In Proof Positive, author Phillip Margolin brings us his third novel starring Amanda Jaffe, an Oregon defense attorney employed at her father’s firm. This time, Jaffe is trying to defend a mentally ill homeless man charged with murder while her father is doing the same - except for a mobster. Both men claim their innocence, but the forensic evidence says otherwise. That is, until Jaffe discovers that the two unrelated cases share a common denominator.
Despite problems in her personal life - her abysmal love life, being one - Jaffe is determined to uncover the strange mystery surrounding these two murder defendants. Her examination leads her to respected forensic expert Bernard Chashman, a man with a frightening philosophy that allows him secure a successful prosecution of those he feels are guilty - even if it means manufacturing crucial evidence that had never been there in the first place.
Margolin weaves a complex, suspenseful tale of multiple storylines against a fascinating backdrop of forensic evidence and crime scene investigation methods, effectively exploring how easy it is for a crime scene investigator to influence the outcome of a trial and ensure a certain verdict, completely undetected. With the massive popularity of shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Margolin’s novel is sure to attract a wide and appreciative audience.
Read a review of this book at Duffbert’s Random Musings.
Eva von Rensberg, half English and half-Afrikaan, grew up unhappily on a Skinner’s Drift, a farm in South Africa during the severe political unrest of a post-Apartheid atmosphere. Now it’s ten years, and Eva’s made her escape to New York City only to find she has to return to the place of her childhood to take care of her estranged dying father and sell the farm. Her revisit, however, begins to unearth long buried memories, especially when she finds the diaries of her late mother Lorraine and is forced to go back in time and relive her troubled past and face her father’s terrible secret.
Read a review of this book here.
Whitney, Taylor, and Charisse are three Chicagoan friends who rely on each other for support when their personal lives take a downturn. Whitney is an overweight singleton who turns to Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s for comfort when she can’t get a man in her life to stay put. She decides there’s nothing like an upcoming 20th high school reunion to lose weight for, and handsome Rico at the gym wants to help her, but is it too good to be true? Taylor is a successful lawyer who can’t seem to subpoena a commitment out of her longterm boyfriend Cameron and faces a debilitating medical condition that makes her rethink her priorities. Charisse seems to have it all with two adorable children and a loving husband — but her relationship with her abusive and emotionally unavailable mother, dissatisfaction with her current life, and desperation to keep some secrets hidden threatens the bounds of friendship and her marriage.
After six generations of Iowan farming, Mack and his family are forced to give it up if they want to barely hold onto their house, but can they keep hold of themselves? Rita Mae Barnes had been trying to cope with the loss of her husband and one of her sons by trying to keep the farm going. Mack, her surviving son, is back from a psychiatric ward stay for clinical depression. His wife Jodie has become so desperate, she can’t recognize herself anymore while her daughter has turned to religion for her problems and her son to goth music and rebellion.
Author John Lescroart kicks off the start of what is sure to be another engaging series with his latest novel, The Hunt Club. When a controversal federal judge and his mistress are found murdered, to homicide inspector Devin Juhle, it seems like a simple case of a jealous wife’s rage. However, Juhle’s investigation reveals far more complications: the murdered judge has many powerful enemies who wanted to see him dead. Meanwhile, Juhle’s good friend Wyatt hunt, a foster child, Desert Storm veteran, and now a successful private investigator, thinks he’s found the real thing with the beautiful and talented Andrea Parisi, a lawyer turned celebrity TV Trial commentator, bound for a national anchor job in New York City. Of course, it’s just Hunt’s luck that Juhle uncovers suspicious connections between Andrea and the murdered judge, and when Andrea herself goes missing, Juhle begins to suspect her for having a hand in the homicide, contrary to Hunt’s belief that she was kidnapped. Hunt is determined to find Andrea, and with him are his fellow associates and friends to help him, calling themselves “The Hunt Club.”
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Mark Childress sets your typical coming-of-age novel against the racial tensions of the recently desegregated Deep South during the early 1970’s in his latest novel, One Mississippi. Just before Daniel Musgrove is to enter the 11th grade, a number of things happen to turn his life upside down: his salesman father transfers the family from Indiana to rural Mississippi, an accident en route leads to all their possessions being destroyed, their crazy uncle comes to live with them, and his older brother enlists in the army, leaving Daniel alone in a strange place.
Fortunately, Daniel finds a quick friend in Tim Cousins, a bright, witty boy who loves to find the humor in everything life has to throw at him. The two fast friends bond over their mutual love for Sonny and Cher, involvement in an amateur Baptist church musical, avoiding quarterback and bully Red Martin, and mooning over a beautiful, popular black girl in the recently desegregated high school, Arnita Beecham . But while on a double date at the junior prom, the two teens get into an accident that leaves Arnita in a coma. Daniel and Tim manage to blame the accident on Martin, despite her mother’s suspicions. Things only begin to spiral out of control when Arnita awakes from her coma and believes she is white - promptly falling for the guilty Daniel and instigating extreme jealousy from Tim.
Daniel knew that transferring schools wouldn’t be easy, but throw in new love, jealousy, inner demons, racial tensions, manipulations, and cover-ups, and things quickly go from simple adolescent confusion to swift, mutual destruction.
One Mississippi feels like youâ€™ve stepped into a world where the air is thick enough to chew, the lemonade is tart enough to kill a three-day thirst and the neighbours are friendly enough to invite yâ€™all over for some southern fried chicken. This is the perfect read for the long, hot days of summer.
- Read the rest of this review at Electric Closet.