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Judgment Calls

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After three years on the job in Portland's Drug and Vice Division, Deputy DA Samantha Kincaid gets what she wants: her first case with the Major Crimes Team. Kendra Martin, a 13-year-old runaway, has been found drugged, viciously assaulted, and left for dead in the Columbia River Gorge. Despite pressures to kick the case to assault, Samantha goes for attempted murder. Unfo After three years on the job in Portland's Drug and Vice Division, Deputy DA Samantha Kincaid gets what she wants: her first case with the Major Crimes Team. Kendra Martin, a 13-year-old runaway, has been found drugged, viciously assaulted, and left for dead in the Columbia River Gorge. Despite pressures to kick the case to assault, Samantha goes for attempted murder. Unfortunately the girl's story isn't gelling. Then again, neither is the alibi of the suspect she ID'd, a low-life who insists he's innocent. One thing is certain. Kendra knows the streets better than Vice-and Samantha's following her down every last one of them to crack the case. But the road to the truth is more dangerous than Samantha dreamed, leading to an earlier death-penalty conviction, a teenage prostitution ring, and threats to Samantha's own life. When the possibility of a serial killer enters the fray, it sends Samantha's trial into a tailspin, and tests her judgment-in both her professional and personal life-to the very death.


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After three years on the job in Portland's Drug and Vice Division, Deputy DA Samantha Kincaid gets what she wants: her first case with the Major Crimes Team. Kendra Martin, a 13-year-old runaway, has been found drugged, viciously assaulted, and left for dead in the Columbia River Gorge. Despite pressures to kick the case to assault, Samantha goes for attempted murder. Unfo After three years on the job in Portland's Drug and Vice Division, Deputy DA Samantha Kincaid gets what she wants: her first case with the Major Crimes Team. Kendra Martin, a 13-year-old runaway, has been found drugged, viciously assaulted, and left for dead in the Columbia River Gorge. Despite pressures to kick the case to assault, Samantha goes for attempted murder. Unfortunately the girl's story isn't gelling. Then again, neither is the alibi of the suspect she ID'd, a low-life who insists he's innocent. One thing is certain. Kendra knows the streets better than Vice-and Samantha's following her down every last one of them to crack the case. But the road to the truth is more dangerous than Samantha dreamed, leading to an earlier death-penalty conviction, a teenage prostitution ring, and threats to Samantha's own life. When the possibility of a serial killer enters the fray, it sends Samantha's trial into a tailspin, and tests her judgment-in both her professional and personal life-to the very death.

30 review for Judgment Calls

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

    Judgement Calls by Alafair Burke is the first book in the Samantha Kincaid series. Assistant DA Samantha Kincaid becomes involved in a case when a 13 year old prostitute is found having been left for dead after being brutally beaten and assaulted. Samantha is a very capable and likeable character, but I found the start of the book a bit tedious and difficult to get interested in. It picked up towards the end and I enjoyed it overall.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    After reading and enjoying Alafair Burke's Long Gone last year, I was intrigued to sample some of her earlier novels. First up is the first entry featuring district attorney Samantha Kincaid, Judgement Calls. As I've said elsewhere, it feels like legal thrillers are a dime a dozen these days, so it's going to take something really interesting or a good twist to make a new one stand out. And while Kincaid is an interesting character and one I'd like to spend more time with, I can't say that Calls i After reading and enjoying Alafair Burke's Long Gone last year, I was intrigued to sample some of her earlier novels. First up is the first entry featuring district attorney Samantha Kincaid, Judgement Calls. As I've said elsewhere, it feels like legal thrillers are a dime a dozen these days, so it's going to take something really interesting or a good twist to make a new one stand out. And while Kincaid is an interesting character and one I'd like to spend more time with, I can't say that Calls is really plowing much new ground. Kincaid is brought in by two detectives to pursue justice in a case where a young girl has allegedly been sexually assaulted. One problem is the girl makes extra money by turning tricks. However, Kincaid quickly uncovers there's something more to the story than meets the eye and before you know it, there's a web of intrigue and suspicion being weaved. The novel has its moments, but there are several moments that Kincaid takes us out of the story by getting too caught up in explaining legal details that don't necessarily have the greatest impact on the story. It feels like Burke wants to show off her knowledge rather have the knowledge come organically from the story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Alafair Burke has another series about a detective in NYC (Ellie Hatcher) that I like well enough. Not ground-breaking but enjoyable. This is the first book in her previous series about an ADA in Portland. If you really like legal procedurals, you might like this book. As a bonus, the heroine is likable and all of the legal descriptions seem accurate-which makes sense as Burke was previously a prosecutor in the Northwest and is now a law professor at Hofstra. She's also the daughter of mystery n Alafair Burke has another series about a detective in NYC (Ellie Hatcher) that I like well enough. Not ground-breaking but enjoyable. This is the first book in her previous series about an ADA in Portland. If you really like legal procedurals, you might like this book. As a bonus, the heroine is likable and all of the legal descriptions seem accurate-which makes sense as Burke was previously a prosecutor in the Northwest and is now a law professor at Hofstra. She's also the daughter of mystery novelist James Lee Burke. But if, like me, you find detailed descriptions of trial preparation and the rules of evidence a little tedious and the heroine pleasant but lacking in any kind of dramatic tension, you might find yourself pushing to get thru a chapter, and suddenly realize this is miles from anything on the list of books you have to read before you die, and decide your leisure reading time could be better spend elsewhere. This was Burke's first book (or one of her first) so she has improved. This series may have improved as it went along.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    Alafair Burke is a New Favorite - I really like this Series. A Good read - entertaining :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    3.5 stars. Portland Oregon Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid takes a case where a 13 year old girl is beaten and raped. At the time, the girl was high on heroin and turning tricks to pay for it but both the cops and Samantha hear the truth in her story. The story takes us through the process to get evidence ready for trial and the actual courtroom drama. In this first of a series book from 2003, it's pretty obvious the book is written by a former district attorney and professor of law. Th 3.5 stars. Portland Oregon Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid takes a case where a 13 year old girl is beaten and raped. At the time, the girl was high on heroin and turning tricks to pay for it but both the cops and Samantha hear the truth in her story. The story takes us through the process to get evidence ready for trial and the actual courtroom drama. In this first of a series book from 2003, it's pretty obvious the book is written by a former district attorney and professor of law. The legalities were all described in technical detail and got a bit tedious. The trial was well depicted and the courtroom action was realistic. Samantha is dedicated to her job and works long hours to the detriment of her social life. The story picked up toward the end. I had seen oddities in someone's behavior but didn't add 2 + 2 when I should have. The clues were there. I'm going to read the next book in this series and hope for a few less legal details.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ronan Drew

    Judgment Calls by Alafair Burke was published in 2003 but it slipped right by me. I don't know how I miss these books. I was subscribing to Publisher's Weekly in those days so it puzzles me that I didn't read a book of this quality, a mystery that has back cover testimonials from Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Linda Fairstein, and Lee Child. Well, I've read it now and I'm ever so glad I happened on it at last. The author, a former assistant district attorney in Portland, Oregon, has written a cou Judgment Calls by Alafair Burke was published in 2003 but it slipped right by me. I don't know how I miss these books. I was subscribing to Publisher's Weekly in those days so it puzzles me that I didn't read a book of this quality, a mystery that has back cover testimonials from Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Linda Fairstein, and Lee Child. Well, I've read it now and I'm ever so glad I happened on it at last. The author, a former assistant district attorney in Portland, Oregon, has written a courtroom drama with a more realistic trial than any other I can recall reading. Which isn't easy to do and still keep your reader from falling asleep. The story starts out with our heroine, Samantha Kincaid, also a deputy district attorney in Portland, being approached by a couple of detectives who want her to take over a case that one of the big shot attorneys in the office intends to let drift. A 13-year old occasional prostitute with an incipient heroin addiction is kidnapped, badly beaten, raped, and left for dead. She lies at first about the prostitution and heroin habit but eventually admits she was out looking for a "date" to pay for the drug. She is very young, has a stable home, and is not as hardened as many girls on the street. She is able to make a quick and definite identification of one of the two men who hurt her. She also positively identifies his car. Although it is the wrong color she insists that this is without question the car in which she was attacked. Kincaid puts the case together, finding a fingerprint of the suspect on the girl's purse, and discovering that the car was repainted and reupholstered two days after the attack. But a series of detailed letters to the Portland newspaper spins the trial into a hot political issue and the police department comes under investigation for this and another, possibly related, case. Kincaid is taken off the case and it's handed over to the attorney who originally showed so little interest in it. Complicating everything else is the reheating of a relationship between Kincaid and a cop working on the case, a relationship that started in high school and has been on and off, mostly off, since then. Can she trust this guy, or has he leaked information to a witness to get a conviction? The story is based on the serial murderer, Keith Hunter Jesperson, who killed at least eight women between 1990 and when he was arrested in 1995. Judgment Calls is the first in a series of mysteries featuring Samantha Kincaid. Alafair Burke is now a professor of law at Hofstra University. She is the daughter of James Lee Burke.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Magpie67

    A rich, compelling story about a girl's rights with a seedy background of dirty secrets. Samantha usually handles all the drug cases and those related to drugs especially since it was her job when she was back in New York. Drugs leads to hustlers and other petty crimes. But she also works with vice to catch the other monsters lurking the streets. "But while I may have lost the prestige of a federal prosecutor's office, I had developed a niche as a part of the vice section of DVD, prosecuting the A rich, compelling story about a girl's rights with a seedy background of dirty secrets. Samantha usually handles all the drug cases and those related to drugs especially since it was her job when she was back in New York. Drugs leads to hustlers and other petty crimes. But she also works with vice to catch the other monsters lurking the streets. "But while I may have lost the prestige of a federal prosecutor's office, I had developed a niche as a part of the vice section of DVD, prosecuting the monsters who lure, coerce, and force women into prostitution. The less-experienced DVD attorneys shied away from those cases because they were hard to prove, hard to win, and hard to take. The career prosecutors who handled the major felony person crimes didn't want them because they were viewed as less important than murders and other violent offenses. But I felt more rewarded by those cases than I'd ever felt prosecuting even complex federal drug conspiracies. Today, however, my plate was full of drug charges. No surprise, the grand jury returned indictments on all four of the cases I presented. Most drug cases are pretty much the same. The only variation tends to be in the type and degree of stupidity involved." I'm positive I gained some serious knowledge of how the court room works and the pace it takes to bring a case to trail. What an eye opener this book was. I believe Alafair Burke and Linda Fairstein rock being advocates for women! Two detectives bring the case to Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid. At first it looked like a murder of a young girl but she was barely alive when the cops arrived after teens found her body in the park. Now it's a case of assault and rape. The detectives think there is an angle to go after and senior DDA in the major crimes unit just wants to pass it off to general. "The general felony trial unit is a dumping ground for cases that aren't seen as serious. The trial DDAs often have extremely limited time to spend on them, and the over whelming majority plead out to reduced charges and stipulated sentences during a fast-paced court calendar referred to as 'morning call.' It's the criminal justice system's ugly side. Tim O'Donnell was a senior DDA in the major crimes unit. If he bumped a Major Crimes Team case down to general, he knew it was gone." Samantha Kincaid walked the reader through every step of the crime scene, the detectives working the case and up till it arrived on her door step and then she went the extra mile to fight the fight.... "Yeah, well, O'Donnell's mind's not an easy one to change, and I think there's another way to go here because of a vice angle. The victim's a thirteen-year-old prostitute named Kendra Martin. Unlike most of 'em, she doesn't try to look any older. Wears schoolgirl outfits like that one girl used to wear on MTV before she got implants and started running around naked. What's her name? My daughter likes her. Anyway, she looks her age, is my point. Turns out her injuries weren't as bad as they first looked, so the MCT guys know it'll be hard to get attempted murder to stick. But they kept working the case, even after they realized that they could've handed it off to precinct detectives. This case is under their skin." So, these two paragraphs have me all bristled because no woman, teenager or child should suffer from a beating and a rape despite the circumstances such as being a prostitute. Makes my blood boil that some cases are just deemed un-winable across our nation. Something stinks and Samantha decides to take the case and to go for attempted murder. As the case builds: clues are added up and witnesses are gathered... a sinister direction is revealed. An old murder is brought back with new information shedding light that this attempted murder case is similar to a murder that locked up the current prisoners of the crime... committed years ago. Now there are letters being sent to the newspaper office of a killer claiming he has committed these two crimes and much more. He, the Long Hauler, gives very detailed information of what was found at each crime scene. Is there a serial killer taking all the credit now? Will Kendra's rapists get released based off circumstantial evidence? The trial is a bust in a matter of days, but Samantha, undaunted, goes another direction to plead her advocacy in Kendra's case of rape until all the seams are unraveled. Samantha is caught up between greed, a sex scandal, murder and dirty secrets that threaten all who follow its path to the truth. If you are looking for a smart read with witty lines and down to earth characters, pick up this title. Fair warning: the details of the case are harsh and made me sad. Crimes against women need to be stopped and punishments need to be greater. I'm sure Alafair Burke used her expertise and cases from her career as a deputy district attorney in Portland to create such a brilliant first novel in the Kincaid series. I'm excited to get the next two books and then I'll send Ms. Alafair Burke a personal note asking for more of Ms. Kincaid

  8. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    One more in a long line of novels featuring a female PI/cop/lawyer...this is the first of a series, and the author's first novel. It possesses all the necessary elements: a smart, savvy protagonist(ess)....a semi-hunky love interest/foil.....a corrupt DA...some honest cops....and less-than -brilliant criminals. Ms Burke drew on her own experience in the legal profession, here.....the characters seem more 'believable" as a result. We have here a teenage prostitution ring....an earlier death-penalt One more in a long line of novels featuring a female PI/cop/lawyer...this is the first of a series, and the author's first novel. It possesses all the necessary elements: a smart, savvy protagonist(ess)....a semi-hunky love interest/foil.....a corrupt DA...some honest cops....and less-than -brilliant criminals. Ms Burke drew on her own experience in the legal profession, here.....the characters seem more 'believable" as a result. We have here a teenage prostitution ring....an earlier death-penalty case that is "on the rocks"since those incarcerated for the crime could well be "innocent" of the crime.....several degrees of Bad Guys, from the seriously psychotic to the merely confused....and DAs playing both ends against the middle. The book dragged in spots due to over explanation of the trial process/police procedure....but Ms Burke (daughter of James Lee) at least kept the "lectures" in the character's voice...less hectoring. Alafair has her Daddy's gift for dialogue and fast pacing....i look forward to reading her other offerings. As I said, this is the first of a series featuring Samantha Kincaid...there is another series starring Ellie Hatcher, which joys I have yet to sample...Books like this are my idea of "fluff" and I recommend it to anyone who likes sassy, smart women in somewhat tough situations....anyone who likes the work of Sue Grafton and Laura Lippmann. Ms Burke is one writer to keep an eye on 3 Stars (***)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Simona

    ... "Judgment Calls" is a book that I really enjoyed !!! Alafair Burke is not only a wonderful storyteller I truly enjoyed reading about all the facets of Law and how she has entwined those facets into her characters and their stories, as I eventually found out, Alafair Burke is a former district attorney in Portland, Oregon hence her background in her characters. I enjoyed her writing so much so that I have even chased and read the other books in this series of her Deputy District Attorney Sama ... "Judgment Calls" is a book that I really enjoyed !!! Alafair Burke is not only a wonderful storyteller I truly enjoyed reading about all the facets of Law and how she has entwined those facets into her characters and their stories, as I eventually found out, Alafair Burke is a former district attorney in Portland, Oregon hence her background in her characters. I enjoyed her writing so much so that I have even chased and read the other books in this series of her Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid - Missing Justice, book #2 and Close Case, book #3. I would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy reading about all the different aspect of the law I'm sure you would enjoy this book and consequently the others in the series too.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    This is the second Samantha Kincaid title I've read. She's a likeable DA with bulldog detective skills. At the same time, she's a savvy lawyer who knows how to play the office politics. One thing I like is how the legal issues/points are explained without seeming intrusive to the narrative. I'm not a lawyer so that's helpful to me. This story uses a couple of twists I didn't see coming. It's set in Portland, Oregon, that has its own peculiarities.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Easy entertaining read ... one of those books I could not wait to get back to ... this was her first in the Kincaid series so I am looking forward to the next book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mario J.

    I didn't particularly like it. Am afraid the apple fell very far from the tree.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Loretta Gibson

    This was a good read, the plot was believable, with a lot of twists and turns. Alafair has created very interesting characters, some are really deplorable, but then they're suppose to be. Samantha is a strong willed, single minded, over achiever, who has a picture in her mind of the perfect life she has planned for herself. Her high school sweetheart Chuck, would not change to fit into that picture, so she left him behind, maybe to her own detriment. Samantha finds herself back in Portland, wher This was a good read, the plot was believable, with a lot of twists and turns. Alafair has created very interesting characters, some are really deplorable, but then they're suppose to be. Samantha is a strong willed, single minded, over achiever, who has a picture in her mind of the perfect life she has planned for herself. Her high school sweetheart Chuck, would not change to fit into that picture, so she left him behind, maybe to her own detriment. Samantha finds herself back in Portland, where she grew up, divorced and working as a Deputy District Attorney for Multnomah County. She is good at her job, because she puts everything in to it, leaving nothing to put toward a personal relationship. Chuck is back in her life but she still sees him as an underachiever.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    If you like legal thrillers or Law and Order this might be a good one. For me there was a lot of court room action and very little else. Kincaid is likeable enough but I don't think I'll keep reading this series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    After reading Alafair Burke's second book, Missing Justice, I thought I would try the first one. Even though this book contained some interesting moments, it seems super heavy on the technicalities of the justice system. Yes, ADAs go up and down stairs and ride elevators to get to their bosses' offices and the cafeteria. Yes, they sometimes have clandestine meetings with police officers, but probably not as often as writers of detective novels would have us believe. How often young, attractive A After reading Alafair Burke's second book, Missing Justice, I thought I would try the first one. Even though this book contained some interesting moments, it seems super heavy on the technicalities of the justice system. Yes, ADAs go up and down stairs and ride elevators to get to their bosses' offices and the cafeteria. Yes, they sometimes have clandestine meetings with police officers, but probably not as often as writers of detective novels would have us believe. How often young, attractive ADAs have affairs with cute detectives--well, that I don't know. Most of us who read detective novels have watched enough L&O to know that these things happen and that there are technical issues to be resolved in the course of prosecuting a perp for a crime. However, this technical description can drag down a plot to the point at which a reader is ready to give up on the book. This plot finally got going about a third of the way through. After that, it sort of dipped and resurfaced several times. The denoument was definitely a shocker. In fact, it was the most gripping part of the book. However, I never got straight how much Chuck, the cute detective, had to do with the prosecution of the two people who were in prison for a crime that someone else probably committed.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Petula Darling

    [audiobook:] The story got a little bogged down from time to time with technicalities of the legal system, but overall it was an enjoyable mystery. I'm looking forward to reading the next one. Unfortunately, my enjoyment was definitely hindered by the narrator, Betty Bobbit. The Australian accent that kept creeping in was really distracting. She did little to differentiate between most people's voices, and the result was that it was often hard to tell who was speaking. Also, she had a tendency to [audiobook:] The story got a little bogged down from time to time with technicalities of the legal system, but overall it was an enjoyable mystery. I'm looking forward to reading the next one. Unfortunately, my enjoyment was definitely hindered by the narrator, Betty Bobbit. The Australian accent that kept creeping in was really distracting. She did little to differentiate between most people's voices, and the result was that it was often hard to tell who was speaking. Also, she had a tendency to use tones of voice that weren't in keeping with what was going on in the story (like sounding angry when there was nothing in the text to indicate a character's anger). I'm crossing my fingers in the hope that someone else narrates the next book in the series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    I love Alafair Burke! She hooks me and then I can't stand it until I've finished the book and I know the whole story!! This one was perhaps a tad more grisly than I prefer (Everyone knows I'm such a wuss!), but well written and her characters are all so well defined! I feel as if I'm the protagonist, dealing directly with the other characters myself!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Manduca Sexta

    i wasn't totally drawn into this book. the protagonist was interesting and the case was interesting, but it just didn't absorb me. maybe there was neither enough humor nor angst.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Matt Allen

    I have this problem. When I discover a new author, I typically set out to read their books in chronological order. Okay, not typically. Almost always. Alafair Burke is the latest in this practice. The benefits is often you read series in order (can you imagine not doing that, it gives me shakes thinking of doing otherwise), but you also can see the growth of the author as a writer. The disadvantages of doing this is that most authors would tell you their debut novel isn't the best representation I have this problem. When I discover a new author, I typically set out to read their books in chronological order. Okay, not typically. Almost always. Alafair Burke is the latest in this practice. The benefits is often you read series in order (can you imagine not doing that, it gives me shakes thinking of doing otherwise), but you also can see the growth of the author as a writer. The disadvantages of doing this is that most authors would tell you their debut novel isn't the best representation of their work. They've improved. They've grown as a writer. So if you don't like a debut, it doesn't mean you wouldn't like their work after they've shaped their craft more. I don't have any idea how Burke has changed as a writer since 2003's Judgment Calls, but it does feel like the work of a budding writer. It's good. It's fine. But it feels like a warm up. Burke has a done a nice job setting up our protagonist and even our male lead. They're suitable characters and easy to be around. The problem with the them--and also the rest--is that they feel like someone you know telling you about their rather typical day. The plot even more so. It doesn't feel like it ever gets off the ground. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but it's a four on a amp that turns up to ten, not eleven. The subplot reads muddled and unimportant until it's suddenly very important and that feels uneven. When the tension ratchets to high levels near the end, it jolts and pops the ears and doesn't fit with the building action. The writing is fine. Which is why I wonder how Burke has grown since this debut (and I'll likely find out, she's definitely talented enough to return to her work), but Judgment was more like a quick lunch with a colleague that is telling your her can-you-believe-how-mean-the-boss-was-today story. You listen, you empathize, you go back to your day, mostly unaffected. I wonder if, in the future, with a writer as prolific as Burke, if sometimes it might be better to jump in the middle of a bibliography once a writer has gotten a career rolling. Then you find their talent matured and brisk and at full power, up to eleven. I could easily see Burke fitting into that mold. Judgment, though, probably doesn't. Recommended for established fans of Burke, readers of legal thrillers who like a slower pace of action, and those who enjoy a capable if not completely realized female lead.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amanda McGill

    I really enjoy Alafair Burke's novels, especially her Ellie Hatcher series. I'm happy that I found another series of hers to enjoy! Samantha Kincaid walks into her office on a Monday morning and a cop is waiting for her to take on a case. The case is of a 13 year old girl that has been beaten and left for dead. The young girl is a prostitute with a heroin addiction so the leading DA on the case wants to quickly drop and dismiss the case. Samantha takes on a case and is quickly lead on a deep inve I really enjoy Alafair Burke's novels, especially her Ellie Hatcher series. I'm happy that I found another series of hers to enjoy! Samantha Kincaid walks into her office on a Monday morning and a cop is waiting for her to take on a case. The case is of a 13 year old girl that has been beaten and left for dead. The young girl is a prostitute with a heroin addiction so the leading DA on the case wants to quickly drop and dismiss the case. Samantha takes on a case and is quickly lead on a deep investigation that may be linked to other murders. I liked Samantha and I liked how the author simplified all of the court jargon. It made it easier to understand what was going in the courtroom. However, like other reviewers have mentioned, it made for a bit of a boring read since everything was explained. The biggest negative for me was the length and a lot of things could of been removed. Overall, a very likeable main character and a great courtroom drama mystery.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel N.

    Samantha Kincaid is a deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon. She begins prosecuting a case against a man accused of kidnapping and assaulting a 13 year old prostitute then leaving her for dead. The case ends up developing lots of twists and turns. I found the writing rather amateurish. This is a debut novel. After I found out the author is the daughter of author James Lee Burke I coldn't help but wonder if that was part of the reason she was published. I won't be reading more books in the Samantha Kincaid is a deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon. She begins prosecuting a case against a man accused of kidnapping and assaulting a 13 year old prostitute then leaving her for dead. The case ends up developing lots of twists and turns. I found the writing rather amateurish. This is a debut novel. After I found out the author is the daughter of author James Lee Burke I coldn't help but wonder if that was part of the reason she was published. I won't be reading more books in the series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Grossi

    Just because my mother was a nurse, don't expect me to have anything to do with the medical field. And just because Alafair Burke's father's writing takes my breath away, I should not expect her novel to have the same effect and it didn't. This legal mystery read like a textbook and had shallow character development. I do not mind reading extensive details to understand plot intricacies, but don't give them to me in a lecture.

  23. 5 out of 5

    James Edwards

    Very interesting book with great detail about legal procedure through a State district attorney point of view. The story’s action picked up more two thirds of the way through & the lead character grew on you about that time as well.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gerry Bradfield

    Alasdair Burke is a super story teller! You'll love it.....I did. Samantha Kincaid is a believable character. I am looking forward to more. A fun read! And not easy to put the book down !

  25. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve

    I like the Portland setting. Hate the mindless pro-prosecution slant.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kaaren Matthewson

    loved it!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    Good thriller about Deputy Attorney of Portland Oregon, her breakthrough from a small questionable case to cracking open the larger one.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carol Jean

    Good, well-plotted, but a bit too process-oriented for maximum enjoyment, alas.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    2.5 stars Not horrible, but not impressive either. Kind of a cookie cutter mystery, in that it's formulaic and you can find a million just like it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    I'm not sure if I've read this book in the past or if it is too similar to other books I've read. It was too familiar and the story was expected.

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