Prime Witness Hardcover – July 21, 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grace Baun, R.E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
- Publisher : Putnam Adult; 1st Edition (July 21, 1993)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0399138021
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399138027
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Item Weight : 1.6 pounds
- Dimensions : 9.28 x 1.4 x 6.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #659,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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My only two problems are that Martini shows signs of lazy writing. "He made a face, like..." Then Martini will explain what this face means. This is a "tell" not "show" method of writing, and although this style is more forgivable in thriller novels than in other types of storytelling, Martini relies on the technique overly much. Maybe he is still honing his skills as a writer, as this is one of his earlier books. But it does prove distracting, as this form is used just about on every other page. If the plot had been any less compelling, I might have quit this one.
Also, the wife of the main character grows tiresome very quickly, as she is such a raging B. This married couple was separated in the first book of the series, and now that they have reconciled, one would think the wife would know what she is getting herself in for married to an attorney. At the end, when Madriani describes her as "forgiving," this is a joke--the character trait NEVER showed up on the page.
Overall, this book gets 5 stars from me because I wanted to come back to it at the end of the day. Considering most of the boring schlock put out there but so many substandard authors these days, having a book be very engaging is no small thing.
Plus - and this is a *huge* plus for me - the author doesn't dumb down the narrative. Except for some of the dialogue's vernacular, the vocabulary is interesting, the grammar and syntax in the writing is correct without sounding stuffy and the metaphors are mercifully not hackneyed!
Thank you, Mr. Martini, for a classy series in my favorite genre!
One of the pitfalls of mystery novels is that you have a killer who went to great lengths to get away with his/her crime only to, in the end, commit brand new crimes he/she couldn't possibly hope to get away with. The last acts of this killer make his/her guilt obvious to anyone and everyone. The killer's last acts are, therefore, pointless. A full-blown confession while standing in front of the President of the United States during the State of the Union address would have done less to telegraph the killer's guilt than his/her last series of acts in this novel.
But the ride to get to those last few pages is well worth it! Martini lays out an intriguing mystery and filled his town with interesting characters. The plot develops believably (for a fiction novel) and all loose ends are tied up before the story's done.
Aside from the ending, I have one quibble: Martini does not seem to know what "begging the question" means. He has more than one character use the term incorrectly, which would make sense if his characters were laypeople. But they are not. They are lawyers, and lawyers know what begging the question means. So should Martini.
Hey, I said it was a minor quibble.
I've already downloaded the third Paul Madriani novel because Steve Martini, in Compelling Evidence and Prime Witness, has earned himself a new reader. Looking forward to catching up with this series.
In this book, the primary character, Paul Madriani, has unwillingly become a prosecuting attorney, the District Attorney, in a small rural district in northern California, where six murders have occurred. They appear to have been committed by a serial killer.
Having to deal with such adversaries as those in his own office, judges who have axes to grind with him, including one from Martini's first Madiani book -- "Compelling Evidence", Paul is hampered from day one in the resolution of this case. To top off his problems, the defending attorney is an old adversary who uses unbelievable tactics in his defense.
As in his first book, Paul is the winner in a totally unexpected way.
His adversaries have either become his ardent supporters or have found a way out of the Judicial picture.
I had a hard time putting this book down and plan to order the next Madriani books in the Kindle editions!