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The Jury Hardcover – June 25, 2001

3.6 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews
Book 6 of 13 in the Paul Madriani Novels Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

So much of the action in this courtroom thriller happens outside the jury's purview that it makes one wonder if there's a touch of irony intended in the title. Paul Madriani, the lawyer-hero of five previous Martini novels set in San Francisco, has moved to San Diego for reasons that are never made clear. He's taken on the case of David Crone, a doctor involved in mapping the human genome, who's been charged with the murder of his colleague, a young African American research physician whose ambitions threatened Crone's career.

Crone seems to have had ample motivation for killing Kalista Jordan: witnesses have testified to the friction between them, and Crone himself seems less concerned about the capital murder charge than about what may be going on in his lab. When a key witness for the prosecution dies in what looks like a suicide and leaves a note confessing to the murder, Crone is freed. And in an O. Henry-like twist in the last chapter, a most unlikely killer emerges and threatens Madriani's life.

But even this doesn't do much to enliven this slow-moving novel. There's very little tension on the page or in the plot, and neither the narrative nor the characters offer the reader the kind of excitement found in Martini's previous novels. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Lean, speedy and packing a wallop of a plot twist at the end, the latest Paul Madriani legal thriller shows why Martini remains one of the form's most popular practitioners. Madriani, still struggling to establish his law practice in San Diego, is defending Dr. David Crone, a brilliant genetic researcher accused of killing colleague Kalista Jordan: her strangled and dismembered body was found washed up on a beach. Not only does all the evidence point to Crone, but his lies and deceptions are starting to test the patience of Madriani and his partner, the quick-tempered Harry Hinds. There may be motives aplenty was Jordan stealing trade secrets about human genome research from Crone's clinic and taking them to a rival company? Was Crone a spurned lover of the strikingly beautiful African-American Jordan? Did he catch her trying to sabotage his research because he previously had conducted controversial studies about the intellectual capacities of the different races? Unfortunately for the prosecution, the main witness who can shed light on motive is found dead the day before he is scheduled to testify. Not only does the apparent suicide break the prosecution's momentum, it throws the whole case into chaos. In his sixth Madriani novel, Martini (The Attorney) takes the moving parts of a standard plot and spins them for maximum effect. His secondary characters, while filling stock roles, are memorable in quirky ways, and a subplot about genetic illness in the family of one of Madriani's friends is executed with skill. Fans will happily overlook the frequently awkward, listless prose the most glaring drawback in what is otherwise one of Martini's best novels to date.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (June 25, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399146725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399146725
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,073,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Steve Martini delivered genuine thrills in two of his early novels, "Prime Witness" and "Compelling Evidence". What those books supplied were engrossing characters, interesting legal maneuvers and mysteries that kept the reader guessing until the end.
Unfortunately, Martini's latest novel, "The Jury," supplies none of these elements, and as a legal thriller, it is a dud.
The victim in this book is a gorgeous African-American woman named Kalista Jordan, who is also a brilliant research scientist. She is brutally murdered after exiting her hot tub. Paul Madriani is hired to defend the accused killer--Jordan's boss, David Crone. Jordan and Crone have worked together on some cutting-edge research involving genetics, and their working relationship was marred by serious disagreements that may have led to murder.
"The Jury" has numerous flaws. Martini brings none of his characters to life. Crone and Jordan are little more than cardboard cutouts, and Madriani has very little to do in this novel, other than stand up in court and parry with witnesses. The mystery itself is not compelling in the least. Even the title is problematical, since it implies that the book has something to do with jury deliberations. It doesn't. "The Jury" has very little action and the conclusion is out of left field and unsatisfying. This novel is a real disappointment to those of us who have enjoyed Steve Martini's legal thrillers in the past.
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A Kid's Review on November 9, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was a very good brain teaser. It had many twists and turns. The book story begins with the murder of Kalista Jordan, a twenty-six year old research physsician and collegue. Dr. David Crone is Kalista Jordans coworker and is suspected to be the one that killed Kalista. Kalista had filed a sexual harassment charge against Crone after she stole some of research papers out of his office. The two were then seen arguing publicly with each other before she was found washed up on a beach dead. There was heavy evidence against Dr. Crone, such as items in his garbage that were linked to the murder. On top of all this Dr. Crone refuses to cooperat with his own defense. He refuses to give Madriani, his lawyer, valuable information that could help him to win the case. Dr. Crone will not discuss the research that he was working on. He also will not say what role Kalista had in his research. The only reason Mr. Madriani was defending Dr. Crone was because he was the only doctor that would help his daughters friend, Penny Boyd. She was suffering from a disease called Huntington Chorea. This was a rare hereditary disease attacks the brain and central nervous system. This is a very fatal disease. Dr. Crone was attempting to get Penny into a special drug trial program when he was arrested for the murder.

I enjoyed this book very much. This book captured me in a way no other book has done before. I looked forward to reading it everyday. I highly recommend this book to someone who enjoys problem solving and law. This book made me realize that just because someone has a lot of evidence against them doesn't mean they did it.
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Format: Hardcover
Okay, I'll admit I'm not sure what the title has to do with anything, but it is a legal thriller and these things tend to have juries every so often.
Paul Mandriani and Harry Hines take on Dr. Crone, a brilliant geneticist. He's described as a man with a Cray computer between his ears. This is a book where the answer is sitting before you the entire read, but you have to follow the clues.
Crone is accused of killing a beautiful, black female colleague. So does this have something to do with his research stretching back 25 years earlier about racial graying? Maybe.
Aaron Tash is his number 2 man, who has the personality of gum on the bottom of shoe. He meets with Crone in the county lock up and they discuss DNA codes, or maybe it is something more sinister.
Through out, this is Mandriani's patient manner as he discovers one lie after another - most of the coming from his client.
Harry Hinds, Mandriani's partner, continues to quip and wisecrack his way through the story. There is a tight symmetry that really works for the book.
A couple of things to keep in mind: Figure out the motive and you'll discover the murderer, and follow Mandriani's advice, "Lawyer's like to keep you looking at one thing while they do another."
Novelists like to do the same thing. We are a sneaky bunch.
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Format: Hardcover
Normally a huge fan of Steve Martini's legal thrillers, I found "The Jury" a huge disappointment. Like the other reviewers, I am bewildered by the title because the jury plays little to no role in the story. Martini doesn't even describe the voir dire, he just launches right into the trial. It takes the reader a couple of chapters to catch up with what happened, which is very annoying. Even then, it's still not clear why Paul Madriani would take on such a sullen, uncooperative client like Dr. Crone, who is on trial for the murder of one of his colleagues. Even after it's revealed that Dr. Crone used his genius to try and save a dying child, his character is still unlikeable and weird. The reader doesn't care whether he's the killer or not, and at times it seems like Martini doesn't either. I have never read a book in this series where Madriani was as listless and uninvolved as he appeared in this book. Even Harry Hinds, Madriani's law partner, who is usually wise-cracking and brilliant, is mouthy and blustery here. Although red herrings are strewn throughout the novel, the killer's identity only comes as a mild surprise. After reaching suspense pinnacles in "Undue Influence" and "The Judge", this book is a real let down. Let's hope that the next Madriani book is a better effort.
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