Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Compelling Evidence of Undue Influence

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Compelling Evidence of Undue Influence

Article excerpt

THE ATTORNEY Steve Martini G.P. Putnam's Sons 429 pp., $25.95

In his new legal thriller, "The Attorney," Steve Martini invests so much imagination in conjuring up improbable names (Jonah Hale, Joaquim Murphy, Victor Koblinski, Jason Crow, Floyd Avery, and - best of all - Zolanda Suade) that it's a shame he didn't invest a couple more minutes in naming the book itself. Fortunately, "The Attorney" is a good deal less conventional than the drab title would suggest.

The author revisits lawyer Paul Madriani from his previous hit thriller "Undue Influence" and relocates him from Washington, D.C., to San Diego.

Madriani's new practice begins with a seemingly innocuous request (isn't that always the case!) to help an elderly millionaire find his young granddaughter, who has been kidnapped by her drug-addled mother, Jessica.

Madriani discovers that Jessica didn't act alone; she enlisted the sympathies of a hard-nosed children's-rights activist, Suade, who specializes in smuggling away children that she suspects of living in abusive homes. …

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