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Proof Positive (Amanda Jaffe Series) Mass Market Paperback – July 31, 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews
Book 4 of 5 in the Amanda Jaffe Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In bestseller Margolin's third legal thriller featuring feisty defense lawyer Amanda Jaffe (after 2003's Wild Justice), respected forensic expert Bernard Cashman, who works for the Oregon State Crime Laboratory, has developed a personal philosophy that allows him to manufacture evidence to ensure the successful prosecution of those he feels are guilty, especially if crucial evidence is missing. He's not a madman, just absolutely sure that he knows more than judge, jury and the legal system when it comes to administering justice. After a fellow crime lab employee approaches him about discrepancies in his work, he adds murder to his list of methods that ensure his continuing crusade. Amanda is still working in her father's law firm and still having trouble with her love life, though Margolin wisely steers clear of wasting much time on her personal problems. The author deftly manages a large cast of characters and ties the many plot lines together with enough clever twists to satisfy faithful fans and newcomers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Amanda Jaffe, the Oregon defense attorney, is defending a homeless man accused of murder, while her father, Frank, is representing a mobster on a similar charge. Although both men profess their innocence, the forensic evidence says otherwise. But when Amanda starts examining the evidence in these two unconnected cases, she finds a frightening common denominator. The third Jaffe novel--after Wild Justice (2000) and Ties That Bind (2003)--is an examination of the role of forensic evidence in bringing criminals to justice. In addition to a fast-moving plot and characters who at least hold up their end of the bargain, Margolin shows readers how a crime-scene investigator can easily--and often without detection--not only influence the outcome of a trial but also effectively ensure a certain verdict. It's typical of Margolin to use the legal-thriller subgenre to explore some socially significant aspect of the jury system. The increasing popularity of forensic fiction and of CSI, the television series that has become a cottage industry, virtually guarantees this novel a wide and appreciative audience. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Amanda Jaffe Series (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (July 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060735066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060735067
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
So what happens when a forensics expert decides to become the judge and jury instead of just reporting the facts? That's the premise of Phillip Margolin's latest novel, Proof Positive. Definitely makes you think...

A homeless person, suffering from mental issues, is accused of a rather gruesome murder that nearly appears to be an open-and-shut case. His attorney has that small voice that says she believes that he didn't do it, but the evidence is overwhelming. Meanwhile, her father is defending a crime boss's muscle who's been accused of murdering a junkie tied to a rival. Again, the evidence points directly to the accused, but there's still the insistence that he didn't do it. When they start comparing notes and poking at the few open issues, they discover a common thread... the same forensic expert for the State is involved in all the cases. When an additional lawyer brings in a case that bears the same characteristics, the pressure starts to build and people start dying to cover up the truth... whatever it may be.

I like Margolin's writing a lot... The pacing in Proof was good, and the premise was a bit different than stories I've read of late. What *would* happen if a criminologist went bad and started determining who should and shouldn't be innocent or guilty? I'll also confess to a certain bias towards his novels because they are all set in my home town of Portland Oregon. Reading a story and visualizing each location exactly as it exists always adds an element of enjoyment for me...

A great summer read, and one that should appeal to anyone who is hooked on the CSI-style shows currently in vogue on network TV.
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Format: Hardcover
Fans of the TV series "CSI," where the characters use cutting-edge forensic tools to examine evidence to solve murder cases, will definitely enjoy Phillip Margolin's latest thriller, "Proof Positive." Here the devil is in the forensic details....quite literally.

Bernard Cashman, a respected forensic expert who works for the Oregon State Crime Laboratory, has set himself up as judge and jury in certain criminal cases where he has been the lead crime scene investigator. Cashman, with almost godlike power, has manipulated critical evidence to send innocent people suspected of heinous crimes to jail and, at times, to their state sanctioned deaths.

Jacob Cohen, a mentally ill homeless man with a prior rape conviction stands accused of brutally murdering a woman. His lawyer, Doug Weaver, is convinced his client is innocent. Confused by evidence that just doesn't add up, he consults Amanda Jaffe, a successful defense attorney who is a partner in her father Frank Jaffe's law firm.

Frank Jaffe, whose clients include major mob figures, is presently working on a seemingly unrelated case. Vicious gangster Art Prochaska is accused of murdering an informer. Clued-in by some remarks her father made while discussing his case, Amanda begins to closely examine the seemingly airtight evidence submitted in both cases. She finds unsettling discrepancies. And when a fellow crime scene investigator approaches Dr. Cashman with major concerns about past cases, people begin to die - Bigtime!

This is Ms. Jaffe's third appearance in a Margolin crime thriller, and while she makes a credible heroine, she is not the strongest of characters. She serves the purpose of competent investigator, but I would not read a Margolin mystery just because it features Amanda Jaffe.
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Format: Hardcover
You have finished a year of college. You don't like the introductory course in your major. You decide you want to make a difference in the world, so you change your major to forensic science. The rewarding career of a crime scene investigator gives you the opportunity to do things in the lab undetected, to point guilt in a definite direction.

Enter Bernard Cushman, forensic scientist for Oregon State Crime Lab, a place where a fingerprint can mean the difference in life or death. This is no spoiler, as Phillip Margolin shows early in the novel that something is not quite right about Cushman. The reader's introduction comes after the execution of one of four men his forensic science put on death row. He celebrates with champagne and caviar. "He wished others were here to celebrate with him, but he knew many people would find his celebration inappropriate, peculiar, or both" (14).

Margolin uses the omniscient viewpoint of entering every character whose thought processes are revealed. One way of writing a thriller is to write omnisciently, keeping the reader current with all hidden stuff, knowing what each character's connection with it is as it happens. The other way allows the reader to follow the story through the viewpoint of only the main character, usually the detective or surgeon or criminalist, allowing the reader to learn information only as the character finds it. Margolin mostly does a good job with the former technique, but halfway through the novel, it does become wearing. First, character in dialog, then writer gives character's thought process behind dialog, then dialog, then thoughts, and so on.

The story has multiple characters, including two sets of attorneys working with two sets of clients. The crime lab makes the defining difference.
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