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Silent Justice Mass Market Paperback – February 27, 2001


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (February 27, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345428137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345428134
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,361,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ninth in Bernhardt's popular series (Primary Justice; Perfect Justice) starring crusading Tulsa attorney Ben Kincaid, this thriller mines the same territory covered by the film A Civil Action and Jonathan Harr's bestseller on which it was based. Kincaid appears in the John Travolta role, representing a group of suburban families whose children have died of leukemia, apparently from drinking well water polluted by toxic waste from the greedy Blaylock Industrial Machinery Corporation. Blaylock is predictably represented by an unscrupulous, high-powered attorney who knows all about his client's culpability, but chooses to rely on his personal relationship with a corrupt judge to derail justice. Kincaid, who has no vices and apparently no sex drive, is beset with increasing financial woes and relies professionally on his trusty and lovely assistant, law student Christina McCall, a woman so fashion-conscious that she goes yachting in spike heels. The counterplot involves an intrepid serial killer who is systematically torturing and murdering people who serve many different functions at the Blaylock plant; the killer is attempting to secure some "merchandise," although as the conspiracy unravels it's not entirely clear why these murders are necessary. Justice winds up prevailing, but it isn't exactly "silent"; rather, the verdict is delivered with a loud bang. The parallel plots only touch when the author forces them together at the end, and the connection is, at best, strained coincidence. In spite of Bernhardt's clear homage to Harr's book and the film, this novel does offer some fresh, often witty dialogue, but is overall a derivative effort from a talented writer. 5-city author tour. (Feb.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Attorney-turned-author Bernhardt's 15th entry in his "Justice" series deals with a lawsuit brought against a powerful company charged with dumping toxic chemicals that contaminate a small Oklahoma town's drinking water. Ben Kincaid's challenge is to link the deaths of 11 children to the company's actions while attempting to foil the courtroom tactics of big-time attorney Charlton Colby. Like Jonathan Harr's A Civil Action, Bernhardt's story is inspired by a 1981 suit brought by the families of eight leukemia victims against a corporation that dumped industrial solvent into the Woburn, MA, water table. Counterbalanced with this controversial plot is detective Mike Morelli's search for a particularly sadistic serial killer and Ben's personal quest to locate his elderly landlady's long-estranged son before she dies. As usual, Bernhardt keeps his readers coming back for more while also enlightening them about the relationship between big business and the legal system.
---Nancy McNicol, Hagaman Memorial Lib., East Haven, CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

SHINE!!!
Watch the video on this page to find out all about my latest writing project. Every month a new Shine "episode" will be released. This is going to be fun--more proof that being a writer is the best job in the world.

I love my job. Even on the worst day when I can't seem to put together a coherent sentence, I am grateful for having been given this magnificent opportunity to participate in the literary exchange of ideas. My mother says I was telling people I wanted to be a writer when I was seven. I know that seems incredible, but she's my mom, so we have to believe her. I never missed an opportunity to visit the library, which was blissfully near my home, and the librarians there took a great interest in this nerdy, shy, bespectacled kid who kept reappearing almost every day. They encouraged me to read widely and to read the best of everything, and that is exactly what I did and have continued to do all my life.

I sent off my first submission when I was eleven, to Highlights Magazine. This was a poem of which I was particularly proud concerning the Oklahoma Land Run. They turned me down. Yes, that was my first rejection letter. Over the next twenty years, I collected over 400 more of them. No, I'm not exaggerating. I still have them. Every last one. There was a reason, I realize now, why all those compositions were being rejected. They weren't very good. But they improved over time. I didn't know it, but during the entire torturous process of submission and rejection, I was learning how to write.

My first novel was published when I was thirty-one. To some, this may seem an early age to publish, but if you clock it from my first rejection, it took twenty years. That was a great year--my first son, Harry, was born in August, and my first book, Primary Justice, was born in December. The book surprised everyone and the follow-up did even better and before I even realized it I had accomplished my goal--I was a real honest-to-gosh writer. I've been writing ever since. I've written more than twenty novels, edited two anthologies, done two books for children, and published numerous stories, essays, puzzles, and poems. I have three children now, and this job allows me to be present when they come home from school and available when they need me during the day, which is a blessing I could not have anticipated back when I was a seven-year old gazing dreamily at author photos on dust jackets, wishing I could see myself there.

My goals for the future are to continue to learn, to grow, to find new ways of doing my work and doing it better. I've learned that I enjoy teaching, which led to the The Fundamentals of Fiction DVDs, the Red Sneaker Writers book series, and many speaking and teaching engagements throughout the year. My interest in mentoring aspiring writers led me to start the small-group seminars, which allow me to teach my favorite subject all across the nation. And in my personal life, my goal is to be the best parent possible to Harry, Alice, and Ralph. I'm very excited about the future--my personal life with these extraordinary people, and my professional life, creating new stories for you wonderful people who still understand the importance of storytelling and the written word.
-------
William Bernhardt is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the blockbuster Ben Kincaid series of legal thrillers. In addition, Bernhardt founded the Red Sneaker Writing Center in 2005, hosting writing workshops and small-group seminars and becoming one of the most in-demand writing instructors in the nation. His programs have educated many authors now published at major New York houses. He is also the owner and publisher of Babylon Books. He holds a Masters Degree in English Literature and is the only writer to have received both the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award (University of Pennsylvania) and the H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award (Oklahoma State), which is given "in recognition of an outstanding body of work that has profoundly influenced the way in which we understand ourselves and American society at large." In addition to the novels, he has written plays, including a musical (book and music), humor, nonfiction books, children books, and crossword puzzles. He also has published many poems and is a member of the American Academy of Poets.

Customer Reviews

Bernhardt always keeps his characters real and his conflicts compelling.
James R. Ludwig
I have read many William Bernhardt novels and I would rank this one amongst his best.
Michael Rockoff
Definitely worth my while, and got me hooked enough to keep coming back.
M. Weigand

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
What do a firey bus accident following a company party, a gunman holding hostage a college classroom, a mass murder who tortures to death his victims in the most cruel ways, and eleven children dead from Luekemia have in Common? That is what Ben Kincaid and Staff discover in "Silent Justice". Ben knows that to fight one of Tulsa's finest law firms reprsenting the H.P. Blaylock Industrial Machinery Corporation will bring only bills, bills and more bills. It's not the smart thing to do nor the safe thing to do, but after peering into those eleven sets of eyes in photographs shown to him by the childrens parents, Ben knew it was the only thing he could do. His small law firm might be bankrupted by the effort, but he had to try to get justice for the young victims. Meanwhile, Ben's former brother-in-law and friend, Mike Loving has an unbelievable serial murder case on his hands. Cruel torture appears to be the only common thread between victims until Mike discovers that all the victims worked together and even played together at one point. From there Mike and Ben working separately ultimately end up involved with the same case. The reader is kept guessing until the very exciting and suspenseful ending. Great Courtroom drama, suspense and mystery make this a must read. Definately one of the best!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. M. Sulkin on March 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Ben Kincaid takes a break from his usual criminal law activity to take on a civil case. Aided by his trustworthy support staff, including his girl friend (if not girlfriend) Christina, Ben battles the evil forces of big business accused of polluting well water that causes an outbreak of leukemia in a small Tulsa suburban community. The pieces of the story take time to come together, including reasons for including apparently dissimilar incidents which took place months and years before the novel's main action. In addition to the civil action, there are several murders related to Ben's case, although he does not make the connection until late in the plot. Bernhardt keeps the action moving, interspersing the usual Ben Kinkaid humor. The courtroom scenes may not resemble real-life litigation, but the reader remains interested in the precedings, and nervously waits with Ben for the verdict. Silent Justice is the flipside of A Civil Action, and a far easier read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on February 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In Blackwood, a small town near Tulsa, a stunned Cecily Elkins learns that her beloved little boy is dying from leukemia. Even more shocking, his doctor Harlan Freidrich gives her a list of other families with children who also suffered from the deadly disease. After her child dies, Cecily learns of the illegal dumping of toxins in the drinking water by the Blaylock Industrial Machinery Corporation.

Cecily and the other parents turn to lawyer Ben Kincaid for help in filing a class action suit for wrongful death against the big corporation. Though civil law is not his strength and the odds against winning are astronomical, he accepts the case. However, his calculations fail to include the other side retaining a powerful attorney with questionable connections to the judge who is a friend to big business. Additionally, a serial killer surfaces whom murders Blaylock employees.

SILENT JUSTICE is an exciting legal thriller from one of the sub-genre's best. However, the story line is very similar to A CIVIL ACTION though kept fresh by William Bernhardt's writing skills. The class action suit is extremely entertaining and will thrill the audience. The serial killer subplot is also well written and ties back to the main tale, but feels unnecessary as it diverts attention from the exhilarating prime plot. Kincaid continues to dream of being a superhero like Captain Marvel while his support crew adds vigor and wit as they struggle to right social injustice. Mr. Bernhardt remains one of the best authors of legal thrillers and anyone who has not tasted a Kincaid tale will want to try this novel and the previous works, which are all excellent stories.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on February 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In Blackwood, a small town near Tulsa, a stunned Cecily Elkins learns that her beloved little boy is dying from leukemia. Even more shocking, his doctor Harlan Freidrich gives her a list of other families with children who also suffered from the deadly disease. After her child dies, Cecily learns of the illegal dumping of toxins in the drinking water by the Blaylock Industrial Machinery Corporation.

Cecily and the other parents turn to lawyer Ben Kincaid for help in filing a class action suit for wrongful death against the big corporation. Though civil law is not his strength and the odds against winning are astronomical, he accepts the case. However, his calculations fail to include the other side retaining a powerful attorney with questionable connections to the judge who is a friend to big business. Additionally, a serial killer surfaces whom murders Blaylock employees.

SILENT JUSTICE is an exciting legal thriller from one of the sub-genre's best. However, the story line is very similar to A CIVIL ACTION though kept fresh by William Bernhardt's writing skills. The class action suit is extremely entertaining and will thrill the audience. The serial killer subplot is also well written and ties back to the main tale, but feels unnecessary as it diverts attention from the exhilarating prime plot. Kincaid continues to dream of being a superhero like Captain Marvel while his support crew adds vigor and wit as they struggle to right social injustice. Mr. Bernhardt remains one of the best authors of legal thrillers and anyone who has not tasted a Kincaid tale will want to try this novel and the previous works, which are all excellent stories.

Harriet Klausner
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