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About Nancy Allen
Nancy Allen, author of the Ozarks Mystery Series, practiced law for fifteen years as Assistant Missouri Attorney General and Assistant Prosecutor in her native Ozarks. She’s tried over thirty jury cases, including murder and sexual offenses, and is now a law instructor at Missouri State University. Her debut novel, a legal thriller entitled The Code of the Hills, was published in 2014 by HarperCollins/Witness, followed by A Killing at the Creek (2015), The Wages of Sin (2016) and A Wolf in the Woods (2018).
James Patterson and Nancy Allen have co-authored a legal thriller set in Mississippi and starring defense attorney Ruby Bozarth. Juror #3 will be released by Hachette on September 17, 2018.
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In picture-perfect Erva, Alabama, the most serious crimes are misdemeanors. Speeding tickets. Shoplifting. Contempt of court.
Then why is the jail so crowded? And why are so few prisoners released? There’s only one place to learn the truth behind these incriminating secrets.
Sometimes the best education a lawyer can get is a short stretch of hard time.
Ruby Bozarth, a newcomer to Rosedale, Mississippi, is also fresh to the State Bar -- and to the docket of Circuit Judge Baylor, who taps Ruby as defense counsel.
The murder of a woman from one of the town's oldest families has Rosedale's upper crust howling for blood, and the prosecutor is counting on Ruby's inexperience to help him deliver a swift conviction. Ruby's client is a college football star who has returned home after a career-ending injury, and she is determined to build a defense that will stick. She finds help in unexpected quarters from Suzanne, a hard-charging attorney armed to the teeth, and Shorty, a diner cook who knows more than he lets on.
Ruby never belonged to the country club set, but once she nearly married into it. As news breaks of a second murder, Ruby's ex-fiancé shows up on her doorstep -- a Southern gentleman in need of a savior. As lurid, intertwining investigations unfold, no one in Rosedale can be trusted, especially the twelve men and women impaneled on the jury. They may be hiding the most incendiary secret of all.
Prosecutor Elsie Arnold loves her small-town home in the Ozark hills, but she’s been waiting for a murder to come along and make her career. So when a body is found under a bridge, throat cut, Elsie jumps at the chance to work on the case, even if it’s alongside the brash new chief assistant, Chuck Harris—and her latest flame, Detective Bob Ashlock.
But when the investigation reveals that the deceased woman was driving a school bus, and the police locate the vehicle, its interior covered in blood, the occupant and only suspect is a fifteen-year-old boy. Elsie’s in for more than she bargained for.
Win or lose, this case will haunt her. No one has successfully prosecuted a juvenile for first-degree murder in McCown County. If she loses, it’s her career on the line and a chilling homicide unresolved; if she wins, a boy’s liberty will be taken from him before he reaches his sixteenth birthday.
To uncover the truth, she'll have to break the code of the hills …
In the Missouri Ozarks, some things aren't talked about … even abuse. But prosecutor Elsie Arnold is determined to change that.
When she is assigned to prosecute a high-profile incest case in which a father is accused of abusing his three young daughters, Elsie is ready to become the Ozarks' avenging angel.
But as Elsie sinks her teeth into the case, everything begins to turn sour. The star witness goes missing; the girls refuse to talk about their father, who terrorizes the courtroom from the moment he enters; and Elsie begins to suspect that their tough-as-nails mother has ulterior motives. To make matters worse, Elsie receives gruesome threats from local extremists, warning her to mind her own business.
While Elsie swears not to let a sex offender walk, she realizes the odds—and maybe the town—are against her, and her life begins to crumble. But amidst all of the conflict, the safety of three young girls hangs in the balance ...
A powerful debut, with the haunting atmosphere of Winter's Bone and the page-turning suspense of Alafair Burke's thrillers.
“The Elsie Arnold series deserves to run and run.”— Alex Marwood, author of The Wicked Girls and The Killer Next Door
In rural McCown County, Missouri, a young pregnant woman is found beaten to death in a trailer park. The only witness to the murder is Ivy, her six-year-old daughter, who points to her mom’s boyfriend—father of the unborn child. County prosecutor Madeleine Thompson promises the community justice, and in the Ozarks, that can only mean one thing: a death sentence.
When Madeleine’s first choice for co-counsel declines to try a death penalty case, she is forced to turn to assistant prosecutor Elsie Arnold. Elsie is reluctant to join forces with her frosty boss, but the road to conviction seems smooth—until unexpected facts about the victim arise, and the testimony of the lone eyewitness Ivy becomes increasingly crucial. Against Elsie’s advice, Madeleine brings in the state attorney general’s office to assist them, while cutthroat trial attorney Claire O’Hara joins the defense.
Elsie will not let the power of prosecution—of seeking justice—be wrested from her without a fight. She wants to win the case, and to avenge the death of the mother and her unborn child. But as the trial nears, Elsie begins to harbor doubts about the death penalty itself. Meanwhile, the child Ivy is in greater danger than anyone knows.
“Unflinching and gritty.” — Library Journal
“A gripping story with dramatic twists, and a memorable heroine.” —James Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author
McCown County assistant prosecutor Elsie Arnold is prepping an assault case when a girl is found beaten and bloodied at a roadside no-tell motel. Elsie tries to convince the teen to reveal who attacked her, but Mandy is too scared—and stubborn—to cooperate… and then she disappears. Elsie’s positive a predator is targeting the Ozark hills, yet the authorities refuse to believe their small town could be plagued by sex trafficking.
Then middle school student Desiree Wickham goes missing, but only Elsie suspects it could be connected to Mandy’s assault. As she digs deeper into the events leading up to Desiree’s disappearance, she stumbles upon an alarming discovery: local girls are falling prey to a dubious online modeling agency, and never seen again. Elsie shares her concerns with Detective Ashlock and the FBI, but they shut her out.
She takes matters into her own hands and lands an interview with the head of the modeling agency. But when she meets him face-to-face, she discovers the fate of Desiree and Mandy… and becomes his newest captive. Elsie’s desperate to free the girls—and save herself—before the unspeakable happens. And she’s in for the fight of her life.
THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE…
Assistant DA Kate Stone has just suffered the biggest loss of her career. She’d worked so hard to prosecute a serial assaulter of women, and it was a case she should have won. But a corrupt judge allowed Max James to walk free. When he confronts her outside the courthouse, she punches James, and he goes down hard. After the footage is plastered across every TV screen, Kate’s boss demands that she either attend anger management meetings or give up the job she lives for.
CAN BE DIFFERENT FROM THE PURSUIT OF TRUTH.
Begrudgingly, Kate attends her first meeting. Inside is a group of people all failed by the justice system. Their mission: to do everything in their power to help right wrongs, even if outside the law. Unsure who to trust among this unlikely team of renegades, Kate begins to dig into Max James’s secret life, and she unknowingly ignites a battle that will rage across the city that never sleeps.