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by James Patterson and Andrew Gross
Little, Brown, July 2006
432 pages
ISBN: 0316013935

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

FBI agent Nick Pellisante manages to arrest violent mob boss Dominic Cavello and bring him to trial. With the overwhelming testimony against him, Cavello hires an internationally-known hit man to make certain the jury never convicts him. The hit man, known as Nordeshenko, blows up the bus that carries the jury to their hotel.

On the bus is jurist Andie Echeverra, a single mom who got permission to have her son join the jury that day for his birthday celebration. Andie is the only survivor of the explosion and her world collapses.

Nick Pellisante is crushed by guilt that Cavello managed to harm people on his watch. He resigns from the FBI and spends all his spare time studying every bit of information there is about the trial and the explosion. He goes over every bit of video tape trying to find the identity of the men who blew up the bus so he could connect it to Cavello and convict him on that crime too.

Months later, when Cavello's new trial is about to begin, Nick and Andie come together, first as two lonely people, but later they join forces to see that justice is done. Cavello's henchmen again manage to do the impossible and the mob boss escapes to an unknown destination.

Unlike the law, where legal technicalities hamper what can be done, now it's up to Nick and Andie to deal justice to Cavello. No matter where he is in the world, no matter to what extent they must go, they are determined to find him and make him pay for his crimes.

Keep in mind that logic and realism can't exist in Patterson's books -- they are all about action. In this book the readers will find it laughable that New York City can't defend itself against one hit man, or that a running gun battle can last for such a long time on the streets of Israel, of all places, without anyone noticing or getting involved, but that's all part of this book's energy.

As of late, James Patterson's books are the short chapter, fast reading champions. You can speed through each one in an afternoon. JUDGE & JURY is not a very original story, this concept has been done before many times, but it is a fun, fast read and enjoyable.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, July 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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