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Plea of Insanity Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 10, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 284 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, April 10, 2009
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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. Author tour. (Apr.)
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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

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press; 1 edition (April 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408431238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408431238
  • ASIN: B002QGSY7M
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (284 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,341,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This book was so silly it deserves a zero star review, and I'm still kicking myself for finishing it.
The author's protagonist is Julia Vacanti, a 28 year-old fast-track prosecutor in the huge Miami criminal justice system who, improbably, is picked to second chair a death sentence murder trial of international notoriety. (She'd slept with the lead prosecutor once, and assumed he was now her boyfriend because, hey, she's a serious girl).
She cries all the time, bores us with the brand name of every designer shoe she wears, has the judgement of a fifth-grader, and views the seriousness of the case she's involved in through her how-does-this-affect-Julia lenses.
This is not how women act...I hope.
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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" books...at 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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Format: Hardcover
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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By A Customer on April 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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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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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