When a drive-by shooting in Holyoke, Massachusetts, claims the lives of a Puerto Rican drug dealer and a nurse at a neighborhood clinic, the police arrest a black drug dealer. With no death penalty in Massachusetts, the US attorney shifts the double homicide out of state jurisdiction into federal court so that he can pursue the death penalty.
The Honorable David S. Norcross, who has been on the federal bench only two years, now presides overthe first death penalty case in the state in 50 years. He must contend not only with an ambitious female prosecutor and a brilliant veteran defense attorney, but with a citizenry outraged at the senseless killing of a white hockey mom- not to mention the pressures of the media, anti-death penalty protesters, vengeful gang members, and the million other things that can go wrong in a capital trial.
Michael A. Ponsor takes readers into the courtroom and beyond, presenting with great sensitivity the points of view of the defendant and his wife; the victims' families; law enforcement officers; witnesses; and the judge who, while still coming to terms with the death of his wife, begins a relationship with a woman he is not sure he can trust.
©2013 Michael Ponsor (P)2013 Recorded Books
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"A fresh, engaging courtroom drama"
In some ways, this was a standard courtroom crime novel. A murder occurs, and we think that the suspect (a former drug dealer who seems to have turned his life around with a degree, a wife, and a child) is innocent, but you never know. I used to love that genre, but too often find myself bored with something I feel I have read too many times. This novel intrigued me because it was written by a judge, with a judge as the protagonist. The novel did not disappoint me. It had a rookie author freshness to it that I enjoyed, and I liked the judge perspective on a capital case. The main characters were believable and the plot moved at a good pace. Only a couple things held this back from being a 5 star book. Some of the secondary characters move in and out of the novel too quickly, and I would forget who they were. The author wanted to share true facts in the local history of capital punishment, but some went on too long. That said, I think that most fans of courtroom fiction will enjoy this. The narrator was especially excellent, differentiating voices so well. One warning - it is clear early on that the author is anti-capital punishment. Most of the reviewers who panned this book were clearly bugged by this, so if that is your political belief, be forewarned.
"Good for a anti death penalty book"
Very good book if you can get past the agenda. Almost quit listening it was so hardcore anti death penalty. Guess he doesn't know anything about prisoners in with life with no parole. Some are the most violent due to nothing to lose.
"I had thought the book would be better."
Not as good as I thought. I would consider it an average story. Readable but not great. I was not compelled to keep reading.
Maybe. If I felt they would find it more entertaining.
He was average in this book reading.
I bought this book (credit) on the basis of previous reviews, it was in my view little short of appauling, I have obviously missed the point. For me it was tedious, the characters shallow much of the dialogue trite, in short I am sorry I used a credit.
The plot lacked all credibility. On the evidence presented how the defendant could be bought to trial is beyond me,the use of history the 19th. century murder trial was surely a book filler; for me it contributed nothing to the case in point .
The naration did nothing to improve the book
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