"Lean, speedy and packing a wallop of a plot twist" was Publishers Weekly's verdict of Steve Martini's The Jury. Now Martini crafts yet another legal nail-biter featuring perennial favorite attorney Paul Madriani.
After a lawyer friend is killed along with his client in a hail of gunfire outside the federal courthouse in San Diego, Madriani takes on another client who he believes is involved at the edges of the double murder. He takes the case not to defend the man, but to find out who killed his friend and why. Madriani is tortured by questions of conflict, his duty to a client who may have killed his friend, and the need to know the truth, wondering whether he himself had been marked for death only to have a friend die in his place. Soon he is drawn into a vortex of crime that spans the Americas.
As he searches for the killer, Madriani rides the crest of a dangerous wave of international drug deals and people who murder for money. Suddenly he realizes it is not heroin or cocaine that resulted in the murder of his friend, but a priceless piece of pre-Columbian art-something so dazzling in the information it holds as to be one of the treasures of the ages.
In a quest that takes Madriani from California to Mexico and the Guatemalan border, he discovers that while the motive to kill may be driven by distant, exotic, and ancient artifacts, the killer, like a serpent, lies much closer at hand.
Nick's office is on seven, the bottom floor of Rocker, Dusha and DeWine, better known to the legal set as RDD. It is the largest law firm in town, with more than three hundred lawyers and offices in four cities.
Nick has been here only two years and already he has a corner office and two young associates assigned to him. Like a minilaw firm within a firm.
His office has been sharply decorated by Dana, the new Mrs. Rush. Her touch is on everything, from the Persian carpets and artistic earthen vases that adorn the alcoves behind his leather-tufted chair to the gold stud in his right nostril.
Nick may have a new sassy-looking wife, but he is the same man I've known for more than ten years. A cigarette dangles from his lower lip as he talks, dropping ash on the expensive leather blotter of his desk. Nick may not look the part, but people tend to listen to him when he talks.
He sweeps the ash away with the back of his hand and examines the burn mark on the new...
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