Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid walks into her office in Portland's Drug and Vice Division one morning to find the sergeant of the police bureau's vice unit waiting for her. A 13-year-old girl has been brutally attacked and left for dead on the city's outskirts. Given the lack of evidence, most lawyers would settle for an assault charge; Samantha, unnerved by the viciousness of the crime, decides to go for attempted murder. But as she prepares for the trial, she uncovers a dangerous trail leading to an earlier high-profile death penalty case, a prostitution ring of underage girls, and a possible serial killer.
In Samantha Kincaid, Alafair Burke has created a complex, appealing character. Seamlessly moving between courtroom and criminal investigation, Judgment Calls reveals not only an insider's knowledge of the justice system but a fresh new voice in the world of crime writing.
©2003 Alafair Burke; (P)2004 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"Narrated in a crisp first person and injected with good-natured humor, the book is tightly plotted and detail laden." (Publishers Weekly)
"First-rate, suspenseful entertainment...we'll be hearing more from tough, tart, sexy, high-minded Samantha Kincaid." (Washington Post)
"Burke blends courtroom drama and criminal investigation with surprising aplomb, and she uses her Northwest setting to good advantage." (Booklist)
Don't compare Alifair with her father James Lee and you won't be disappointed. Let's be fair very few writers working today compare with James lee Burke so this isn't a criticism.
It's an assured thriller. Solid, believable, characters well developed and plot twists not telegraphed.
Maybe a little too solid and unexciting for the genre but I will certainly read more to see how she grows as a writer.
Only real criticism is the terrible narration. The woman has the most irritating voice and accent. No gravity, power or subtlety just a finger nails down the blackboard scratchy hesitant delivery.
I love Tudor history, forensic science, murder mysteries. Occasionally I head off after Shackleton, Stonehenge or other eclectic subjects
Please don't take my star rating as a guide as I'm only on Chapter 3 of the book so have, as yet, no idea whether it's a good story or not. However I am reviewing the book in advance solely because of the reader. Betty Bobbitt has the absolutely perfect voice to read text books. If I didn't know better I'd swear I was listening to a forensic psychology text book. Her voice is dry and monotone and plainly boring. Also, I'm fairly - but only fairly - tempted to pop into the library to see if Alafair Burke actually wrote the laughing into the story or whether this was added by Betty. Not that it matters, I will listen for a while longer but cannot imagine being able to listen to the end - I've dozed off twice already and have had to rewind
Alafair Burke out Cornwell's Patricia Cornwell. Both of her lead female characters (Samantha & Ellie) are well worth reading. Read them. Or better still, listen to them, they are narrated really well.
This was way too graphic for me. The narrator was good, but the frequent slip into Aussie accent detracted from an otherwise competent performance.
A writer I will continue to follow ,I enjoy the certainty and uncertainty of her main protagonists many thank for the good reads to come
"Well read above average book"
Well read! Betty Bobbitt has done an excellent job of reading an above average thriller. The protagonist is a lady DA who has problems that all authors seem to build around any character who is a lady DA, mainly complex relationship with a boyfriend and high principles in a notorious society. If anyone knows of a happily married DA please write a book on her, there seems to be a market for this starting with me.
The book is about a trial of a child rapist. But the child, a 13 year old, was soliciting sex and was high on drugs when raped. The defense lawyer is committed to giving a full fight and has a surprise plan to defend her client. While the character building is ordinary, the plot above average, the tension of a who did it good and the reading excellent, the entire package makes the book worth a book credit. Go ahead and download. No hidden disappointments in this one.
"Loved the Voices - Hated the Mispronunciations"
The mispronunciations of local place names were incredibly jarring. I live in Portland where the story takes place. Did no one from Oregon review the audio book?
Learned a lot about how the local courts actually work. Very much liked the caring focus on the victims and the female perspective.
Pretty darn good.
"Story is good but narrator is a little dry."
Story is good but narrator is a little dry. It was a struggle to get into it.
"Good debut book!"
As a fan of James Lee Burke, I am enjoying Alafair's Burke first novel. The narrator does a decent job then suddenly projects a harsh Brooklyn accent although the story is set in Oregon. Overall, I am pleased with Alafair's book. It is hard not to visualize her as the "Alafair" in the Dave Robicheaux series.
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