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Marty Nickerson doesn't want to say no to Harry Madigan, her lover and law partner, so she agrees to defend Harry's old flame in a murder case. Louisa Rawlings admits she was considering divorce when her husband disappears and when his body gets washed to shore. She protests her innocence convincingly, yet District Attorney Geraldine Schilling won't budge. Louisa's fingerprints turned up on what seems to be the murder weapon. Louisa was named sole heir, disinheriting husband's daughter.

Marty wishes her client would agree to some kind of plea bargain, but Louisa claims she can't name an accomplice because she's not guilty. And she wants Marty to help her find the real killer.

The courtoom characters comes across with lively humor: an eminently fair African-American judge and a stubborn prosecutor. Realistic? Well,most judges are ex-prosecutors and this judge actually respects the defense. And prosecutors are quick to accuse family members and don't like to back down.

In spite of herself, Marty begins to admire the defendant's spirit and she's slightly envious of Louisa's ability to charm everyone she meets, including the prison matrons. And she really wants to see this woman go free.

Conners creates suspense because we, as experienced mystery readers, know Louisa can't be guilty. And she piles on the danger, revealing incriminating evidence that seems unshakeable.

Louisa seems headed for a maximum security prison until the very last section of the book. We realize something's got to happen, and it does -- right in the last few pages. Conners does an excellent job of ending the story in just a page or two at the very end.

The human interest subplots add to the interests. Kydd, the near-perfect young associate lawyer, may be headed for an imperfect romance. Marty's son Luke seems ambivalent about college. These stories, along with the author's gift for explaining complex courtroom maneuvers, will keep us watching for the next volume in the series.

A good read...for a cozy winter evening, a long plane trip or just a Great Escape from the tedium of the tube.
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This was the first book in this series by Rose Connors I read and I must tell you I enjoyed it on several levels. More about that later...

The plot centers around lawyer Marty Nickerson and her current boyfriend Harry. It seems that Harry's old lover Louisa has been accused of murdering her husband and Marty has been asked by Harry to defend his old girlfriend. On the surface, all seems pretty cut and dried and Marty has her work cut out for her in defending this obvious murderess. But is everything as it seem! Well, our leading foe in this work is Marty's nemesis, District Attorney Geraldine Schilling (Geraldine) goes after Louisa with bulldog determination. Of course there is a very large inheritance involved so we have the dead guy's daughter by another marriage mixing things up...not a nice lady, no, no, no!

I like the different characters this author weaves in and out of her stories. Each is quite unique and when you consider the length of this novel, which is not all that long, the characters are quite complex. And this brings us to the first strength of this author's work and one of the primary reasons I like reading her. The interaction between the various people inhabiting this story, their snappy repartee is actually funny, even when the situation is more serious...I like that.

The courtroom scenes are quite well done. Now let me state right here that, in this particular novel, has stretched credibility as to the courtroom drama a bit. That is okay though. This is a work of fiction. If I want reality I can read a newspaper or go down town and set in the courtroom myself...boooring! No, I like this sort of "enhancement" by the author...it is why I read "fiction."

The author has used her usual easy writing style that sucks you into the story quite quickly and keeps you there. This particular work is not strong on the mystery side, but again, that is not my reason for reading this particular author. This work almost, but not quite, could be classified as a "cozy," a genre which I particularly like. There are plenty of little sub plots as to the personal lives of the characters and a lot of family and friend interaction. Again, for me, this is a good thing.

Is this work for the hardcore action/adventure/grim/crime fan? Probably not; it is a mellow read and a fun read and quite entertaining.

The only reason I am giving this one four stars rather than five is that while it is good, I feel some of the author's other work is better.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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on February 5, 2011
Rose Connors's Maximum Security is a legal thriller that just doesn't cut the mustard.
The story is OK but there is little mystery here. Defense lawyer Marty Nickerson represents her boyfriend's old flame who is charged with murdering her husband for insurance.

The story's course is pretty predictable and it is not hard to figure out who really did the killing. No big surprises there. There is really no sideplot to speak of.

Connors is a lawyer herself and the court scenes are authentic and fairly interesting. A positive in the book is some humor exhibited throughout by the author. Perhaps she should be a standup comedian. Are lawyers really that funny?

If you like legal thrillers, stick with John Grisham, Scott Turow or Lisa Scottoline. Much better writers. Connors has written other novels, but on the strength of this one, I doubt I will bother reading them.

James A Anderson, Author
DEADLINE
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VINE VOICEon September 2, 2004
When her boyfriend asks her to represent an ex-girlfriend, attorney Marty Nickerson is reluctant. She's even more reluctant when she meets the beautiful woman--who promptly seduces her assistant (The Kydd). But when the new widow is accused of murdering her husband, Marty has to put aside her insecurities and go to bat for the client. Unfortunately, all of the evidence looks bad. Marty might not want the woman to start up again with her boyfriend, but she doesn't want her in jail for life either.

Author Rose Connors writes an engaging, fast-moving story. Marty, with her boyfriend insecurities and problems with an ex-husband, makes a sympathetic character. MAXIMUM SECURITY is an easy book to pick up for a moment and keep reading until it's finished.

From a mystery perspective, I thought there could be a bit more mystery--the solution is obvious as Connors failed to present many alternate possibilities. Although I enjoyed the book, I felt like I was owed a bit more twist.
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on January 21, 2008
This book is really easy to read. I read it in a couple hours over a long weekend.

I liked it a lot because of the setting. I have a house on the cape and its always nice to read about places you know. If you know Chatham at all, you will love it.

The characters are also really good. They are somewhat complex because of the relationships. There is also a fair bit of comic relief.

Bottom Line: Great book for a quick read...Maybe beach reading?
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on November 23, 2008
Rose Connors - Maximum Security - excellent setting in a visual New England rural countryside - can see, hear, feel and almost taste the salt air. Some items of unrealistic portrayal keep this from 5 stars.
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on March 5, 2007
It is a good light reading. Considering that practically nothing of significance happens until the very end of the book - it is surprisingly non-annoying.
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on June 8, 2013
If you love cape cod,crime novels rose Connors doesn't disappoint. I love all her books and hope she writes more.
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on July 15, 2004
At the request of her partner Harry Madigan, Marty Nickerson agrees to take on the case of Louisa Rawlins, whose husband is presumed dead because he never came home after using his boat. The insurance company does not want to pay out the $1 million dollar claim; instead they ask authorities to investigate. Marty is a bit uncomfortable representing Louisa because her lover Harry was once Louisa's lover.
Certain that there is no evidence to arrest her, Marty agrees that she and Louisa should meet with District Attorney Geraldine Schilling at the client's home. On the day of the meeting, the police arrest Louisa on charges of second-degree murder. A fisherman found Herb Rawlings's body his hands and leg tied together with rope. He had a head injury and later the police find evidence of blood in the bathroom that matches that of Herb. A brass swan faucet, which the authorities think is the murder weapon, is found with Louisa's fingerprints and Herb's blood and hair on it making it seem like the prosecution has an airtight case. Even Marty begins to wonder if her client is innocent.
Rose Connors is brilliant at portraying courtroom scenes yet she humanizes all the characters so that nobody is stereotyped. She also injects humor into the storyline so that the audience becomes further delighted with the characters witty repartee. The accused is a charming refined and gentile woman who engages the sympathy of the audience so that readers hope she is not the killer. MAXIMUM SECURITY is one of the best legal thrillers of the year.
Harriet Klausner
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on November 2, 2014
Another great crime novel.
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