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Quickly to an answer?

Snap Judgment Book Cover Snap Judgment
Samantha Brinkman #3
Marcia Clark
Crime Fiction, Legal
Thomas & Mercer
August 29, 2017
460

In the third installment of Marcia Clark's bestselling series, attorney Samantha Brinkman's investigation into a family's deadly secrets is compromised by a threat from her past. When the daughter of prominent civil litigator Graham Hutchins is found with her throat slashed, the woman's spurned ex-boyfriend seems the likely suspect. But only days later, the young man dies in what appears to be a suicide. Or was it? Now authorities are faced with a possible new crime. And their person of interest is Hutchins. After all, avenging the death of his daughter is the perfect reason to kill. If he's as innocent as he claims, only one lawyer has what it takes to prove it: his friend and colleague Samantha Brinkman. It's Sam's obligation to trust her new client. Yet the deeper she digs on his behalf, the more entangled she becomes in a thicket of family secrets, past betrayals, and multiple motives for murder. To win her case, she's prepared to bend any law and cross any boundary that stands in her way. Sam has always played by her own rules, and it's always worked...so far. But this case cuts so deep and so personal that one false move could cost her everything.

Sam has a problem client – or two. Two brothers in fact – nasty pieces of work, want her to find out why and who ensured that their brother, also her client, got put in the wrong jail section. and thus got killed by the presiding gang – their gang’s enemies. And they were getting nastier at each meeting.

In the meantime, Sam is trying to earn a living. And helping a family who were being systematically abused by the step-father. As was typical. Too much work and not enough time or resources or money.

This is an excellent series written by a lawyer so you know the legalities are pretty much accurate (for US law).

A must read series for fans of John Grisham in my opinion.

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Defending family morals

Moral Defense Book Cover Moral Defense
Samantha Brinkman #2
Marcia Clark
Crime Fiction, Legal
Thomas & Mercer
November 8, 2016

For defense attorney Samantha Brinkman, it's not about guilt or innocence--it's about making sure her clients walk. In the follow-up to bestselling Blood Defense, Samantha is hired as the legal advocate for Cassie Sonnenberg after a brutal stabbing left her father and brother dead, and her mother barely clinging to life. It's a tabloid-ready case that has the nation in an uproar--and Sam facing her biggest challenge yet. Why did Cassie survive? Is she hiding something? As Sam digs in to find the answers, she's surprised to find herself identifying with Cassie, becoming more and more personally entangled in the case. But when Sam finally discovers the reason for that kinship, she faces a choice she never imagined she'd have to make.

I found this book to be even better than ‘Blood Defense’. It seems to me that the author, Marcia Clark, is really developing a great style for this series with interesting storylines.

Just as you think you understand the plot, Marcia throws in a curveball, a twist, that throws you, so that you no longer know what is the truth and what is a lie.

Reading the author’s bio it is clear where her storylines come from. You understand why you empathise with Sam and how believable the storylines are.

After all the author was the lead prosecutor in the OJ Simpson’s case which demonstrates her knowledge of the subject matter. Even though the trial cost her dearly personally and made her legal career very difficult – only now is she working – like Sam as- as a court appointed defence lawyer – when not writing of course!

 

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When defending your blood

Blood Defense Book Cover Blood Defense
Samantha Brinkman #1
Marcia Clark
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, female sleuths
Thomas & Mercer
(1 May 2016)

First in a new series from bestselling author and famed O. J. Simpson trial prosecutor Marcia Clark, a “terrific writer and storyteller” (James Patterson).

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Samantha Brinkman, an ambitious, hard-charging Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, is struggling to make a name for herself and to drag her fledgling practice into the big leagues. Sam lands a high-profile double-murder case in which one of the victims is a beloved TV star—and the defendant is a decorated veteran LAPD detective. It promises to be exactly the kind of media sensation that would establish her as a heavy hitter in the world of criminal law.

Though Sam has doubts about his innocence, she and her two associates (her closest childhood friend and a brilliant ex-con) take the case. Notorious for living by her own rules—and fearlessly breaking everyone else’s—Samantha pulls out all the stops in her quest to uncover evidence that will clear the detective. But when a shocking secret at the core of the case shatters her personal world, Sam realizes that not only has her client been playing her, he might be one of the most dangerous sociopaths she’s ever encountered.

Choices.

What do you do when you are a defence lawyer and won’t work for the Public Defender’s Office? Probably take whatever cases come your way? even when the client is a little or even extremely dodgy.

And you need to make your name so that higher paying cases come your way? Then a high profile case will be good for you – won’t it?

This was the first book I have read by this author and I liked her style. It is written in the first person, with enough dysfunction in the lawyer to enable her to make some really poor life choices, but yet still manage to win her cases. and there are very few indeed physical punch-ups. Her legal morals might well be a little on the shady side if her client benefits but unless she is caught activiely trangressing then it’s all good.

I liked the writing characterisation but found the secondary characters a little thin. Especially her associates.

I am however, very concerned about Sam’s health. She drinks a lot of tequila. Far too much coffee and other caffeine drinks. Enormous amounts of sugar and no vegetables or fruit that I can discern – just high fat and fried food. I am expecting one of the later books in the series to have her in hospital when her liver/kidneys or heart have given out!

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Jewel Fire

Opal Fire Book Cover Opal Fire
Stacey Justice #1
Barbra Annino
Fiction
Thomas & Mercer
December 18, 2012
267

Small-town reporter and witch Stacy Justice has her hands full when her cousin Cinnamon's bar is set on fire, the investigation of which reveals that someone wants Stacy dead, and that her so-called magic skills are rusty.

A cosy mystery with witches whose magic is gentle, ‘seeing’ and healing mainly – the Wise Women.

It is written in the 1st person as the story unfolds so you know only what Stacy knows; thus very difficult to know the solution to the mystery in advance. You need to read on to find out who dun it and why.

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Enter the Doctor – when you’re dead.

Exhume Book Cover Exhume
Dr Schwartzman #1 &#2
Danielle Girard
Fiction, psychological suspense
Thomas & Mercer
October 1, 2016

Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman has finally found a place to belong. As the medical examiner for the San Francisco Police Department, working alongside homicide detective Hal Harris, she uncovers the tales the dead can't tell about their final moments. It is a job that gives her purpose--and a safe haven from her former life at the hands of an abusive husband. Although it's been seven years since she escaped that ordeal, she still checks over her shoulder to make sure no one is behind her. Schwartzman's latest case is deeply troubling: the victim bears an eerie resemblance to herself. What's more, a shocking piece of evidence suggests that the killer's business is far from over--and that Schwartzman may be in danger. In this pulse-pounding thriller from award-winning writer Danielle Girard, a woman must face her worst nightmare to catch a killer.

Brilliant new Medical Examiner series with a doctor who prefers her patients dead and with a sociopathic husband who doesn’t exactly want her dead, but close will do.

My first Girard novels and not my last.

I couldn’t put down Exhume and wanted so much to find out how the story ended that I carried straight onto Excise, book #2.

The sociopathic husband is well portrayed – just enough details to know he is extremely creepy and enough to know that only his (or her) death will stop him.

Anna – the ME, is also well portrayed such that we really understand how her mother’s emotional abuse primes her for Spencer’s (her husband) and leaves her vulnerable.

Excise, the second book is a direct continuation and we are ready for the manipulation by Spencer and to understand why Anna continues to work despite recovering from surgery.

 

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