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The Arraignment (Paul Madriani Novels) Hardcover – January 6, 2003

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Product Details

  • Series: Paul Madriani Novels
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (January 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399148787
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399148781
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

When Paul Madriani's old friend, flamboyant criminal-defense lawyer Nick Rush, is gunned down on the streets of San Diego along with a client, Madriani sets out to find the killer. He follows the trail through shady real-estate dealings, cross-border smuggling, political corruption, and a nasty fight between Rush's ex and his young trophy wife over a hefty life-insurance policy. Eventually the case leads Madriani to the Yucatan Peninsula near Cancún, where the last third of the book takes place--a dandy locale for skullduggery, even if it does make you suspect that the author thought up the plot while vacationing there.

The Arraignment is marred by some sloppy, foggy-headed writing ("The neighborhood exudes the kind of aura picked up by a sixth sense that lingers and lifts the hair on the back of my neck"), and the plot, after its initial bang, sags for a while before it gets moving again. However, the sheer vigor of Martini's prose, his densely inventive plotting, and his sharply drawn characters carry you happily, tensely along. The book's action scenes--including a hand-to-hand fight in a shabby apartment and an unforgettable poolside shooting at a Cancún resort--are told in fresh, vivid prose that unfolds with hypnotic clarity. And the denouement is great fun, although the complex plot takes a lot of explaining at the end. Martini's not perfect, but he's still one of the best legal/adventure thriller writers going. --Nicholas H. Allison

From Publishers Weekly

Someday, someone may convince Martini or his publishers to come up with book titles that have a little more zip or at least relevance to the plot. Fortunately, the books themselves don't suffer from the same lack of inspiration. Martini's seventh series entry starring San Diego attorney Paul Madriani is one of his finest. It not only showcases Madriani as a man of maturing wisdom, but also as one who hasn't lost too much youthful vigor. Here, his client is the lithesome Dana Rush. She is the trophy wife of Madriani's good friend and fellow lawyer, Nick Rush, who is gunned down outside a downtown courthouse as the novel begins. In taking the case, Madriani feels an obligation to his friend; he wants to make sure Dana gets her just life insurance proceeds. But Madriani is equally as interested in investigating the events surrounding Nick's murder. What he finds-related deaths, drug smuggling, shady land deals and conniving law partners-takes Madriani on an unwholesome tour of Nick's final few months. The case leads Madriani and his law partner Harry Hinds to Mexico, where the action culminates in violence atop a Mayan ruin. Readers may have trouble tying it all together at the end, and they won't be too surprised at the identity of the villain. Yet along the way, Martini shows a deepening talent for character and description, which should put this popular series on continued solid footing for the future. Mystery Guild main selection, Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club featured alternate.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

I did not realize that the book was used until I received it.
doris nedry
The plot was very convoluted, and even at the end when things were somewhat explained, it still seemed totally unbelievable.
Cynthia K. Robertson
A very complicated story with many characters that keep you guessing.
Jerry Caveglia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Tucker Andersen VINE VOICE on January 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you are a Steve Martini - Paul Madriani fan, this latest book is worth your time but not up to his best work. If you are a new reader and are looking for legal mysteries that involve complicated cases and courtroom strategies, I would suggest that you read some of Martini's other books first. If you like action adventure with some legal twists, then you will enjoy this book and probably rate it four stars.
Nick Rush, friend and lawyer at a prestigious San Diego firm, approaches Paul Madriani to take on Gerald Metz, a client who supposedly poses a conflict of interest for Nick. After a conference with Metz, Paul declines and Metz and Nick are soon gunned down in front of the courthouse prior to Metz's grand jury testimony. Dana, Nick's trophy wife, requests that Paul investigate her insurance benefits, and interesting legal manueuvering ensues between Nick's employer, the insurance carrier, Dana, and Nick's former wife. This is vintage Paul Madriani (and Harry Hinds, his partner), clever and interesting. It also intoduces us to Adam Tolt, managing partner of Nick's firm whose apparent attempts to protect the firm's reputation and replace Nick lead to several interesting developments.
For various reasons including loyalty to his dead friend and inconsistencies regarding the events concerning Nick's death, Paul (with reluctant help from Harry) decides to supplement the police homicide investigation with his own efforts. Eventually additional violence ensues, and Paul and Adam follow the confusing trail of Metz and Nick and the other assorted unsavory individuals that Paul has unearthed to Mexico. While any of the individual incidences of violence and danger might be believable, the cumulative effect defies belief.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In Steve Martini's "The Arraignment," criminal defense attorney Paul Madriani is horrified when a friend of his is gunned down before his eyes. For a variety of reasons, Madriani does not leave it up to the police to catch the killer. He starts an investigation of his own, hoping to uncover the truth behind his friend's death. Madriani has his friend's electronic organizer, which he conceals from the police, and he uses this vital piece of evidence to track down leads. Along with his partner, Harry Hinds, Madriani crosses the border into Mexico, where he risks his life to confront his friend's killer.
"The Arraignment" does not work as a legal thriller or as a mystery. All of the characters in this book are one-dimensional stick figures, such as Dana, the blonde and shallow trophy wife, Margaret, the bitter ex-wife who was replaced by Dana, and Adam Tolt, the power-hungry head of a large law firm. Madriani has very little reason to neglect his law practice and risk his life doing police work. Nor does he have any good reason to obstruct justice and withhold vital evidence from the authorities. Since he is a single parent with a child, one would expect Madriani to be more circumspect with his health and safety and more concerned with his professional ethics.
The plot of "The Arraignment" is extremely complicated and the ending makes very little sense. Martini tediously stretches the book out to four hundred pages for no apparent reason. "The Arraignment" is one of Martini's weakest books and I do not recommend it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Susie Rigsby on January 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I'll have to say I've enjoyed some of Martini's other work better than this one. But still, I read the book almost without stopping because I enjoy this author's style of writing. I think what disappointed me more than anything is the fact I had the plot figured out from the beginning and the story ended as I thought it would. Regardless, I would recommend the book to anyone for a good read and I'll be waiting for another Martini book in the future. I'll have to admit the beginning of Chapter 7 on page 82 really tickled me. Apparently, Martini/Madriani has his own views on journalism's "spin" nowadays.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In his other books when he fully concentrates on law or on thriller (e.g. critical mass) he is able to put his full heart behind his writing. This book really meanders. It starts off as a legal stories wanders as a narrative in the middle and ends up as a half baked thriller story. There are two stories intertwined but neither is explained easily. Suddenly our dear lawyer has become an action hero. How he survives multiple spots where he would get killed beats me. When you try to do a number of things you often end of doing none of them well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I had high expectations for this book. I have enjoyed others by this author. However, I had to force myself to keep plodding through a cast of unsympathetic characters, little emotional depth, and an ending I guessed early in the book. I kept reading thinking it must get better. There were a few intriging chapters, but only a few.The ending was not satisfying, there were many unresolved, disjointed story lines. I still give it three stars because Martini is a good author, this is just average work when compared with his other novels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jacob on March 14, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This story starts off a little slow. You get to know the characters and get a feel for the setting. It is all based around this lawyer named Nick who gets killed. And how his friend Paul Madrini tries to help find out who did this. He gets into a couple of difficult situations in between.

Paul has to go through a whole bunch of people to find out all the missing links of the murder. He has to deal with insurance companies and Nick's wives. Both his ex wife and his widowed wife. You have to sit tight and make it through the beginning chapters before the story really starts to pick up.

Once you start getting towards the end of this book the story starts to move at a very quick pase. When in the beginning you wanted to just put the book aside, but now yo0u can't put it down. There are some pretty crazy action scenes towards the and then it happens. You find out who killed Nick and all the other guys and boy does it surprise you.
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More About the Author

Steve Martini was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. An honors graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, he holds a law degree from the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law.

Martini's first career was in journalism. He worked as a newspaper reporter in Los Angeles and as a correspondent at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, specializing in legal issues. In 1974 he entered private law practice in California, where he appeared in both state and federal courts. During his legal career, he worked as a legislative representative for the State Bar of California, served as special counsel to the California Victims of Violent Crimes Program, and was an administrative law judge and supervising hearing officer.

In 1984 Martini turned his talents to fiction, quickly earning positions on bestseller lists. All but his first book spent time on the New York Times Bestsellers list. To date, he has authored twelve novels, including eight featuring his popular lawyer alter ego, Paul Madriani.
In 1996 Undue Influence aired as a four-hour miniseries on CBS, followed by The Judge on NBC in 2001.

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