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Compelling Evidence Book Review

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Title: Compelling Evidence
Author: Steve Martini
Published: 1992, Jove
No. of Pages: 432
Cover Price: $6.99 US



Meet Paul Madriani, attorney, in Compelling Evidence, the first book in the popular series by author Steve Martini. The story begins when Paul Madriani has been asked by his friend and fellow lawyer, Ben Potter, to do some probate work on the death of a mutual friend’s daughter who was recently killed in an automobile accident. Ben confides in Paul that he will be nominated for the Supreme Court by the President in the next day or two and won’t have time to do it. Paul was previously at the powerful multi-million dollar law firm of Potter and Skarpellos, was assigned to help Potter’s wife, Talia, with some real estate issues, and ended up having an affair with her; Paul left the firm after the affair and went into private practice. Ben assures Paul that all is forgiven now, and makes an appointment to meet at a restaurant to discuss the details of the probate case. However, Ben doesn’t show up at the restaurant and Paul soon learns that Ben Potter has been murdered.

Talia Potter is arrested, charged with the murder, and requests that Madriani represent her. Ben’s partner, Tony Skarpellos, arranges for financing and brings in a totally incompetent attorney to take the lead, who messes up the preliminary hearing. Talia, even though she is innocent and the minimal evidence is circumstantial, is bound over for first degree murder. The incompetent attorney withdraws from the case, and Paul has little choice but to take over.

As the story progresses, and Madriani represents Talia, his career is on the line, as well as his marriage that he is trying to salvage. Madriani loses several points in the court proceedings, and alienates the judge when his affair with Talia comes out. The ending is a total surprise, and the scumbag who most readers will suspect committed the murder, turns out to be truly a scumbag, but not, unfortunately the murderer. It will be difficult to put this book down until the identity of the murderer is confirmed.

Steve Martini, who is a trial lawyer, writes a story that seems true to life with problems that ring true. The courtroom drama is fascinating, and Madriani doesn’t always win, unlike so many fictional lawyers. He has is own demons to deal with, and in so doing puts everything that is important to him in jeopardy.

The novel isn’t an easy fast read; it is, however, well-written, easy to understand, and there are no issues left hanging. Compelling Evidence is recommended for anyone who enjoys a good legal thriller.

This book was purchased with personal funds and no promotion of the book was solicited by the author or publisher.

This book may be purchased at Amazon: Compelling Evidence (A Paul Madriani Novel)

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