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review 2017-08-11 01:02
Small Great Things
Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult,Audra McDonald

 

 

Ruth Jefferson has been a neonatal nurse for over 20 years, at a small hospital in New Haven, CT.  She is a great nurse who loves her job.  During a routine newborn check, she is startled when the baby boy's father, Turk Bauer, insists on speaking with Ruth's supervisor, who subsequently informs her she is not to care for or even touch this young patient again.  The Bauers are white supremacists, and Turk has requested that no one who "looks like" Ruth touch the baby.  Ruth is African-American..

 

After having worked a double shift, Ruth is asked to watch over the baby, Davis Bauer, who has just undergone a routine circumcision and needs to be observed.  Because an emergency c-section has pulled all other available personnel away, Ruth is the only left to do so.  When he goes into cardiac distress, she faces the impossible choice of complying orders by doing nothing or defying them to administer to him.

 

When there is a adverse event, Ruth becomes a target and faces serious criminal charges.  The public defender assigned to her case is Kennedy McQuarrie.  The book has as its three first-person, present-tense narrators Ruth, Kennedy, and Turk.  The audiobook has three separate narrators for these roles, which I found really effective.  The book takes on race issues in a way that honors and explores the complexities associated with it, as the characters all recount their perspectives, and they all go through their own complicated journeys.  This is my second Jodi Picoult novel, after Leaving Time, and she's definitely become a favorite author.  She has a way of writing books I want to climb into so I can shut out the outer world until I'm done.

 

I had some uncanny timing with this book.  I'd placed a hold on the downloadable audiobook from my library's site ages ago. Just when I needed to make my "reader's choice" selection for my library's summer-reading program, this book finally became available.  

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review 2017-04-20 17:21
A TIME TO KILL Review
A Time to Kill - John Grisham

My first John Grisham novel was his latest release, The Whistler: a capable, if not entirely thrilling, read. Because I give every author two chances to 'wow' me, I decided to take a stab at Grisham's debut, A Time to Kill.

 

Wow. Wow wow wow. Was I impressed!

 

Set in northeastern Mississippi (an area I've ridden through many times, and have a certain affection for), a young black girl is kidnapped and brutally raped by two white rednecks, both career criminals despite only being in their twenties. The two are caught and arrested, but that does not make the girl's pain go away, of course — so her father takes matters into his own hands, and murders the two rapists in cold blood. Jake Brigance, a young lawyer who is desperate for the big time, takes the case despite its daunting nature. What unravels is something that thoroughly impacts the entire fictional town of Clanton, Mississippi, and the reader as well. There is no black or white here, only a world of gray; while most readers can sympathize with the girl's father, was it right of him to murder the men? What is morally justifiable? What role does the court system play in our lives, and even when juries make the 'right' decision, is it still wrong? These are questions Grisham leads the reader to, never fully answering them but instead inspiring thought and meditation. I know I certainly look at the American justice system in a new light after reading this fabulous novel.

 

This was a journey that had me glued to the pages, and I would have read it much faster had life not intervened. I was shocked by how fleshed out the town of Clanton and its inhabitants really are, in the pages of this weighty story; Grisham is one who can tell a tale, and had that talent from the very beginning . . . as is evident here, in his debut novel. I was not sure what I wanted the final decision to be — guilty, not guilty, mistrial — because of all the twists and turns and new revelations that come to light during this volume's 480-ish pages. That's a good thing. The person who begins reading this novel and the person who finishes this novel aren't the same, not completely; this is one with true potential to impact, all these years later. It really stands up.

 

John Grisham is one of America's most popular authors, and I can now see why. I cannot wait to work my way through the rest of his releases, but I don't know if any of them can top this one.

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review 2015-12-25 07:02
Justice Redeemed
Justice Redeemed - Scott Pratt

By:  Scott Pratt

ISBN: 9781503950542

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date:  11/17/2015

Format: Paperack

My Rating: 5 Stars 

 

A special thank you to Thomas & Mercer for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Scott Pratt, author of the bestselling legal Joe Dillard series (have read them all—a huge fan), returns with a riveting standalone, JUSTICE REDEEMED --a smart young attorney, gets caught up in a dangerous game of murder and corruption. Leading to the destruction of his personal and professional career, while trying to prove his innocence, and attain justice.

Combined with Pratt's wit, and sophisticated legal and courtroom maneuvers--another skillfully crafted page-turner legal crime thriller!

“Justice is like an abandoned child in a dark forest. She meanders slowly, in search of the light. One must hope she will eventually find her way.”


As the book begins, Darren Street, a young southern attorney is upset to say the least. His uncle Tommy had been diagnosed with colon cancer and it had taken quite the toll on him in jail. The corrupt DA had falsely convicted and imprisoned him for the past nineteen years.

Ben Clancy, DA and Joe DuBose, the sheriff of Knox County TN had accused Tommy of murdering his wife (his aunt Linda). He had been sentenced to life without parole. –A sham of a murder trial nearly two decades earlier. Street has been working on the case for years with no pay to try and help overturn the sentence.

Now a new judge steps in--takes Street’s side against Clancy—and honors the judgment. Declaring his uncle not guilty of murder and innocent of the charges. He is free to go, and Clancy is being cuffed. Happy Dance! Tommy’s prison sentence of nineteen years had gained a lot of national attention and of course Street is delighted, knowing Clancy is a criminal.

However, Clancy is up for reelection in eleven months. Street will do everything in his power to make sure Clancy never gets the opportunity to railroad another defendant.

Flash forward two years later. Darren has made a name for himself as the young hot shot attorney who rooted out corruption in the DA’s office. He is known as a hot head with a temper and not afraid to rock the system. This time it takes a wrong turn.

Darren, age thirty-two in criminal defense, Knoxville--has a new client, Jalen Jordan (a mix of goth, cowboy, and metro), twenty-five, with long hair and pale skin with piercings. He comes in with his mother regarding a misdemeanor traffic violation plus a felony resisting arrest and assault on a police officer. Street does not care for the man’s attitude or the case; however, he pulls out $50,000 in cash.

Even though the cash is tempting--his wife is having an affair, and he could use the money towards the divorce and help with his six- year- old son. He agrees. A few minutes later, the mother leaves; the client has more to tell him in confidence.

Jordan is linked to the death of two boys, and of course Street wants NO part of the case. He drops him. Street has gained the attention of bad guys like Jalen Jordan who, we learn, is a serial sexual molester and killer of young boys.

The jerk threatens to hurt Darren’s son Sean (in sexual ways), and his wife, Katie if he does not remain on the case. Darren is beside himself with worry. He cannot allow anything to happen to his family. He will kill him before he allows this to happen. He is desperate. If he has to he will hire someone to kill him. He picks up the money and leaves, in a panic. What just happened?

Immediately he contacts his wife to make sure Sean is safe telling her their son is in danger. She of course does not take it seriously. However, while Darren is taking every precaution to keep his son safe— Jordan’s body turns up with a bullet.

Soon afterwards, Jalen Jordan is found shot to death while hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Evidence points to Darren as the killer, and the enemy he made in the DA's office is out for blood. Jordan is killed and Street charged. The killing occurred in a national park, making it a federal crime. The federal prosecutor? None other than Ben Clancy, his enemy. Game ON….

Now, Street is on trial for murder! He is innocent. He thought about hiring someone, had the money, but could not go through with it. Someone however did kill him. He has to find out the real killer to clear his name.

Payback: with the enemy he made in the DA’s office years earlier is out to get him. He is being framed; however, behind bars, how will he manage to get the evidence to clear his name.? A court appointed attorney? He knows this will be a joke, or is it?

He can only do so much legal work from behind bars and what is he supposed to do for money while his law practice and family does down the tube? His soon to be ex-wife is of little support. Darren finds himself in a terrible situation. The book takes place over a few years, and in this case, justice takes a long time to find its way.

Adrenaline fueled, suspense-filled, taking readers into the criminal justice system, and how one bad decision can lead to life-altering consequences. Fast- paced action, twists, turns and Pratt shines. Pratt is definitely tops when it comes to legal thrillers, up there with Grisham and Connelly and the best of the best.

I loved the addition of Grace’s character, the appointed attorney and their relationship, as well as Granny! Also crafty move using his legal abilities behind bars to help others in order to get outside to help attain evidence.

Finally catching up with long overdue reviews, this holiday week. In addition to the reading copy, I also purchased the audio —I always listen to Pratt’s books, as the audio enhances the overall experience!

For fans of Connelly’s Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller),Grisham’s (Jake Brigance ) Sycamore Row and a Time to KillYou will love Scott Pratt’s Darren Street! Loving the new attorney, Darren Street—here’s hoping a new series, forthcoming.

For all you Joe Dillard fans, here is an interesting interview with Scott Pratt, in the event you have not read. The inspiration behind the book. Justice Redeemed,' A Conversation With Scott Pratt. Great job, Mark Rubinstein, Huffington Post.


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Justice-Redeemed/cmoa/5611d7180cf2f0ed7a3098f8
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review 2015-09-09 00:18
Injustice
Injustice: A Novel - Robert Lee Goodman

By:  Lee Goodman

ISBN:  9781476728032

Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books   

Publication Date: 9/15/2015 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating:  5 Stars  

 

A special thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

If you enjoy your legal thrillers served with all the sides, and trimmings—Lee Goodman’s INJUSTICE is assured to leave you deliciously satisfied.

With non-stop twists and turns, keeping you guessing from page one to the end--- guilty or innocent? Did or did not? Are you sure? Do not get too comfortable with your verdict; the jury is still out--- evidence may change, only a few pages or chapters away.

A multi-layered, complex and sizzling taut mystery--- with more obstacles, and courtroom drama than OJ; leaving your head spinning. When nothing is as it appears.

From a troubled marriage, a murder, revenge, a disfigured friend, a conspiracy, mistaken identity, betrayal, abuse from the past, and an eight- year- old case, possible DNA tampering, bribes, ongoing crimes, family drama, and a man who wants nothing more than to keep in his family intact and safe—all the while he finds himself in the middle of three cases which collide, for an explosive ending.

As the book opens, July 3 - life is sweet, or so thinks Nick Davis. He had a simplistic confidence in his identity as a vigilant father, a loving and beloved husband, and a shrewd federal prosecutor. All is well- children, spouse, extended family, and career.

However, all will change on July 4 at Rokeby Park, when he finds life sucks in all categories. Everything begins to fall apart. Imploding, is more like it—continuing, to the very last page—leaving you anxiously awaiting the next. OMG!

We jump months later, at a cabin on the lake, where Nick recounts his story. A trial will be starting soon and things get tangled. A prosecutor for thirty years, Nicks was playing mentor to his associate, Henry. Henry is disfigured, a burn victim, from a tragic event as a child. They are working on a case and he is engaged to his wife’s sister, Lydia.

Nick’s wife, Tina is also a lawyer, with the Innocence Project –she is re-opening an eight-year-old case regarding a murder of a child, seeking to exonerate a man, Daryl Devaney currently in prison, he confessed; however, was there really any proof and was he really of sound mind?

In between his big case, the murder of their family member, the ongoing investigation, new evidence surfacing, Arthur Cunningham, and his wife’s pending case-he is now involved in; plus another guy, Smeltzer his wife helped put away years ago, is out of prison and swore he would get revenge.

There is also the investigation of legislators for taking bribes from Subsurface, the fixer, the EPA break in, Dunbar, (grand jury investigation); Kyle and Nathan, two other boys; and complications with Detectives; overzealous Philbin who has an ax to grind, and partner Rachel Sabin, sexy and smart, who has eyes for Nick, or is she playing him?

Nick's personal life becomes involved in the series of plot twists with extended family, his ex-wife, Flora and husband Chip. Chip and Upton, FBI agents. Lizzy, Nick’s grown daughter and boyfriend Ethan. (Flora/Nick’s daughter). Lizzy becomes involved, helping Nick, with the research, for the case, and becomes entangled in a dangerous game. Then Craig, Tina’s ex-husband shows up. His wife, his son, and Henry are hiding out in a remote cabin, until things are resolved. What could possibly happen next? Trust me, plenty. . .

In addition, Nick’s marriage is strained, and his wife needs time apart. They have a four- year- old son, Barn, and a dog ZZ. Nick spends his time at an extended stay hotel, Friendly City, at the park, his favorite restaurant, or sleeping in the car parked in front of his home, while protecting those he loves, or in court—trying to fight the bad guys, while attempting to balance work and personal life. His wife, has not returned from the land of shock and sorrow. Nothing or no one is safe from harm.

“There are all these new realities to accommodate, and every-present dangers to guard against. Bygones, are not always bygones. If Nick has learned anything, it is that evil can come at you from any direction at any time. He will guard his life, and further trauma while trying to rebuild his life with Tina. “

WOW! this is one intense twisted legal suspense mystery thriller—just when you think one part is wrapping up, it takes a complete turn. This continues even as we approach the last few pages, introducing yet another shocker.

Poor Nick has a vision of a happy life with the perfect family. All he really wants to do is move to a small rural city, practice law with his attorney wife, and enjoy the great outdoors- a simple life in a cabin at the lake, with their son and grown daughter. The poor man has no passion with his wife, even though they have their legal similarities. Unfortunately, his wife, Tina is not on the same page.

Justice or injustice . . . You be the judge.

After reading this compelling thriller—I was rushing to find Goodman’s previous novel, INDEFENSIBLE; cannot wait to read.

What I would love to see in the upcoming novels: a back story of Henry (there has to be an intriguing story here); more personal stuff about Tina (seems there is a lot of hidden pent up emotion here – I kept suspecting her the entire book), more of tenacious Lizzy/Ethan, in a new case; and last but not least, possibly a juicy affair between Nick/Rachel. Of course, dying for more from Nick - the ending lends itself to a continuation of the ongoing saga.

Lee Goodman has been added to my favorite author list---OUTSTANDING! His inside knowledge further enhances the wow factor. Legal fans will e glued to this page-turner. Of course, with Atria Books impressive line up of crime/legal fiction authors, would not expect anything less than a 5 star delivery.

I enjoyed the blurb about The Innocence Project. Fans of this subject will enjoy Marti Green’s Help Innocent Prisoners Project, (HIPP) series.

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!The-Price-of-Justice/cmoa/558dce420cf20d45521f2098
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review 2015-07-17 08:37
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

"You just hold your head high and be a gentleman. Whatever she says to you, it's your job not to let her make you mad"

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.''

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.''
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