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In this riveting new novel in the New York Times bestselling series, defense attorney Paul Madriani uncovers a morass of double-dealing and murder that leads him to the very highest levels of American political powerWhen a friend, Alex Ives, is implicated in a deadly motor collision on a deserted Southern California highway, Paul Madriani joins a case as tangled as any he's ever taken. Alex swears he had only one drink the night of the crash, but he also can't remember the events of the evening beyond the fact that he was to meet a sexy, mysterious woman at an elegant house party. The next morning he woke up in the hospital in police custody, charged with drunk driving and manslaughter. When Paul discovers that Alex knew the deceased, a connected, hard-charging Washington, D. C. , lawyer named Olinda Serna, Madriani realizes the potential penalties for his client could include a death sentence. Across the country in Washington, D. C. , attorney Cletus Proffit learns that his law firm nemesis, Ms. Serna, has died in California. Proffit knows that Serna protected dangerous secrets involving players moving in the highest reaches of national politics, and he will go to any lengths to ensure that that knowledge has died with her. Senator Maya Grimes also hears of the fatal crash, and begins crafting her own web of deceit to suffocate anything that might come back to bite her. In the meantime, a vicious, highly effective mercenary a woman whose calling card is the ability to kill her victims in horrifying, utterly untraceable accidents begins to panic when she gets word of Serna's death in Southern California and the manner in which it occurred. Now the only way to save a young man from imprisonment is for Madriani, his partner, Harry Hinds, and investigator Herman Diggs to uncover the corruption and dark deeds that surround Ms. Serna's friends and find her killer before he or she can strike again. "



About the Author

Steve Martini

Martini's first career was in journalism. He worked as a newspaper reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the largest legal newspaper in the country covering the state, the local courts and the civic center beat. In 1970 he became the newspaper's first correspondent at the State Capitol in Sacramento and later its bureau chief. There he specialized in legal and political coverage. During this period he attended night law school and in 1974 took his law degree from the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law. He was admitted to the Bar in January 1975. Martini has practiced law both privately as well as for public agencies appearing in state and federal courts. During his law career, in addition to other activities, he worked as a legislative representative for the California Department of Consumer Affairs, the State Bar of California, and served as special counsel to the California Victims of Violent Crimes Program. He has worked as an administrative hearing officer, a supervising hearing officer, an administrative law judge, and for a time served as Deputy Director of the State Office of Administrative Hearings. He is currently inactive with the State Bar of California, choosing writing instead as a full-time occupation. In the mid-1980s Martini began his fiction-writing career. His first attempt at a novel, The Simeon Chamber, was represented by an agent and sold to the New York publisher D.I. Fine within two weeks of its submission. It was published in 1987. Compelling Evidence, his second novel, introduced his series character, attorney Paul Madriani, and was published by G.P. Putnam & Sons. A national bestseller, the novel earned Martini a critical and popular following. It was followed quickly by New York Times bestsellers Prime Witness, Undue Influence, The Judge, and The Attorney, each featuring the series character Madriani and his contrarian and irrepressible law partner, Harry Hinds. The List, published in 1997, a novel and thriller about the commercial book publishing industry, was the first Martini novel to depart from the series characters since the author reached the best sellers list. Critical Mass, his next novel published in 1998, continued the departure from the courtroom as well as the Madriani series, though it involved a lawyer protagonist and was well within the legal-thriller genre. Critical Mass addressed issues of terrorism and the threat from weapons of mass destruction two years before the events of 9/11. It was a topic to which Martini would return in later years.Other novels by Martini include: The Jury, The Arraignment, Double Tap, Shadow of Power, Guardian of Lies, The Rule of Nine, and Trader of Secrets.To date, two network mini-series have been produced and broadcast based on Martini's works, Undue Influence by CBS, and The Judge on NBC.



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