Martini...has an unsurpassed understanding of just how cynical...the legal world can be...
Someday, someone may convince Martini or his publishers to come up with book titles that have a little more zip or at least relevance to the plot. Fortunately, the books themselves don't suffer from the same lack of inspiration. Martini's seventh series entry starring San Diego attorney Paul Madriani is one of his finest. It not only showcases Madriani as a man of maturing wisdom, but also as one who hasn't lost too much youthful vigor. Here, his client is the lithesome Dana Rush. She is the trophy wife of Madriani's good friend and fellow lawyer, Nick Rush, who is gunned down outside a downtown courthouse as the novel begins. In taking the case, Madriani feels an obligation to his friend; he wants to make sure Dana gets her just life insurance proceeds. But Madriani is equally as interested in investigating the events surrounding Nick's murder. What he finds-related deaths, drug smuggling, shady land deals and conniving law partners-takes Madriani on an unwholesome tour of Nick's final few months. The case leads Madriani and his law partner Harry Hinds to Mexico, where the action culminates in violence atop a Mayan ruin. Readers may have trouble tying it all together at the end, and they won't be too surprised at the identity of the villain. Yet along the way, Martini shows a deepening talent for character and description, which should put this popular series on continued solid footing for the future. Mystery Guild main selection, Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club featured alternate. (Jan. 6) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Paul Madriani, a criminal lawyer who avoids drug cases, is enlisted by a colleague's wife to help with the insurance settlement of her slain husband. The claim is complicated and eventually Madriani undertakes the investigation of the murder. The mystery unravels as he works his way through a collection of characters, including a prestigious art commissioner, some murderous thugs, and an attorney with a serious grudge. William Dufris's narration is seamless and unerringly accurate. Every character is convincingly portrayed, and the story's cadence is swift and encompassing. Unfortunately, this novel is so complex that it requires an extensive epilog, a curious conclusion to a tale told in the present tense. Recommended with reluctance.-Ray Vignovich, West Des Moines P.L. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
A highly suspect client takes San Diego attorney Paul Madriani (The Jury, 2001, etc.) farther from the courtroom than he's ever been-maybe a little too far. No thanks, Paul tells his friend Nick Rush, of Rocker, Dusher and DeWine (RDD), when Nick asks him to advise his trophy wife's friend, construction wheeler-dealer Gerald Metz, about a grand-jury money-laundering probe. He unbends enough for a single consultation with Metz, but the would-be client's answers set off so many alarms that he tosses this stinker back to Nick, who's therefore on hand to get perforated along with his client in a drive-by execution outside the courthouse. Torn by guilt and manipulated by the luscious Dana Rush into fighting for a key-man insurance policy Nick had inexplicably left in the name of his embittered ex Margaret, Paul finds himself stuck between an irresistible widow and an immovable discard-until, in the story's early high point, he comes up with a truly brilliant strategy for satisfying them both, along with RDD bigwig Adam Tolt and even RDD's insurance company. Unfortunately, his scheme doesn't prevent him from sinking deeper into the bog of Nick's secrets, from his hidden business partnership with the late Jerry Metz to his ties to the sinister Ibarra family of Mexico, where Tolt, Paul, and his partner Harry Hinds will shortly be winging aboard the RDD jet. In Cancun, far from the courtroom where he's always been the strongest player on the board, Paul shrinks to the size of a target in the sights of enemies who play a lot harder than he does. The resulting action sequences, although they provide plenty of fodder for movie-happy lawyers' pipe dreams, are likely to strain the patience of Martini'smany fans as completely as they shred his proven formula. Despite the crackerjack opening movement, Paul's first instinct was right: No thanks. Literary Guild featured selection; Mystery Guild main selection