New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin returns with a shocking and enthralling thriller about the way CSI evidence can be misused by a killer with his own twisted sense of justice.
Doug Weaver is a defense attorney who always believes the best of his clients, and Jacob Cohen, on trial for murder, is no exception. Jacob may be homeless and mentally ill, but Doug can't imagine that this meek and intensely religious man could have killed and dismembered a woman. Yet Bernard Cashman, a forensic expert at the Oregon State Crime Lab, finds evidence that indisputably connects Cohen with the crime.
Frustrated and confused, Doug consults Amanda Jaffe, star of Margolin's spine-tingler Wild Justice. Amanda and her father, Frank, are working on a case that seems completely unrelated—gangster Art Prochaska is accused of murdering an informer. When Amanda starts looking too closely at the seemingly air-tight evidence in these two apparently unconnected cases, people start to die—and she discovers that a madman with the power to alter the truth is on the loose.
From the author whose writing the Chicago Tribune called "twisted and brilliant" and hailed by Lisa Scottoline as "genuinely surprising," Proof Positive promises an unbeatable combination of inside-CSI detail and intriguing insights into the minds of criminals and the attorneys who defend them—and, of course, the plot twists, stay-up-all-night suspense, and gasp-inducing surprises that are Phillip Margolin's undisputed trademark.
From Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Margolin's third legal thriller featuring feisty defense lawyer Amanda Jaffe (after 2003's Wild Justice), respected forensic expert Bernard Cashman, who works for the Oregon State Crime Laboratory, has developed a personal philosophy that allows him to manufacture evidence to ensure the successful prosecution of those he feels are guilty, especially if crucial evidence is missing. He's not a madman, just absolutely sure that he knows more than judge, jury and the legal system when it comes to administering justice. After a fellow crime lab employee approaches him about discrepancies in his work, he adds murder to his list of methods that ensure his continuing crusade. Amanda is still working in her father's law firm and still having trouble with her love life, though Margolin wisely steers clear of wasting much time on her personal problems. The author deftly manages a large cast of characters and ties the many plot lines together with enough clever twists to satisfy faithful fans and newcomers.
Amanda Jaffe, the Oregon defense attorney, is defending a homeless man accused of murder, while her father, Frank, is representing a mobster on a similar charge. Although both men profess their innocence, the forensic evidence says otherwise. But when Amanda starts examining the evidence in these two unconnected cases, she finds a frightening common denominator. The third Jaffe novel--after Wild Justice (2000) and Ties That Bind (2003)--is an examination of the role of forensic evidence in bringing criminals to justice. In addition to a fast-moving plot and characters who at least hold up their end of the bargain, Margolin shows readers how a crime-scene investigator can easily--and often without detection--not only influence the outcome of a trial but also effectively ensure a certain verdict. It's typical of Margolin to use the legal-thriller subgenre to explore some socially significant aspect of the jury system. The increasing popularity of forensic fiction and of CSI, the television series that has become a cottage industry, virtually guarantees this novel a wide and appreciative audience.
Margolin's third legal thriller featuring lawyer Amanda Jaffee is proof positive that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts--especially when boosted by a competent reader like this one. Nanette Savard saves the day by propelling listeners through some implausible legal shenanigans and equally trite dialogue. Jaffee defends a troubled man accused of murder while her father, also a lawyer, is hired to defend a gangster, similarly accused. Both are unaware that the cases are linked and evidence has been tampered with. Savard's crisp reading makes the listening experience pleasurable. She is also better than most female readers at portraying male characters. A.L.H.