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Plea of Insanity Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 10, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was amazing! I stayed up reading it way too late way too many nights. It kept me on the edge of my seat almost constantly. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Alex K.
It's a story that makes you think about a very contraversial subject. I like it because it made me change my mind seveal times. Read morePublished 2 months ago by David B. Clark
Superbly delves into the topic and gets one thinking. This book will stay with you after you have finished reading it. Extremely well written. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lucy