, was convinced for very little reason that the defendant was innocent but part of the fun was seeing whether or not he was right. I highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading others by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2005

    Disappointed reader

    Buffa became popular because of his compelling dialogue and riveting courtroom dialogue. He now writes a book about the effect media has on the guilt of an accused. Julian Sinclair says he is innocent so we should believe him. Buffa never puts forth any facts to support Sinclair. The reader is supposed to think Sinclair is this special person because Buffa says so. Buffa blames another for the murder Sinclair is accused of but never puts forth any real facts or evidence supporting this claim. There is little courtroom drama because there is no real evidence disputing Sinclairs guilt or the boyfriends innocense. This makes for a boring and meandering read that annoyed me because Buffa can write. He just needs a story line thats interesting, and makes you want to turn pages, not skip them. A story that has depth and not written like an outline so he can spend the majority of the book repeating himself over and over how media affects peoples perceptions. I got it the first ten times it was said. What I needed was some proof and storyline to back up Buffas premise. Please go back to your original court room dramas and maybe I will try you again

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    excellent legal thriller

    Famous defense attorney Joseph Antonelli and Berkley law professor Justin Sinclair met on the talk show ¿The Bryan Allen Show¿, with lawyer Paula Constable and San Francisco assistant district attorney Daphne McMillan. There was a rapport between Antonelli and Justin from the start. Joseph represents all the goodness humanity has to offer while Justin admires the defense attorney and thinks of him as a defender of truth. It is to Joseph that Justin turns when he gets in legal trouble. --- Justin calls Joseph early one morning and asks him to come over to his house. When he arrives, he sees the butchered up body of Daphne there. Justin admits she spent the night in his house but he never killed her or heard any intruder in the house. Joseph knows Justin is innocent and agrees to be his lawyer but before the case can go to trial, it is played out in the media. Justin is found guilty and is sentenced to life without parole but Joseph is determined to prove that Daphne¿s abusive husband killed her and he goes to amazing lengths to see that justice prevails.--- D.W. Buffa is one of the few authors since perhaps Zola who can write a legal thriller and make it become a work of literary fiction that is quite exciting. The story of TRIAL BY FIRE is not about guilt or innocence or the death sentence but how a person¿s life can be decided in the court of public opinion enflamed by a J¿accuse media of controversial shock television and radio shows. This work is haunting, memorable and will be considered a classic in the years to come.--- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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