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Corrupt Practices: A Parker Stern Novel [Kindle Edition]

Robert Rotstein
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A Los Angeles church, considered by some to be a powerful cult, charges Rich Baxter with embezzling millions. Rich reaches out to former colleague and star trial attorney Parker Stern to come to his defense. Parker despises the cult, but he hasn’t entered a courtroom since developing severe stage fright after his mentor, Harmon Cherry, committed suicide. Rich claims that Cherry did not kill himself—he was murdered by someone connected to the church. At first, Parker doesn’t believe it . . . until disturbing events force him to question what’s really happening.

As the case takes an unexpected turn, Parker surprises himself and agrees to take on the church. But to represent his client and uncover the truth he must overcome his own long-buried secrets.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Parker Stern’s promising career as a litigator at Macklin & Cherry ends abruptly when he’s stricken with paralyzing stage fright in courtrooms after the suicide of his mentor, Harmon Cherry. When the firm subsequently breaks up, Stern’s former partners are supportive: Manfred Mason, now associate dean at a law school, hires him as an adjunct professor, and occasional bedmate Deanna Poulos, now a coffee-shop operator, persuades him to represent another ex-colleague, Rich Baxter. When Baxter, accused of embezzling from his longtime client, the cultish Church of the Sanctified Assembly, is found hanged in his jail cell, Stern begins to believe the outlandish charges that Baxter has made against the church. Hired by Baxter’s father to fight the church over his son’s estate, Stern finds himself at risk, along with his student, Lovely Diamond, who is helping him with the investigation and with whom he becomes romantically involved. Rotstein’s debut is a tautly constructed, fast-moving narrative with an appealing protagonist—smart, articulate, and crafty—who nevertheless literally faints from fright in front of a judge. This promises to be a compelling series for legal-thriller fans. Get in at the start. --Michele Leber


“This is a terrific book. Just terrific. Robert Rotstein has come up with a fresh take on the legal thriller and he does a first-rate job. Parker Stern is a complex and well-developed protagonist and the story is beautifully structured for maximum intrigue and suspense.”
—SUE GRAFTON, #1 New York Times–bestselling author
“An intelligent, fast-paced, exciting thriller with an intricate plot that kept me on the edge of my seat. The ending had my heart pounding. I stayed up late, finished it in two sittings, and wished there had been more.”
—ROBERT DUGONI, New York Times–bestselling author of Murder One     
"A tautly constructed, fast-moving narrative with an appealing protagonist. . . . This promises to be a compelling series for legal-thriller fans. Get in at the start."
BOOKLIST, starred review

“Be prepared to put everything down and read through the night. Rotstein is a master of lightning-fast plot shifts and startling characterizations. Sexy, riveting, and keenly crafted, Corrupt Practices is well worth the insomnia.”
—TERRI CHENEY, New York Times–bestselling author of Manic
Corrupt Practices gives you all the pleasures of a legal thriller . . . but it is also just a beautiful novel. The characters are weird, interesting, flawed, and psychologically complex, and the portrayal of various Los Angeles subcultures . . . is authoritative and insightful. [It’s] both a wild ride and a profoundly satisfying literary experience.”
—MATTHEW SHARPE, author of Jamestown
“An intriguing, deftly paced legal thriller. The scenes ring with authenticity and the story peels back layer after layer of surprises.”
—PAUL GOLDSTEIN, author of Havana Requiem
“The kind of rich and entertaining read that will please a wide range of legal thriller fans. . . . It is that rare sort of book—one that leaves you feeling entertained and a better person for having read it.”
—LES STANDIFORD, author of Bringing Adam Home

"A steady stream of intriguing revelations delivered in a lively, precise style will keep readers turning the pages."

Product Details

  • File Size: 838 KB
  • Print Length: 360 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1616147911
  • Publisher: Seventh Street Books (June 4, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BH0VO3Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,779 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Look forward to more Parker August 16, 2013
By Marce
From my blog

My Review - 4 1/2

I prefer standalone novels but I am so happy this legal thriller will be a series. I loved the main character Parker and look forward to more court room drama. All the characters were interesting, conniving in their own way, they added to the suspense.

Parker takes on a case representing an ex colleague against a church, The Sanctified Assembly, which sounds more like a cult that loves power. Parker hates everything to do with the Church of the Sanctified Assembly and doesn't want anything to do with them but decides to take on the case.

A friend gives him a teaching job in hopes of helping him get over court room stage fright. He uses his students to assist with the research and the case and they help him get in touch with the basics again. Everyone that gets involved realizes they are putting their lives at risk, is it worth it.

This book will have you staying up well past your bedtime or waking to continue on because your so engaged you can't relax enough to go to sleep, a page turner to say the least. The secrets were incredible, a great executed thriller.

The title Corrupt Practices is perfect, is the legal system corrupt or the church, I bet you won't figure this one out. There are so many brilliant secrets, just layered on, you can't get enough, you will enjoy this thrill.

I look forward to more Parker Stern.

A favourite quote

Religion can be very similar to an embrace. And you can't really explain an embrace. But there are people who comfort me with just a hug." Grinning slightly, she tilts her head toward her father. "If that same person hugged you, you'd probably recoil in disgust. But the trick, with both people and faith, is to find what will comfort you. We all need a divine embrace."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Likable protagonist, interesting story February 19, 2014
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
From reading the synopsis, I went into this one with high hopes. And while this book isn't perfect, Rotstein has written a novel that will keep the pages turning.

Parker Stern was a hotshot lawyer before stage fright got the better of him after his mentor's suicide. So when a former friend and coworked calls Parker to claim that his mentor's death was instead a murder, Parker is quickly drawn into the mystery. Things intensify with further violence, and with the involvement of a cult to which Parker seems to have ties. As he continues to learn more about the truth, we too as readers learn more about his ties to the cult, which are hinted at throughout.

The only complaint I have is that too many of the characters seemed just over-the-top. The lawyer-turned-coffee shop operator, the assistant with a bizarre past of her own, another former lawyer turned crazy addict...there's some serious suspension of disbelief needed as a reader.

Even with that complaint, I really enjoyed this book. It kept me entertained and turning the pages, and I don't know what more you can ask from a legal thriller.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm rating this book five stars for so many reasons...

A child actor, Parky Sterns becomes an adult lawyer, one with an abusive and secretive childhood. A flower child mother that stops at nothing to see her boy succeed as an actor eventually slips into an occult religion. The tale is set, one that I could not stop reading.

Parker Stearns is a lawyer with acute stage fright. He developed the malady when one of the partners of the firm he worked for committed suicide. When another lawyer he worked with is arrested for stealing $17 million from his only client, a cult religious group, Parker is asked to represent him. When the lawyer is found dead in his cell, it's another case of suicide. Or is it?

This is a twisty legal thriller with interesting characters, great plot and visual scenes that will make you feel you're living the story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of suspense August 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of the best of it's type I have read. I was glued to it for a week of spare time. It has everything one would want in a mystery novel. After finishing it, I was able to get back to a full night's sleep.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing legal drama May 15, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Corrupt Practices" by Robert Rotstein is a legal drama in the purest sense. Rotstein introduces Parker Stern who makes for a fascinating and complex lead character and opens up avenues of follow up opportunities in the future.
Stern is a former member of a large legal firm which has been disbanded due to the death of the lead partner and the loss of their largest legal corporate client who is an organization reminiscent of Scientology but is named The Church of the Sanctified Assembly. When the novel opens, Stern finds himself suffering from the inability to enter the courtroom without having severe panic attacks which virtually incapacitate him. The reasons for this will gradually be exposed to the reader as we learn a great deal about Stern dating back to his childhood and forward.
Stern is approached by a former member of the law firm and asked to defend him from a lawsuit by the Sanctified Assembly of embezzling millions of dollars and diverting them to international banks.
Just prior to the beginning of the trial, his client is found dead in a jail cell and causes Stern to investigate the case along with the question whether the death was a suicide. He thinks the Sanctified Assembly is not only involved in the death but is a truly dangerous organization which needs to be challenged and exposed for their practices and manipulation.
Rotstein introduces the former members of the law firm slowly into the novel each with a specialty of their own and each with a motivation to become involved in the case. Much of the story takes place either in a courtroom trial on in critical depositions with the executives and legal representatives of the Sanctified Assembly.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Gritty and real
This was a great story, so well written that I could not put it down! As real as it gets, the words make you live
the action, Mr. Rotstein is a fantastic story teller. Read more
Published 3 months ago by CNugent
4.0 out of 5 stars Escapist Pleasure
Corrupt Practices is an easy read. The plot and characters are interesting enough to keep the pages turning until a satisfying conclusion has been reached. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dr. J. J. Kregarman
5.0 out of 5 stars Get ready to lose some sleep!
I love legal thrillers - especially those written by lawyers who are practicing or have practiced in the past. Read more
Published 3 months ago by tweezle
5.0 out of 5 stars Parker Stern is a very unique protagonist -- a lawyer ...
Parker Stern is a very unique protagonist -- a lawyer with stage fright -- caught up in scams, lies and deceptions. A very enjoyable read! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tom Austin
4.0 out of 5 stars Suicide or murder? Creepy cult or unassuming minor character?
Corrupt Practices has everything a person could want from a legal drama: sex, legal jargon, mystery, crooked lawyers, a creepy cult, murder, and a surprise, a twist, a moment that... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dave Astle
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile story to read if you like quick paced books.
The main character in The Big Hit, Parker Stern has all the makings of a memorable series, such as Lucas Davenport, Dismas Hardy, Penn Cage, etc. Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Stroh
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh
I wasn't a fan of the writing.
Story was interesting, but frankly, other legal thriller writers do a much much better job, so why waste your time on this?
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great debut!
You would never guess this was a first novel. The writing is terrific, the story is complex and believable. Read more
Published 4 months ago by C. Christensen
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Courtroom With A Good Deal of Personal Development
This is a personal study told with a background of two courtroom cases. The novel's development is chiefly in the growth and changes of the protagonist and to a lesser extent, the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Paul Cassel
5.0 out of 5 stars A great legal thriller!
I have always loved a good John Grisham legal thriller, so I was thrilled when I discovered this one....and I was not disappointed with it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jodi
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More About the Author

Robert Rotstein is an entertainment attorney with over thirty years experience in the industry. He's represented all of the major motion picture studios and many well-known writers, producers, directors, and musicians. He lives with his family in Los Angeles, California, where he is at work on the next Parker Stern novel.


International Thriller Writers
Mystery Writers of America

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