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Judge, the - Steve Martini
Member Name: tommy7
Judge, the - Steve Martini
Date: 27/09/01, updated on 27/09/01 (67 review reads)
Advantages: Good read
Disadvantages: Hard to get into
Steve Martini was recommended to me as an author who wrote legal thrillers to rival John Grisham. I love Grisham’s work so I was immediately interested and ordered “The Judge”.
Martini used to be a trial attorney so he clearly knows the legal system. Similar to John Grisham and Brad Meltzer he is writing about a topic that he has a wealth of knowledge in and this comes across in the novel.
As the name suggests the defendant in this case is a Judge. The man in question is Armando Acosta, a Hispanic judge who was conducting an enquiry into corruption in the Police Force. Acosta is charged with solicitation, a charge he vehemently denies, claiming that the Police have framed him to get back at him for the corruption case. Acosta is a high profile judge and the charge makes all the newspapers which brings in the possibility of disbarment. Things go from bad to worse when the prostitutes body is discovered in a trash container. Acosta is immediately under suspicion and a note on the girl’s calendar suggesting a meeting that day with the Judge does little to help his case.
Martini balances the story well. He reveals the good and bad side of Acosta so there is no feeling of sympathy towards him. This means that the reader isn’t favouring one verdict or the other it is just the story that is important.
I originally found the book a little difficult to get into. It is very heavy on dialogue and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere for the first 100 or so pages. I actually considered stopping reading the book at this point but I decided to give it another 50 or so pages and I am glad I did. The story really picked up and I found I had read almost all of the rest of the book in my next sitting.
There is not a huge amount of characters in the book and Martini gives them all distinctive names so it is very easy to keep track of them all. The book is also full of similies which are someti
mes humorous but definitely add a lot to the story.
The thing I like most about the book is that there are sufficient clues for the reader to have a good guess at the outcome, I got one tiny part of it right so there are sufficient other possibilities to keep you guessing.
The main character Paul Madriani features in some of Martini’s other books so it will be interesting to see how his character develops.
Unfortunately a lot of the book is a little too far-fetched in my opinion. I can’t really go into details for fear of giving away the plot. There are just too many things happening that surely wouldn’t happen in real life as opposed to being far-fetched in any other way e.g. supernatural.
I always wonder when I finish a book if it would make a good film. In this case I think it probably would, as although it is dialogue intensive there are a few action scenes that would come across well; it is a film I would like to see.
Whilst the inevitable comparisons with Grisham will be drawn (a legal thriller with a two word title, the first of which is The!) the writing styles are totally different. People will have there own preferences but it is still Grisham for me.
“The Judge” by Steven Martini
Format: Paperback (501 pages)
Published: Jove Fiction