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Plea of Insanity [Kindle Edition]

Jilliane Hoffman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)

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Best-selling author Carl Hiaasen describes Mañana: "A … thriller that moves through Mexico like a scalded sidewinder As always, Hjortsberg delivers wild surprises, cool chatter and raw, unforgettable scenes."

Book Description

The prosecutor—Julia Vacanti. Young, ambitious, and facing a case that could launch her career. The defendant—David Marquette. A successful Miami surgeon and devoted family man. The victims—Marquette’s own wife and three small children. The plea—not guilty by reason of insanity. The perfect father and model husband, David Marquette seemingly just snapped one night. Or did he? His experienced defense team claims paranoid delusions caused by schizophrenia drove him to slaughter his entire family.

But the state suspects Marquette’s insanity defense is being fabricated to disguise murders that were cold-blooded and calculated. If convicted, Marquette faces the death penalty. If found insane, he would walk free. To bring a killer to justice, Julia will have to journey into the mind of madness herself, embarking on a terrifying journey back into her own past—something she has struggled with for fifteen years. And this will lead her to confront a future so chilling, she’s not sure she will ever be able to face it…

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this gripping legal thriller from Hoffman (Retribution), Julia Vacanti, a 28-year-old Miami assistant state attorney, helps to prosecute David Marquette, a Miami surgeon accused of stabbing his wife and their two older children as well as smothering their baby in Coral Gables, Fla. David's plea of insanity finds the prosecution team working double time to prove he's just a clever psychopath faking schizophrenia to avoid Florida's death penalty. Meanwhile, the conflicted Julia obsesses about her schizophrenic brother, Andrew Citro, who was convicted of the fatal stabbings of their parents when she was 13. When Julia learns Andrew was committed to a center for the criminally insane in New York, she re-establishes contact, which results in some major courtoom drama. Hoffman's intriguing plot snakes around both cases as Julia questions her own mental health and a future only a nail-biting sequel might fully answer.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Julia Vacanti may seem to be an up-and-coming Florida prosecutor, but dig a little deeper, and it’s easy to see she’s living a lie—or at least half a lie, the half that pretends her parents weren’t murdered by her brother when she was a child. Then along comes the case of a lifetime: a prominent young doctor is accused of brutally murdering his wife and his three young children. The state claims the man is a monster. The defense claims he’s suffering from schizophrenia—the same illness, Julia realizes, that was behind her brother’s crime. Could the state, which will ask for the death penalty, be denying justice to a victim of mental illness? Courtroom dramatics are less the point here than in many legal thrillers. It’s Julia’s torment as she comes to terms with her family’s tragic history and Hoffman’s dissection of the legal and moral arguments surrounding the insanity plea that push things along—and the questions raised will linger long after the story ends. —Stephanie Zvirin

Product Details

  • File Size: 3488 KB
  • Print Length: 450 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 147784953X
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (April 8, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,989 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Plea of Insanity has been a long time coming since Ms. Hoffman's two hits, Last Witness & Retribution, but believe me it was worth the wait. With this riveting tale of horrendous crimes, tense court room drama, deception, greed and pure evil, you will be reading until the wee hours of the night. Julia is sort of tragic, but she has backbone and she is a decent human being who wants and needs to do the right thing, and this very core of decency brings her to the brink of her own destruction. Will she win out over the deception and manipulation that's going on in the biggest courtroom drama since, maybe, OJ's trial? You will not want to miss a minute of this story as it unfolds, and you will be astounded by the ending.

With this third book, Ms. Hoffman has proven she has what it takes and she's right up there with some of the big names in legal, psychological thrillers. Personally, I can wait another couple of years for another of her books. She is now an auto-buy for me.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful August 31, 2007
I have never written a review, but this book needs one. It was GREAT and I don't understand why it hasn't been published in the US. I think I spent $34 + for it and it was worth much more. I've read her others and this is the best.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I picked up this book on a whim after reading the back cover's synopsis. I had never read Jilliane Hoffman before but I love legal thrillers so this book really intrigued me. Overall, the story is very gripping. It's definitely one of those "can't put it down" least until the end.

The story surrounds young Miami prosecutor Julia Vacanti, who is trying her biggest case to date: a successful surgeon accused of brutally murdering his wife and 3 young children. Dr. David Marquette is using insanity as his defense and Julia must prove that he is really a cold-blooded killer. However, Julia's past comes back to haunt her and creates doubts as to what the correct punishment should be for the doctor.

The story itself is very entertaining and makes you want to keep reading, chapter after chapter. The characters were very believable and described very well. Hoffman takes several controversial issues such as the death penalty, insanity defenses, etc. and puts it all together in a great read.

My one and only complaint with this book is the ending. I was expecting something much more...a huge twist of sorts. What I got was a very predictable, quick end that made me think Hoffman just didn't know what to do with the rest of the story. Hence the subtraction of 1 star. However, I would still recommend this novel as it I finished all 400+ pages in about 3 days. Had the ending been less predictable I would have given this book a perfect score.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
..."In her three years as a prosecutor, never had her job affected her the way it had today. Never before had a case...rushed back to consciousness the horrible memories her brain had long since purposely displaced. Memories that nightmares were made of..."

Julia Vacanti --- young, beautiful, intelligent, with a promising legal career ahead of her --- harbors a dark past that she has spent years trying to forget. Now that dark past threatens to surface with a vengeance that may ruin her if she cannot find a way to control it.

Dr. David Marquette, a successful surgeon, father and surviving twin of a schizophrenic brother, apparently went berserk one night and slaughtered his entire family. It didn't take the police long to focus their investigation on him as the one who violently stabbed his wife and children. Everything pointed to him as the killer.

Prosecutor Rick Bellido --- handsome, confident, smug --- knows he has a slam dunk in State vs. Marquette. For his own reasons, Rick asks Julia to second chair in the courtroom for the upcoming trial. Julia hopes it isn't just because of their personal relationship, which has become pretty hot and heavy lately. Whatever the reason, she jumps at the opportunity, for this could cement her career.

It really should be a cakewalk. The evidence is solid. It's a high-profile case that the media can't get enough of. Plus, the case against Dr. Marquette will go forward on a timeline that will spotlight Rick and, if handled right, could bolster his bid for advancement come the next election. And lovely Julia will look good next to him at the prosecutor's table. What could possibly go wrong?

Julia, thrust into sudden fame, finds her success coming at her a little too fast.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent legal thriller April 11, 2009
In Miami twenty-eight year old Miami assistant state attorney Julia Vacanti leads the prosecution team in the highly visible homicide case of surgeon David Marquette. The doctor stands trial in the stabbing deaths of his wife and their two older children, and in the smothering thing of their baby. The defense team admits he killed his family, but plea insanity due to schizophrenia.

While the prosecution tries to prove Marquette knew right from wrong and is just faking a mental illness to elude the death penalty, Julia thinks of her sibling Andrew Citro, who when she was a preadolescent and he a teen was convicted of killing their parents. He remains locked away in an asylum for the criminally insane in New York. Feeling the cases are similar although the prosecutor also ponders if Marquette is a clever serial killer who committed homicides long before his mass murder of his family, Julia contacts Andrew for the first time since he killed their parents.

This excellent legal thriller focuses on the title subject, but does so with a fabulous creative twist as the heroine wonders if schizophrenia is genetic. The gripping courtroom scenes are top rate, but it is the communication between the siblings for the first time in over a decade and a half that grabs the audience. The former brings legal tension and insight into the trial process; but the latter brings greater tension and insight into the fears of Julia. Jilliane Hoffman provides an excellent character driven tale with a profound look at a PLEA OF INSANITY.

Harriet Klausner
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I found it to be very boring and the ending just left you hanging.
Published 8 days ago by Connie Metzmaier
3.0 out of 5 stars It was a good read as far as the main character was well ...
It was a good read as far as the main character was well developed. Some of the other important characters were not developed at all. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Elizabeth A. Curtis
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
I really enjoyed this book. After reading the C.J. Townsend books I was sad to see an entirely different cast, as it were, but it was still enjoyable. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Kayla
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very thought provoking. Not your run of the mill courtroom drama.
Published 18 days ago by Kimberly Dedes
3.0 out of 5 stars Kept my interest but .....
Started out pretty good but was a bit disappointed as compared to author's other novels. I could only rate this a three star
Published 22 days ago by bettyboop68
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! I really enjoyed this book
Great read! I really enjoyed this book,it was extremely interesting and kept me on the edge of my seat
Published 24 days ago by Kathleen Cunningham
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time and money
Who is giving 5 stars to this book, I bought this based on reviews. I love reading books by John Lescoart, John Grisham, etc. thought of giving a shot to other authors. Oh my God! Read more
Published 25 days ago by Subhadra K. Srigiriraju
5.0 out of 5 stars how stupid is American Justis
It made me angry, how stupid is American Justis. Murderer can go free just because of being a good actor knowing what to do, shame
Published 26 days ago by bozenna
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome ReAd!
Jilliane Hoffman knows how to write a suspense thriller!! Plea of Insanity has you intrigued from beggining to end, I did not put the book down. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Addie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes courtroom drama . The characters are believable ,as is the subject line . I think a sequel would be great. Hint hint
Published 1 month ago by d marsh
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More About the Author

Jilliane Hoffman began her professional career as an Assistant State Attorney prosecuting felonies in Florida from 1992 to 1996, with special assignments to the Domestic Violence Unit and the Legal Extradition Unit. Through 2001, she was the Regional Legal Advisor for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), advising more than one hundred special agents on criminal and civil matters in complex investigations involving narcotics, homicide, and organized crime. Originally from Long Island, New York, she presently resides in South Florida with her husband and two children.

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