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Silent Justice Mass Market Paperback – February 27, 2001

4.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
Book 9 of 18 in the Ben Kincaid Series

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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.
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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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By A Customer 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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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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