Missing Witness
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Missing Witness

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  225 ratings  ·  64 reviews
In this electrifying debut thriller, a brilliant defense lawyer takes on a murder case with ingenious twists

Phoenix, Arizona, 1973. A beautiful woman, armed with a gun and accompanied by her twelve-year-old daughter, enters a house. Shots are fired. The woman and her daughter leave the house. Inside, her husband lies dead.

The case seems open and shut. The cops, the attorne...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by William Morrow
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Mary JL
Apr 25, 2011 Mary JL rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of legal thrillers and/or mysteries
Recommended to Mary JL by: Gift from a friend
Shelves: mystery-horror
Doing something I seldom do, I am giving 4 stars to a author's first book.

This book has several strong points. First, the story is told in the first person by Morgan's young protege, Doug McKenzie. He is only a year out of law school, so Dan Morgan explains things to him--and thus to the reader. We see Dan Morgan through Doug's eyes; and I feel it gives a better sense of the man that if told from Dan Morgan's prespective.

A second strength is legal jargon, while present, is kept to a minimum. I f...more
Trial attorney Gordon Campbell delivers an intriguing, wonderfully written new legal thriller that's sure to please both fans of the genre and casual readers who could use a little mystery in there life.

In Missing Witness, up-and-coming attorney Doug McKenzie must work with star trial attorney Daniel Morgan to defend the wife of a murdered man. The case seems simple enough: a woman and her daughter enter a house that is empty, save for the woman's husband, gun shots are heard and a few moments l...more
Jun 28, 2009 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Courtroom drama fans, fans of a good story.
Recommended to Michael by: read write up in a mystery magazine.
So many courtroom mysteries begin in comparison with "Presumed Innocent" that it is easy for the reader to look for something fresh.
"Missing Witness" by Gordon Campbell offers that freshness.
Doug McKenzie turned down an offer from a well known law firm in California in order to work with Dan Morgan.
Then, while playing in the state amature golf championship and having Dan caddy for him, Dan gets word that Ferris Eddington's daughter in law, Rita, has been arrested for killing Ferris' only son and...more
Though this book some time to get into--I'm not much for legal books that bore you with the legalese that they're usually written in--I found it to be quite enjoyable, for the most part, once the story got going.

Doug is a new lawyer, working at firm in Arizona and finds himself on the ride of a lifetime when an old friend calls on the firm to represent his daughter-in-law, who is charged with killing the man's only son. Doug is immediately on board, working with his idol and realizes that all is...more
Mar 15, 2008 bonnie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lawyerly inclined
Dad, what were you trying to tell me with this book? "Missing Witness" is told from the perspective of a newbie lawyer who collaborates with a partner known for being a savvy trial lawyer to defend a woman on trial for murdering her husband, hoping to create reasonable doubt by showing that the couple's twelve year old and mentally disturbed daughter could have done the crime.

I had been putting off reading this book since I received it as a gift in January for some reason, but I picked it up Wed...more
Full disclosure first: I'm soon to be the son-in-law of the author, so I'm a bit biased. Regardless, this is a great murder mystery. While some reviewers have compared it to early Turow or Grisham, I found the story similar to something from Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. It has a bit of that masculine detective noir feel to it, but with lawyers instead of private detectives.

You can find plot summaries elsewhere, so I'll skip that. You should read this book because it's a thrilling page-t...more
Doug McKenzie returns to Phoenix, his home town to practice law and work with Dan Morgan, a legendary criminal defense lawyer. Dan is asked by wealthy rancher Ferris Eddington to defend his daughter-in-law, Rita Eddington, who is accused of murdering his son, her husband, Travis Eddington. Ranch hand Juan Menchaka saw Rita and her daughter Miranda enter the house, heard shots, and then saw Rita drop a gun as she and Miranda left the house. Miranda has had some mental problems and goes into a cat...more
Deon Stonehouse
Missing Witness by Gordon Campbell is set in Arizona during the 70’s. Young attorney Doug McKenzie is thrilled to be working with legendary trial lawyer Dan Morgan. Doug is getting more experience than he planned, their first case together is a doozy. Travis Eddington was shot dead. Did his beautiful wife Rita kill him? Or was it his disturbed daughter Miranda? The only people in the cottage where Travis died are the victim, his daughter and his wife. Attorney Gordon Campbell put in plenty twist...more
Corlie Ann Pead
Dustins got me a copy from the author as he visited the US attorney's office. Camplell is a lawyer in Utah and this is his first novel. If you like legal suspense, Campell's twists and turns are every bit as good as Grishams! If you begin you will have to finish this one. The most negative thing is that I didn't get his references/allusions to BYU and Mormons in general. They didn't add to the sotsry and almost seemed out of place unless he really was trying to use them to reinforce his sense of...more
Along the lines of a John Grisham novel. Story of a young law school graduate starting off with a law firm who takes on a big case with the best defense lawyer. I wanted the plot to develop more and there to be more twists to the story. Language was bad. I thought all the Mormon references were kind of funny. I guess the author lives in Utah so he thinks we are crazies or something and had to throw it in there. A lot.

I would try another of his books.
I was excited to read this book as the author works for a local law firm in my town. The book got some amazing pre-publication reviews and press, but didn't really live up to all the hype. The story is reminiscent of early Grisham or Turrow, but after reading through one trial, I was a little bored with the second one.

The book was a good exploration of legal ethics and the role of defense attorneys in the system, but it didn't really wow me.

Dec 18, 2007 Corky rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: mystery
From the book:
In this electrifying debut thriller, a brilliant defense lawyer takes on a murder case with ingenious twists. (NOT)

Phoenix, Arizona, 1973. A beautiful woman, armed with a gun and accompanied by her twelve-year-old daughter, enters a house. Shots are fired. The woman and her daughter leave the house. Inside, her husband lies dead.

I didn't finish this - don't waste your time.
This book was written by the husband of the local judge, Tena Campbell. He picks on Mormons quite a bit throughout the story, but in a funny way that I did not find offensive. There is some bad language, but for a lawyer book, it had great twists and was a fun read. The first few chapters were kind of strange and didn't make any sense at all, but after you get past that, it's a good story.
Although it was a little hard to start, this book was really good! I started it in the morning and couldn't put it down the entire day. It's full of twists and turns, but you really care about the individual characters at the same time. It was a great mystery/thriller and would make an excellent movie. (Gordon Campbell writes like an old school John Grisham.)
This book was so addicting. It meticulously built to a climax that had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I wazs in complete awe at the masterful weaving of this story and the attention to detail, the frustration of Dan and Doug and the jaw dropping ending. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. In the end, I cried with Miranda and Ferris...especially Ferris.
Deb Mj
About 30 pages into this, I realized that it seemed awfully familiar and realized that I had read it a few years ago. As recently as that was, I still couldn't really remember much of anything about it, which means it left very little impression the first time around. I didn't bother reading it a second time.
Becky Youman
People who don't live in Phoenix might not enjoy this book as much as I did, but I really liked it. It's a good story no matter where you live. It's a court drama/mystery -- kind of like Grisham before he got so formulaic. I read it in a day (actually I finished it at 1 am, so I guess technically that's two days)
I'd put this between 3-4 stars. 4 for character development...3 because I actually got a bit tired of the story midway through at the big twist, but still was curious how the author would tie it all up. And be prepared for language and reference to sick crime (well, it is a crime book after all!)

this started a bit slowly, but the last half was really a page-turner for me. good twists and an interesting take on a murder case. a fun read. i love that this was by an local author (to me) who writes as a "second" career. gives me hope to try writing myself one day!
It took me a while to get into this one...it became much more compelling to me about half way through. The author is from Utah so there are some interesting references to Utah and Mormons which were enjoyable. I don't know that I would highly recommend it.
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Great plot and full of suspense. However, one of the main characters uses terrible language. I almost put it down but I was too intrigued to find out how it ended, especially since he's a local author but I don't know if I would pick up another by him.
This is a very good quick read. If you are like me and are a neophyte to the legal system. I really enjoyed the courtroom jousting. Someone like Lin might find all of the mistakes, that I would not know but it is worth a sunday afternoon.

Lawyer novel. New guy from law school works with the firm trial lawyer on a murder case involving people he grew up with. Well written, interesting plot. Author didn't try to be John Grisham, and was reasonably successful. Some bad language.
Although this was a court/lawyer story it had alot about relationships and life woven in. A few twists and turns made me think about the assumptions I sometimes make about people. Parts were a bit slow, but not so slow to be boring.
Sep 13, 2008 Lori added it
had never run into the author before-think this was his first-he comes from a lawyer heavy family-and writes what he knows. Was a fast, easy read that took some guessing. I enjoyed it-will watch to see if he writes more!
Tattered Cover Book Store
Cathy G says:

I could not put this down! Absorbing and well written tale of mystery, fascinating exploration of legal ethics, as well as some of the how-tos of being a trial lawyer. Can't wait for his next book!
I read this as a recommendation from friends. It never really got started for me. There was a lot of telling about this case and a period in the 1970s, but not a lot of conflict that I could care about.
I read this as a recommendation from friends. It never really got started for me. There was a lot of telling about this case and a period in the 1970s, but not a lot of conflict that I could care about.
Linda grimes
This is an excellent book for people who like courtroom dramas. There's a little mystery involved, but the main focus is on the lawyers and the courtroom. If that's what you like, you'll love this book!
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