Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Rule Of Nine by Steve Martini

San Diego lawyer Paul Madriani seems to draw trouble.  Months ago, he was drawn into the hunt for a near-miss nuclear device at a naval base.  The authorities weren't convinced Madriani wasn't involved and the time afterwards put him and his law practice into limbo as he was interviewed over and over again.  He was finally exonerated, but not before the media got his name and his life became media hell with reporters staked out at his home and work.  He was forced to suspend his law practice and live in a safe house provided by the federal authorities.  He also drew the attention of a hitman known as Liquidia, who knows Madriani saw him and could identify him.

Finally, things are settling down.  Madriani is able to return home and reopen his practice.  His daughter is living with him rather than out on her own as many girls her age do.  Then things start up again.  An intern in Washington is killed and his father comes to see Madriani as his name turned up in the investigation.  As Madriani puts the pieces together with the help of his investigator, he starts to hear the name Thorn.  Thorn is a weapons dealer, willing and able to sell his goods to the highest bidder regardless of what they plan to do with them.  He is connected with Liquidia and it becomes clear that Madriani is again a target.

The lawyer sends his daughter away to a safe place and then hits the road with Herman, his investigator.  They join forces with Jocelyn, a weapons control expert, who has the political connections to get information the lawyer can't get on his own.  The three uncover a plot that will rattle the entire country if successful.  It's a race against time to thwart the plot, while trying to evade the sure death that Liquidia is determined to mete out.

This is the eleventh novel in the Paul Madriani series, and thriller readers will be glad to read it and anxious for the twelfth.  Martini's legal background makes the action and research realistic.  He has practiced law in both state and federal courts as well as serving as an administrative law judge.  The plot is readily followed yet sophisticated and connected to recent events to add another level of suspense.  This book is recommended for readers of thrillers. 

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