Saturday, July 16, 2016

Review of "The Jury Master" by Robert Dugoni




San Francisco attorney David Sloane - a former foster child who has no memory of his early years - has a knack for getting juries to vote his way. The talented lawyer, plagued by bad dreams and headaches, finds himself in a dangerous situation when Joe Branick - a friend and colleague of the
U.S. President - apparently commits suicide in Black Bear National Park in West Virginia. Before his death Branick, a stranger to Sloane, left the attorney a phone message and sent him a package. Unfortunately for Sloane, someone is desperate to get the package and seems willing to do anything to achieve this goal.

Meanwhile Detective Joe Molina, a local cop who's investigating Branick's death in the national park, suspects it wasn't suicide. He's stymied though when the Justice Department takes possession of Branick's body and moves to close the case over the objections of Branick's sister. It seems clear that people high in the administration have something to hide. Concurrently, retired ClA operative Charles Jenkins - who many years before participated in an operation with both Branick and the future President - is pulled into the situation when an attempt is made on his life.

As the story proceeds it becomes clear that a massacre occurred in a Mexican village 30 years ago, an incident which somehow affected Sloane, who was a young child at the time. As it turns out all three men - Sloane, Molina, and Jenkins - become involved in figuring out what happened to Branick, why the package is important, and what government officials are covering up. There's plenty of murder and violence along the way and at one point I became annoyed with some characters who seemed like cliches found in many thriller novels. The climax of the book, however, turned out to be quite original if not totally believable.

There are a lot of interesting characters and a lot going on in the story, which is an enjoyable thriller. I'll probably read more books by this author.

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