- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 22 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Elex Publishers, Inc.
- Audible.com Release Date: November 23, 2016
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01MSP2OS3
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Indictments Audiobook – Unabridged
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The prosecutor in this case is Scott Marino, who has spent most of his career prosecuting misdemeanors such as shoplifting and DUI's. He finally gets his chance on a big case, a convenience store holdup that attracts national attention because the defendant John Harrison is the son of a prominent state politician. Harrison was convicted once already, but the conviction was reversed on a technicality. Harrison's high priced defense attorney is a nationally known lawyer whose ethics are virtually nonexistent. The prosecution's case is a seeming slam dunk, with two reliable eyewitnesses identifying Harrison as the robber.Of course, the trial doesn't go the way Marino planned, but he gets a second chance when Harrison is arrested for another robbery, this one resulting in the deaths of several customers at the restaurant that was robbed.
Author Eleazer is a practicing attorney, and he includes bits and pieces of several different trials in "The Indictments." Rather than try to describe any of the trials from end to end, Eleazer instead describes just the salient points of each, with enough background commentary and explanation so that readers will understand Marino's conduct of each trial. The author provides some education on a few points of law, but he never allows his commentary to get in the way of the flow of the trial. As a result, the book moves along at a rapid clip.
Eleazer also does a good job of describing the operation and the politics in the district attorney's office. This is not a novel of internal backstabbing and one-upmanship, however. Instead, the attorneys in the office have good chemistry and camaraderie, despite the desire to get ahead. The most interesting character in the book is one Moose Mosley, a former football star turned attorney who winds up becoming Marino's supervisor. His story, although somewhat predictable, provides most of the human drama in the book.
"The Indictments" does have one glaring weakness, a storyline involving a femme fatale law student named Jessica Valdez who is assigned to work with Scott as his legal intern. Eleazer makes it quite obvious from almost the first page what her goal is as she practically throws herself at the exceedingly obtuse Scott (who has a girlfriend). I don't mind this type of character in a book, but Eleazer stacks the deck in making her advances so obvious (inviting Scott into her apartment for a back rub) that he comes off as a complete idiot for not realizing what's going on. Some of the other characters in the book, like the sleazeball defense attorney, are written a bit too broadly as well. He does everything but practically twirl his mustache to make himself unlikable.
Still, "The Indictments" is an entertaining read and one in which the author seemingly paints his hero into an impossible corner, as, with only a few pages left, there appears to be no way that Scott can win his big case. The author then pulls off a heck of a plot twist, one that would have a movie audience applauding and one that had me laughing out loud in admiration. That final twist alone is worth the cost of the book. William Eleazer knows his way around courtrooms, both real and fictional, and he knows how to try a fictional case for maximum reader enjoyment. The verdict is unanimous; "The Indictments" is a solid legal thriller.
MINOR SPOILER ALERT - Didn't like how easy it was for the hero to nearly fall prey to seduction w/o Jennifer finding out. How would that tension resolve within the story, even though Scott doesn't stray (by happenstance, no less).
But the big question - whatever happened to Nate Grant? 😀
The writing is not pretentious. It's an easy read by an author with a story to tell, not an ego to stroke. Here's the best thing about this novel that - it's accuracy. Oh sure, Marino's involvement in top prosecutions is a stretch, especially since most senior prosecutors run to the high-profile cases (unless they're weak and they won't show in the courtroom). But that's an easy license to give to the writer. He takes an evidentiary issue and argues as each side would and finds a way to fit the story in a sound legal result. This author is the engine of the powerhouse Stetson Law trial team and lawyers would serve well to read this because there are lessons on how to be a great trial advocate found in several places.
Read the book.
The second downside, again in both books, is the terrible personal choices made by lead characters, supposedly smart enough to be admitted to a law school. In Savannah Law, it was Jennifer, with her choices about the stalker, and it The Indictments, it was Scott with his gullibility in the face of a very transparent "social climber", Jessica, and the acceptance of an offer to a meeting in a seedy motel from a clearly sleazy defense lawyer. When people behave that stupidly to further a thin plot, it detracts seriously from the story.
This author has the potential to write really good plots, but he needs serious help from a competent editor. Hopefully, the next book will reflect that.