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The Judgment    by D. W. Buffa order for
by D. W. Buffa
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

D. W. Buffa's The Judgment, written in 2001, is not cluttered with cell phones and Blackberrys and computers. I can't imagine how I missed this splendid novel. I'm so glad it caught up with me.

Defense attorney Joseph Antonelli volunteers to defend a young man charged with the murder of Judge Calvin Jeffries - killed beside his own car in a parking garage. As readers, we are made to understand that this particular judge was one of the nastiest, meanest, most controlling judges to serve in the system. As far as this man was concerned, his agenda was the only one on which to focus, no matter how he bent the rules. Considered evil by Antonelli, the judge had a bone to pick with him and would never let the lawyer present his case.

Apparently, he did the same to another lawyer who revered him. The judge had no interest in helping this other lawyer work his way up in the ranks, but rather took a fancy to the man's wife. He destroyed a happy marriage - and the lawyer involved.

In good conscience, I can't reveal any more of the story. Take it from me, the plot is superb, the writing taut, suspense reeks through the whole mystery, and the characters could be people you already know - they ring true. I guarantee you will admire Antonelli, love his girl friend, and positively hate the judge. This is a book that is hard to put down. I read it in 36 hours, and was sorry there wasn't more when I finished. Don't miss The Judgment.

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