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The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Discover an addictive, suspenseful debut thriller filled with twists and turns that will keep you engrossed from start to finish. Learn more

Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Mut edition (February 7, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567403697
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567403695
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.4 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,263,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Luke Garrison, a former D.A. who has abandoned the problematic morality of convincing juries to send criminals to the gas chamber, first appeared in The Disappearance, in which his old mentor wanted Luke to take on a sensational murder case that had the entire country abuzz. In Above the Law, J.F. Freedman continues to apply a successful formula: reluctant hero takes on a case that nobody, but nobody, wants. This time out, Nora Ray, the D.A. of Muir County, the least populated and poorest county in California--and a friend from Luke's law school days--asks Luke to help her investigate a recent police killing, which she believes may be a monumental government coverup.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has swaggered, guns blazing, into the forests near the White Horse reservation, intent on raiding the fortress-like retreat of Reynaldo Juarez, the notoriously reclusive leader of one of the biggest drug-dealing gangs in the country. Janet Reno herself has determined that he must be taken alive, so when the raid is blown, four DEA agents are killed, and Juarez himself dies after being taken into custody, questions and recriminations are par for the course. Nora and Luke must negotiate local hostility and pitched interdepartmental acrimony as they slowly unravel the tangled stories that surround the fiasco. But as he casts his investigative gaze from the poverty of the nearby reservation to the depths of the L.A. ghettos, Luke may be dangerously blind to the nearness of immediate treachery and deceit.

Freedman's strength is Luke's weakness: plagued by fears of failure, haunted by his decision to put job before family, Luke is an appealingly flawed narrator. While Freedman's engaging voice may not completely conceal his occasionally turgid prose, or his tendency to rely on coincidence as the shortest distance between two conundrums, it should be a sufficient siren's call to his loyal fans and those looking for a legal procedural with a conscience. --Kelly Flynn --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Former DA Luke Garrison is back in another tricky and exciting Freedman thriller (after The Disappearance). Now a defense attorney in Santa Barbara, he gets a surprise call from an old law school friend, Nora Ray. As the DA in remote Muir County in Northern California, Ray wants him to investigate the murder of drug overlord Reynaldo Juarez, which occurred during a violent and botched DEA raid on the Juarez compound in Ray's district. Garrison finds it hard to believe that anyone cares about who murdered the drug lord. But Ray thinks the DEA is conspiring to cover up something else, especially as they had orders to capture Juarez so he could be detained as a witness in other investigations. Reluctantly, Garrison agrees to be hired as her special prosecutor. The key players in the case are a twisted and intriguing lot: mysterious, needy, possibly dangerous Ray, attracted to the attractive prosecutor; elderly local sheriff Miller, exiled to Muir County long ago by the FBI and cut out of the DEA raid; Miller's deputy, Wayne Bearpaw, the liaison to local Native Americans who are trying desperately to haul themselves out of poverty; and federal agent Sterling Jerome, arrogant leader of the drug bust. As the case unfolds, Garrison uncovers the workings of Juarez's West Coast drug enterprise, the movement of large sums of money, startling passions and connections that go deep (including a long-ago link between Jerome and Juarez). Finally, as past and present converge, it becomes clear that nearly everyone has been hiding a secret. Though in need of some editorial tightening, Freedman's complexly plotted mystery builds to a surprising and satisfying climax. (Feb.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on February 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Drug Enforcement Agency was ready to lead the raid on the isolated Northern California compound of drug czar Reynardo Juarez. Dozens of specially selected agents waited for the word to begin the assault. Their only guidance from their boss, the US Attorney General, is to bring Juarez in alive so he can be pressured to rat on other cartel members. However, the simple attack turns into a trap and three agents soon lie dead. Juarez is killed as he tries to escape through the woods.

Northern California District Attorney Nora Ray investigates the fiasco. She quickly concludes the Feds are hiding and stone walling what happened in Muir County. Nor also believes someone executed Juarez. She asks a reluctant friend, defense attorney Luke Garrison to act as a Special Prosecutor to help her bring the case to justice. Though he believes justice was served with Juarez's death, Luke agrees that no one is ABOVE THE LAW. However, neither Nora nor Luke knows that their investigation will leave both in danger as they surf through the underbelly of society.

ABOVE THE LAW is a astonishingly exhilarating police-legal thriller that will excite readers with its non-stop action and strong characterizations. The story line is filled with exciting conflict from start to finish. The cast ("heroes and villains") is developed so that readers comprehend their motives, connections, and treachery. Additionally, the return of Luke Garrison (see THE DISAPEARANCE and not the Seagal movie) brings back one of J.F. Freedman's best charcaters. The New York Times bestselling author spins a triumphant complex novel that will attain more acclaim for Mr. Freedman.

Harriet Klausner
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. H. Thompson on April 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the second story about Luke Garrison, the former DA from Santa Barbara, who is a again pulled from his tiny law practice to handle a huge case that the whole country is watching.
The case centers around a major drug kingpin who is killed while in the custody of the DEA after an attempted drug bust went bad.
I think Freedman makes a critical mistake in this book, in that the entire story revolves around a very bad guy who it's really hard to care about. If you can't care about the central cause for the story, then it's also hard to care about who killed him and why.
It was an OK read. The characters, as always, are very well developed. There are also some sub plots that creep in and out of the story that are good. There are just too many dead spots in between the parts that interested me.
If you like Freedman, it's worthy of reading. If you've never read Freedman, check out "The Disappearance" first. It's a much better book, and will give a feel for what he's really capable of.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sherrie Martin on March 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When a DEA raid on a drug baron's wilderness compound goes bad with casualties on both sides, there's going to be hell to pay. The federal agents had explicit orders to capture Reynaldo Juarez alive, so how did he escape custody only to end up with a bullet through his brain? Santa Barbara attorney Luke Garrison is brought in as Special Prosecutor by his old law school friend, Nora Ray, now the local D.A.
As Luke begins building an airtight case against DEA agent Sterling Jerome for Juarez's murder, troubling questions arise about the local sheriff, sudden wealth on the nearby Indian reservation, the veracity of some of the evidence against Jerome, etc. And there's something about Nora... This is a great novel encompassing elements of mystery, suspense, police procedural, and courtroom drama, with a shocker of an ending.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "justicewriter" on April 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There is a bit of a conundrum here. If you haven't read The Disappearance before reading this one, you will enjoy this one more, because you won't know the true mystery maestro that Freedman can be. BUT, if you haven't read The Disappearance, you won't know the background on Luke and Riva which adds interest and wrinkles to Above the Law.
This is a good read. The mystery is well presented, and the author gives readers several believable red herrings to suspect and follow before ultimately revealing who the killer is. It is well paced, and Freedman is a gifted writer, particularly in capturing the aura of places: Santa Barbara, and the small towns of Northern California, among others.
Ultimately, though, it doesn't measure up to the riveting, edge-of-the-seat, I've-got-to-stay-up-all-night-to-finish-this-book drama that Freedman offered in The Disappearance.
Above The Law is a very good novel, but not the truly great read that Freedman offered mystery lovers with The Disappearance.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 11, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this up in paperback at an airport. I have not read Freedman before and wasn't familiar with the book - it just caught my eye and I had some time to kill.
Freedman's strength is a complex plot line that will likely reveal a few surprises in the final pages. He gives the narrator (former prosecutor Luke Garrison) a great back story - which makes it easier to get absorbed in the book. You won't always agree with the decisions Garrison makes, but you'll probably appreciate the dilemma that forced the decision.
The moral angles in the story were sometimes overplayed, but in all I felt that it added a dimension to the story that over novelists frequently omit. There are times when you feel Garrison (the narrator) is looking to the reader for approval; once or twice is OK... but after a half dozen similar pleas, it gets old.
Freedman does sacrifice his secondary characters - they are little more than caricatures to move the story along. But in Luke, Nora, Riva, the sherriff, and Louise you get characters who have more at stake than is often apparent.
I enjoyed the story, and it certainly passed the time. I'm eager to pick up The Disappearance based on other reviews here... I would certainly recommend Above the Law as an entertaining thriller that will keep you guessing up to the final chapter.
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