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Indefensible: A Novel Hardcover – June 3, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nick Davis, in a moment of weak parenting, decides to take his teenage daughter, Lizzie, along to a possible grave-site search in the woods. In a nice departure from the usual teenage-girl angst, Lizzie is mature and kind, and has a close relationship with her father. Nick doesn’t expect to find anything on this venture, but a body does turn up, and the bird-watcher who reported it is killed. A couple of drug dealers are the main suspects, but the story twists further when more bodies are found. As the case develops, Nick starts to suspect some of his own coworkers, prompting an attack of serious paranoia. In a bizarre twist, Nick’s most ardent opponent, a pugnacious defense attorney, becomes his sounding board and counsel. Nick has always put his faith in the justice system, but this case truly tests him, and he finds himself reexamining his own beliefs and those of almost everyone around him. Attorney Goodman easily makes the transition to fiction writer, as have his brethren Scott Turow and John Lescroart. --Stacy Alesi

Review

"Goodman takes the reader by the hand and leads them into a frightening world they will never forget.... This book is top notch!" (Suspense Magazine)

"Complex and intelligent, fantastically well-plotted. Indefensible is as good as it gets." (John Lescroat, New York Times bestselling author)

"Indefensible is the kind of gem we all love to stumble on, anovel that delivers its story flawlessly. Lee Goodman has created characters wecare about deeply; when he puts them through the wringer, we feel their pain.Add to this a compelling insider’s look at prosecution and lawenforcement, language that sings, a stunning series of plot twists, and theresult may well prove to be the outstanding debut novel of the year." (William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author)

"Lee Goodman is a rare find in a crowded field: a talented writer who knows the true intricacies and ironies of the American criminal litigation system. Before reading Indefensible, be sure to put on your helmet and fasten your 5-point harness. You're in for a wild ride." (Walter Walker, author of Crime of Privilege)

“Goodman’s debut legal thriller is compelling from start to finish—well-written, populated with intriguing multi-dimensional characters, and with many plot twists leading to a surprise ending.” (Library Journal)

"As legal thrillers go, this one is right up there with the best of them. That’s not because of its nonstop action, but because of its slow-burn pacing, unpredictable characters, and lots and lots of plot switchbacks....And the big bonus is that author Lee Goodman’s writing style makes me want to come back for more. And more. And more." (Bookreporter)

“Goodman ties up every loose end in surprising ways, making for a deeply satisfying read.” (Authorexposure.com)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books (June 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476728003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476728001
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #487,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on June 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The case is already a failure; one killing became two, became three, became four. Four murders but without the cachet of a serial killer on a rampage. There is no terrorized public, no sensationalism, no news cameras waiting at the steps. These cases offer the possibility of only minor success but huge failure.

There’s a report of a body in the woods, but assistant U.S. attorney Nick Davis doesn’t think anything will come of it. Still, it’s a nice day and all, so a field trip sounds pleasant enough. It turns out it’s not at all pleasant. There is indeed a body, and it belonged to a person the authorities knew. They had him in custody recently, in fact. Now, the kid is dead. While they’re working to catch whoever killed him --- and they’re pretty sure early on who that might be --- someone else turns up dead. Their initial cocky attitude is coming back to haunt them. Big time.

But it’s more complicated than several murders would seem to imply. Nick is at a crossroads in his life. He’s been in his public service career too long with no upward movement. He thought he was content, but now he’s beginning to think maybe not. Something has come up that he’d like to go for. Of course, making a complete mess of the investigation surrounding four murders would pretty much end any hope of career advancement. Worse, Nick has begun to wonder whether he himself could be a suspect in at least one of the deaths. Or, if not him, someone in his department.

In between his attacks of paranoia, Nick is struck by bouts of puppy love. His teenage daughter can see how ripe he is for romance. Even his ex-wife, Flora, can see that. She has moved on and wants Nick to do the same. They have an odd, if symbiotic relationship: good for their daughter, comfortable for them. Maybe too comfortable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan Lawton on June 16, 2015
Format: Paperback
I'll be honest, it was the cover that drew me into this one. It's a legal thriller that isn't in the same class as John Grisham and others, but it's not awful. The plot is decent, not great, and the character development is okay. I didn't find myself pulled into the book like I had hoped, but it was an easy enough book to read. There is a confrontation toward the end that's pretty exciting, but the basis of the book is relatively dry. The author is a lawyer, I believe, and that is obvious in his writing. He's a fine writer but the story just didn't grab me that much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ER on April 22, 2015
Format: Paperback
Delicious read! This author is new to me, and I really didn't know what to expect. I was totally blown away! I'm an addict of intelligent murder mysteries and am beyond thrilled to have stumbled onto the first in a new series of this caliber. I agree with the NY Times reviewer who said it is "as good as it gets." The dialogue is charming and insightful, the relationships real and complex, the ins and outs of the legal process accessible and intriguing, the plot amazingly and organically surprising, the writing sharp, musical and exquisite. What's not to love? Can't wait for the next one!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Caitlin Martin VINE VOICE on July 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The plot of Indefensible is a decent one and it moves along as a thriller should, but the writing in this book is really clunky, perhaps because of the first person narrative. Our hero, Nick Davis, is an aging player and lawyer who spends big chunks of the books hitting on various women, thinking about hitting on various women, and being proud of himself for his brief periods of parenting his teenaged daughter. When a woman he was attracted to and hit on is murdered, he takes it upon himself to pursue justice in her name. Character development is likewise clunky and the whole thing, despite its plot, left me feeling "meh." Not a great read, not a terrible read, but certainly an easy read.
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By CalAK on August 30, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I stayed up way too late on this well written and full of twists story. Kudos to Goodman. Write more.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mystery Reader on June 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I work in criminal law and I found this novel riveting and authentic. Lee Goodman is an extremely talented writer; his characters are rich and multi-dimensional, and they have real heart. The plot is multi-layered and largely seamless, without the formulaic feel of many books in this genre. Mr. Goodman navigates the grey areas of human nature and the criminal law like a pro. Nothing in this book is black and white, except the print. I hope he is planning a sequel with the same characters as I miss them already!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jim Misko on August 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
When you jump on this fast paced legal thriller that Lee Goodman wrote, entitled Indefensible, you better be in a chair with arms on it. You need to be awake to the doings of the protagonist Nick Davis, his daughter Lizzy, and Bill-the-Dog. There are intimate dealings between clients, lawyers, judges, and police departments that smack of actual intimate knowledge. It is not a genre I read often but I enjoyed coming back to it every time, which is more than I can say for some of the books I do consider my genre. In full disclosure, I know and like the author but I have several shelves of books by authors I know and like and they hold books that I didn’t finish. One caveat—don’t loan the book out without keeping the cover in your possession. Pet it a couple times a day just to get relaxed.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Flexex on October 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The plotting of this story is smart, well-paced and captivating but the strength of this story lies in Goodman's description -- character and setting -- which is crisp, vivid, and kept me turning his pages quickly. Goodman's prose is not yet equal to the best of the genre -- Richard North Patterson, Clifford Irving, Turow, and Martini -- but this *is* just his first novel and such should come in the future.

If you're a fan of legal thrillers then you'll probably like this book as much as I and this should definitely be on your 'must read' list. It is an effort that any author would be proud of but as a first novel? It is *awesome* and I'll be first in line for his next book.
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