Review

Judge & Jury

by James Patterson and Andrew Gross



JUDGE & JURY is James Patterson's 37th book. Replete with
intrigue, irony, colorful characters and a spot of romance, it is
exceptionally suspenseful and engaging. I have long been a fan of
Patterson's ability as a storyteller but until now have not seen
him develop a plot so craftily. Although it's 419 pages long, JUDGE
& JURY is such a page turner that I found myself deep into the
book in a short period of time. With a prologue, three parts
comprised of very brief chapters (two to five pages each) and an
epilogue, the novel moves quickly through the lives of the four
central characters.

Opening in Long Island, New York, at the "wedding of all weddings,"
FBI special agent Nick Pellisante, leading a stakeout, sees and
eventually captures Dominic Cavello, "the Boss, the Capo de Tutti
Capi." Part one is entitled "The First Trial," where we meet the
prospective jurors and judge; some of the funniest testimony I've
ever heard can be found within these pages. We also learn that
there is no love lost between Nick and Dominic (Dom). Nick is sure
that Dom will serve a life sentence in a maximum security facility,
while Dom knows that the trial will never conclude with a
verdict.

There are no subtleties to Dom's personality, no soft edges, no
ability to forgive, and no fear of the law. Amazingly, we see that
he can prevail. With his money, power, connections and influence,
how can he possibly lose? Charged with murdering a building
contractor outside his home, Dom hears the testimony of
eyewitnesses admit to their involvement.

Judge Miriam Seiderman presides over the first trial. Knowing that
this is a high-profile case and that the proceedings will last
eight weeks, every juror asks to be removed from consideration. She
asks the group, "Do you have any reason or experience that would
prejudice you against an Italian American, or render you unable to
reach an impartial verdict if you served on this trial?" Andie
DeGrasse, confident that she will be excused, cites her credentials
as an actress and a part she played as a dancer at the Bada Bing on
an episode of "The Sopranos." Needless to say, she is
selected.

The most covert character, Richard Nordeshenko, a Russian mercenary
living in Haifa, is hired by Dom to plot and execute his escape
from the federal court building.  His ingenuity, resources and
passion for poker are captivating and add an international flavor
to this novel.

All in all, JUDGE & JURY is a well-written and engaging book
that truly is hard to put down. It is not too detailed to make us
lose our interest but is just detailed enough to make us try to
guess the outcome. We know Dom will escape, but two questions
follow: How will he do it, and will Nick catch him? Read
on...

Reviewed by Margaret Fletcher on January 22, 2011

Judge & Jury
by James Patterson and Andrew Gross

  • Publication Date: March 1, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Vision Books
  • ISBN-10: 0446619000
  • ISBN-13: 9780446619004