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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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When the writer is unexpected…

The Devil's Work Book Cover The Devil's Work
Mark Edwards
Fiction, suspense, thriller, psychological
Thomas & Mercer
September 13, 2016

A gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Magpies. It was the job she had dreamed of since childhood. But on her very first day, when an unnerving encounter drags up memories Sophie Greenwood would rather forget, she wonders if she has made a mistake. A fatal mistake. What is her ambitious young assistant really up to? And what exactly happened to Sophie's predecessor? When her husband and daughter are pulled into the nightmare, Sophie is forced to confront the darkest secrets she has carried for years. As her life begins to fall apart at work and at home, Sophie must race to uncover the truth about her new job...before it kills her.

 Once upon a time you had an ambition to work in publishing – and you knew just which publisher you wanted to work for.

But first you needed a degree – and so you went to university and met Jasmine and then her boyfriend Liam.  Something strange happens whilst you are at uni and Jasmine and Liam leave – some years later hey are declared dead in a boat fire, which you find strange but…

In the meantime you have married and had Daisy who is now 4, and after time at home you have decided to go back to work and your dream job not only becomes available, but is also offered to you.

And then strange things start happening.

Your husband has issues with twitter. Your house is under attack apparently as a result.

‘Accidents’ happen at work and you begin to suspect that someone has a campaign against you – but who? Meanwhile the accidents multiply and a strange book is given to you by your boss to read and you become convinced it was written by Jasmine – but when? After all, she is dead, isn’t she?

And the suspense is ramped it and more things happen until the denouement and the plot twists and turns, and I didn’t guess the ending!

A well written novel that grabs you and you begin to feel the paranoia building as the story progresses.

4.5 stars.

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