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The Defendants (Thaddeus Murfee Legal Thriller Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

John Ellsworth
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (231 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.75
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

A lawyer who won't quit on you--

Thaddeus Murfee is twenty-five, single, a lawyer of eighteen months, and completely unprepared for the murder case that walks in. While Ermeline was passed out, her date carved his name in her breasts. Heavy, thick letters: V-I-C-T-O-R.

The guilty party is found murdered. Or was he guilty? Ermeline is arrested because she had motive and opportunity. She hires Thaddeus, who makes his debut defending his first murder case in this courtroom drama.

In The Defendants, John Ellsworth offers you a courtroom thriller that puts you right on the front row to witness how murder cases are defended. See the politics behind all criminal cases, and how love can grow out of the strangest beginnings anyone could imagine. In the end, Thaddeus is given a split second to save his own life. His reaction is amazing!

Observe the trial and get inside the defense lawyer's mind as he asks his questions, presents his evidence, and, most importantly, raises a reasonable doubt where there was no doubt at all.

You will be lifted up and surprised with the final results when the jury returns and the gun comes out once again.

"Fast-paced courtroom drama that makes the pages turn with its depiction of the American Legal Justice System, Mob rule, and the tale of one rookie lawyer who refused to quit!" - American Institute of Justice

Editorial Reviews


"Fast-paced courtroom drama that is stunning in its depiction of the American Legal Justice System, Mob rule, and a failed government"-- American Institute of Justice
"At last -- an author who understands English and is able to write believable dialogue.--Amazon Reader Review
"Great book. Filled with twists and turns. I am delighted to discover a new author. I would highly recommend this book.--ARR
"I'm going to start reading his next book's a fun read...enjoy!--ARR
"John Ellsworth really knows how to capture the rapt attention of the reader.--ARR
"Literally couldn't put it down until the story played out.--ARR
"I bought this book just to pass the time while I was traveling and found that I couldn't put it down.--ARR

From the Author

All my professional life as a lawyer I have wanted to write legal thrillers.  Thaddeus Murfee very much reflects the kinds of struggles I went through as a new, young lawyer in my twenties.  I could strongly relate to his experiences with trying to learn how to do the nuts and bolts of law practice--something they don't teach in law school.  Most legal thrillers have a strong beginning, a fast-paced middle, and a thrilling ending.  The Defendants is written in that style.  Other attorneys who write legal thrillers have definitely shown me the way here and I am greatly indebted to them for their willingness to step up to the plate and try new things.  Mysteries, suspense, and thrillers are a joy to write and I plan to keep at as long as I'm able. Thanks for reading The Defendants.  And please, be sure to look for my new lawyer thriller, Beyond a Reasonable Death.  It's a follow-up to the Thaddeus Murfee series and I know you will love it.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3401 KB
  • Print Length: 286 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Subjudica House (January 14, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,571 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but has a few problems. May 20, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I was very torn between giving this book 4 stars or 3 stars. Since they don't allow the reviewer to give halves, the rating I actually give this 3.5 stars. The plot of the book is very interesting. I read a lot of legal thrillers, and can honestly say I have not come across a plot like this before. The problem I found is there are areas in the story that really held my attention and other areas that just seemed to drag. I found the characters entertaining, however some very unrealistic. I personal feel making the characters more realistic, grabs the reader as they are able to relate to the character to someone in real life. The authors knowledge of the law is very accurate. Being a legal fan, I would love to see more courtroom action.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last April 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
At last -- an author who understands English and is able to write believable dialogue. Mr. Ellsworth has created a good, if not always credible plot and has developed his characters far enough to make you care a bit about what happens to them. To top it off Mr. Ellsworth has a sense of humor. The bad guys in this enjoyable potboiler are a hoot.

Near the end of the book Mr. Ellsworth induces the testimony of a malefactor with a device that, to say the least, strains one's credulity, but he had to do something to get this vital testimony out and I can't see that there were any workable alternatives beyond the one he took. It's a flaw, but not a fatal one.

Unfortunately, the book's editing leaves a lot to be desired; in fact, I doubt the book was edited at all. There are too many incomplete sentences that don't make sense, too many wrong or misspelled words, and too many places where the wrong name is used for a character. Time for the publisher to bring an editor on board.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read. February 5, 2014
By Rebecca
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What do I like/love about this book? The characters, the setting, the plot and the voice. I enjoy reading books about crime/courtroom drama and this book did not disappoint. A great read!!
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40 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too much minutia July 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This could have been a good book but every time a new character was introduced there was page after page not only about the characters life but all of their ancestors. Every time a new structure was entered the author would give a home and garden tour. This is the first and last book by this author I will be reading.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Proof your work May 21, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Storyline was really pretty good. It was Ver difficult to read with all the grammar mistakes and even the characters were mixed up in some if the dialog.
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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So far, not so good April 10, 2014
By Judy S
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have never read John Ellsworth, but thought I would take a chance. So far, "The Defendants" is slow and boring. I'm not sure if the author couldn't fill a book with well written dialog and/or plot so he filled the pages with long and tiring descriptions about the town the book takes place in and characters that have no meaning to the plot. I'm only about 25% of the way through the book, but it has yet to catch my attention. I wouldn't recommend this book.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rewrite this story, please July 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The plot line was sexual and titillating. Unfortunately the use of exaggerated stereo typical racial, business and government characters was sloppy. Many of the normal phrases used by people were misused. It looked as though nobody or edited the work. Not a bad read, but awkward. Author owes his writing and readers more!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm actually caught between don't like it and it's okay. When I first begin reading the book, I found it boring. It would stop the flow of the story to bring you up to date on why a person was killed, shot, or maimed. It had a tendency to describe everything in a room, what someone was wearing, etc., constantly. If you are into this visual aspect of reading, then it's great but when it's repeated, it can be boring. After I got pass my initial dislike of the inept attorney and the author's attempt to make his paralegal lethal, and managed to get a flow of the story, I decided it must be okay, since I kept reading to find out how the author was going to tie it all together.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this one first in the series
I'm sorry that I didn't read this book as first in the series. It would have made better sense of books #2 through #6. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it!
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent start to this legal thriller series; looking forward to reading...
Quick read; decent legal thriller involving the Chicago mob, and a good start to the Thaddeus Murphee series. Read more
Published 3 days ago by D. Locicero
4.0 out of 5 stars new author for me
Mr. Ellsworth is a new author for me and I will surely read more of his books. I really liked the Thaddeus Murfee character and also his secretary/paralegal Christine. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Jan
4.0 out of 5 stars No Sugar Coaing. No False Hope
A novice attorney of only eighteen months, Thaddeus Murfee needs experience and cases. He gets more than he could have wished for. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Joyce Metzger
5.0 out of 5 stars An implausible story but worth reading
Really worth reading as are most of John's Thaddeus books
Published 6 days ago by Rod Pohl
4.0 out of 5 stars A satisfying read for Grisham fans
A very entertaining first book with lots of courtroom and criminal investigation action. This book captures very credibly how corrupt politicians structure their dirty deals and... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Alfonso
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reading!
This was the first I have read this author. He is well qualified to do legal type fiction. I liked it well enough that I will order another in his series.
Published 11 days ago by D Fulmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really like it. I would buy other books by this author.
Published 13 days ago by linda presler
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant page turner
As soon as I finished The Defendants, I ordered books 234 and five, the whole series, which I have now finished. John Ellsworth is a brilliant writer. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Eclectic reader
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More About the Author

John Ellsworth is from Arizona and practiced law nationwide. For thirty years he defended criminal clients across the United States. He has defended cases ranging from shoplifting to First Degree Murder to RICO to Tax Evasion, and has gone to jury trial on the same. His first book, "The Defendants," was written in 2013 and published by Amazon and Subjudica House on January 20, 2014.

John has just finished #5, DEFENDING TURQUOISE, released by Amazon on September 27 2014. DEFENDING TURQUOISE is John's fifth Thaddeus Murfee book.

What's next? THE MENTAL CASE is my sixth Thaddeus book and will be published by Amazon December 20 2014. It is the story of a managing partner in a large law firm whose family member embezzles the 820-lawyer firm's trust account. The managing partner is Ansel Largent, and Ansel goes forth on a mission to recover the missing law firm money. Long story short, it turns out that he, Ansel, needs a lawyer himself and that's where Thaddeus Murfee enters the scene in a very unpredictable manner. Together, Thaddeus represents Ansel and represents a victim of a barroom brawl against the owner of the bar in two cases that interlock and interplay. Once again we visit with Hermano Sanchez, the poor Mexican man whose daughter Maria was threatened by the cartels in DEFENDING TURQUOISE and Thaddeus journeys to Mexico in her defense. It's a fun read with the great interlocking plot structure my readers have to come to expect and that they tell me they love.

"I loved writing these books.They are the kinds of books I love to read, full of information about a wide spectrum of characters, lots of dialogue, and, as always, plenty of action and traps for the young attorney. The books represent the kind of learning experience I went through when I was Thaddeus' age and learning how to patty-cake when it came to doing the right thing for clients."

Today John Ellsworth lives in Arizona, is married to Debra and dad to Rebecca, who has her own blues band and her mom's killer contralto voice. John no longer practices law. When he's not writing he rescues guinea pigs and plays classical guitar. "Right now I have my Macbook, 7 guinea pigs, and 2 incorrigible dogs. Debra keeps us all fed and clean, so what more could I want?"

Now...back to the work-in-progress: Where was Thaddeus again? Oh, yes, he was....

My website is
My email is

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