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Motion To Dismiss Hardcover – February 1, 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews
Book 3 of 7 in the Kali O'Brien Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There's nothing hard-edged or particularly profound about Jonnie Jacobs's series of mysteries starring California lawyer Kali O'Brien, but--like good TV movies--the plots are convincing, the characters colorful, and the writing smooth and competent. The author's latest finds O'Brien handling a trial in her hometown in the Sierra foothills for a lawyer friend, Nina Barrett, who is five months pregnant and just diagnosed as having Hodgkin's disease.

When Nina's husband, Grady--a handsome and successful businessman with a history of sexual conquests--is accused of rape by a blowsy woman he met at a party, Kali very reluctantly agrees to defend him. She is virtually certain that the swaggering Barrett is guilty, and resents his betrayal of her sick friend. But as the investigation and trial proceed, Kali gradually begins to believe his claims of innocence--especially when two people die in suspicious circumstances. Jacobs succeeds in catching and holding readers' interest by setting up her characters as generic and then proceeding to fill in the relevant details that make them unique. Other Kali O'Brien books in paperback are Evidence of Guilt and Shadow of Doubt. --Dick Adler

From Kirkus Reviews

In the middle of launching a public offering of ComTech, his graphics chip company, Grady Barrett runs into a streak of rotten luck. His wife Nina, six months pregnant, has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, which can't even be treated till after a caesarian. Deirdre Nichols, the beauty salon receptionist he picks up at a bar, accuses him of rape, and he won't even consider his lawyer Kali O'Brien's consensual-sex defense. Then suddenly the charge is withdrawnbut only because the complainant is dead, fallen from her balcony window. Or pushed, say the Oakland police, who claim they can place Grady's Mercedes convertible at the scene, courtesy of a statement by Deirdre's seven-year-old daughter. Calling on Hal Fisher, a gay investigator she's worked with before, Kali rolls up her sleeves in preparation for the trial. Once again, though, Grady is adamant about running his own defense. He can't spend six months to a year away from his sick wife and his little girl while he waits for the case to come to trial; Kali will have to do everything she can to get the charge thrown out at the preliminary hearing, even though nobody's been able to pull off that trick since Perry Mason. Jacobs is still too lightweight to run with her big sisters in the legal-intrigue genre; there's nothing of Nancy Taylor Rosenberg's sense of menace or Lisa Scottoline's powers of invention on display here. Instead, Kali's third case (Evidence of Guilt, 1997, etc.) is a whodunitand the best-turned puzzle of Jacobs's six novels to date. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; 1st edition (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781575663951
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575663951
  • ASIN: 1575663953
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,061,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonnie Jacobs is the author of fifteen novels and several short stories.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she is an active member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and has served on the Edgar awards committee. She is a frequent lecturer on both the craft of writing and the world of mystery fiction.

A former practicing attorney, she lives near San Francisco with her husband and now writes full time.

KATE AUSTEN SERIES (in order)
Murder Among Neighbors
Murder Among Friends
Murder Among Us
Murder Among Strangers

KALI O'BRIEN SERIES (in order)
Shadow of Doubt
Evidence of Guilt
Motion to Dismiss
Witness for the Defense
Cold Justice
Intent to Harm
The Next Victim

NON-SERIES BOOKS
The Only Suspect
Paradise Falls
Lying With Strangers
Payback

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I read this book at the suggestion of a friend (I'm not a big fan of legal thrillers) and really enjoyed it. There's plenty of courtroom action, but it's presented in such a way that what you see are the people more than the legal two-step. In fact, it's the characters that make this book good and that delineate it from many others in the genre. Kali O'Brien is a complex and likable narrator I'm looking forward to seeing again.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a new author for me, but am I ever glad I made the discovery. Motion to Dismiss is a well written page-turner with depth and realistic characters. Kali O'Brien is an attorney who reluctantly represents the husband of a friend when he is accused of date rape. Rape grows to murder and she again agrees to represent him for the sake of her friend. There are several subplots - an ex-lover law partner who seems impicated in the crime, a second death - and they all tie together at the end. Pick up the book and settle in for an afternoon (or evening) of good reading. Just don't plan on getting anything else accomplished.
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Format: Hardcover
Kali O'Brien used to have a law practice in the San Francisco Bay area before she decided to rent out her home and relocate in Silver Creek. However, she needs to return home, so, ironically, becomes a tenant in her own home. Kali's best friend attorney Nina Barrett asked Kali to take over her Berkley-based practice because the pregnant woman has cancer and cannot start chemo until after the baby can safely be birthed.
While Kali will do anything for Nina, she never liked her friend's spouse Grady. Thus, when a woman accuses Grady of date rape, Kali reluctantly agrees to represent the man. However, the situation worsens when someone murders the accuser. The police arrest Grady because most of the evidence points to his being the perpetrator. Kali begins to dig for the truth even though her quest places her in peril.
Before this novel, Jonnie Jacobs deserved fame and fortune for her brilliant novels. MOTION TO DISMISS should be that break out book that provides her a best seller. The legal procedural delves into the pre-trial aspects of the justice system. The characters seem human, making readers either love or hate the individual. The flawed lead character demonstrates the inner strength of a woman with the fortitude to do what it takes to get the job done. Readers will want the likable Kali to make encore appearances.

Harriet Klausner
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By A Customer on June 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am a sucker for court room dramas and although this book kind of by passes that (hint: the title) there is enough legalesse in it that I was held a captive audience of one. I was really grateful I found a book I could read that held my attention. I didn't find the payoff that rewarding, but it was plausible. The characters were fine, not real three dimensional, but enough to be individualized. I will read her other earlier works for sure.
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By A Customer on January 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
An interesting, fast-paced legal thriller with realistic characters. Kali defends the husband of a friend charged first with date rape (he's been cheating on her friend) and then with murder. At the same time, she's involved with an old boyfriend, who she begins to distrust. I'm going to go back and read the earlier novels in this series. Highly recommended.
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By A Customer on October 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and I never did guess the killer, alhough I can see now that there were clues along the way. Readers who enjoy books by Perri O'Shaughnessy and Lisa Scottoline will probably enjoy this as well.
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Format: Hardcover
Kali O'Brien is back with her third case. She is helping a friend who is suffering from cancer while enduring a dangerous pregnancy. While she enjoys being in the Bay Area, she is somewhat uncomfortable with her friend's law partner, who was Kali's lover in law school. The affair ended with Kali hurt and humiliated. She still feels the attraction for Marc. This complication appears to be the least of her worries, when her friend's husband, Grady, is accused of rape. Kali has never been fond of Grady and believes he is quite capable of this behavior. However, for her friend's sake, she will defend him. The murder of the alleged rape victim provides an even tougher case. Well written with an exciting climax, "Motion to Dismiss" is an exciting novel that will keep you up way past your usual bedtime.
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Format: Hardcover
A married man has a one night fling, is accused of rape. When the woman dies under suspicious circumstances, he's arrested for her murder. As the evidence mounts against him, even his attorney doubts his innocence. The legal presentation is fascinating and rings true. But what really drew me to this book were the characters and the iterplay between them. Kali O'Brien (the attorney) is a friend of her client's wife. She is also paired on the case with an ex-lover, whose bizzare behavior leads her to supect that he might be involved in the murder. The killer is revealed by a clever twist. I couldn't put it down.
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