Monday, August 28, 2006

Judge & Jury - James Patterson, Andrew Gross

Judge & Jury
James Patterson and Andrew Gross
Little, Brown and Company


On the morning that single mom and aspiring actress Andie DeGrasse arrives for jury duty, she thinks she’s got a foolproof way to get out of it. She acts like a bimbo. Sadly, this in no way disqualifies her to serve on a jury, and she’s assigned to the very high profile case of top Mafia Capo Dominic Cavello. The first witnesses, low-level soldiers, are almost comical. But, when the judge on the case is threatened, she orders the jury sequestered. This does nothing to stop the machinations of the jailed Cavello, who hires someone to stop the trial in an act of stunning violence.

Nick Pellisante, the Senior Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Organized Crime Unit is there to make sure that Cavello gets what’s coming to him. During the arrest, Cavello killed several agents in a botched escape attempt. Nick has worked for years to get to this point. When the trial is derailed by violence, he feels responsible. Nick and Andie, both devastated by the actions of Cavello, form an unlikely alliance, aimed at bringing down Cavello, regardless of personal cost.

This novel opens with an action sequence that immediately draws the reader into the world(s) of Nick and Andie. Cavello is clearly a criminal without a conscience. Over the course of the book, Cavello becomes almost a cartoon bad guy as his level of depravity continues to escalate. As always, the formula of very short chapters, punctuated with action, serves to keep the reader flipping the pages. Interesting locales and a varied cast of characters adds extra layers. Don’t start this one late at night when you have to be up early the next morning.

Rating: 8
July 2006
ISBN# 0-316-01393-5 (hardcover)


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