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Shadow of Power: A Paul Madriani Novel    by Steve Martini order for
Shadow of Power
by Steve Martini
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2009 (2008)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

We've all run into books that are hard to put down. Steve Martini's Shadow of Power is the ultimate hard-to-put-downer. What a good book.

Paul Madriani, a San Diego defense attorney, is approached by an old friend to defend his son from a charge of murder. This murder case has far reaching implications. It sends Madriani across the country several times and on a quick trip to the Caribbean - not to soak up sunshine, but to try to serve a subpoena to a judge sitting on the United States Supreme Court! An inviolate body of judges.

From one page to the next, action fairly leaps from the type. From the courtroom scenes of the trial to the legal shenanigans pulled by the prosecuting attorney, to the late night conferences as to the best way to approach the next day's witnesses, Martini keeps the suspense growing. An historic letter is at the heart of the murder, which - if its contents are revealed - could give impetus to a growing unrest in the United States. Rioting and death would rule the streets.

Madriani's main goal is to prevent his client from receiving a murder conviction. But to do that, he might have to reveal the contents of this letter. It's a finely crafted plot that flows from first page to last. The courtroom scenes found this reader holding her breath. The dénouement was not a surprise. But the killer was the only one it could have been. I loved Shadow of Power. Don't miss it.

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