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Plea of Insanity

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  2,231 Ratings  ·  220 Reviews
In her third and most riveting novel, international bestselling author Jilliane Hoffman sweeps readers on a wild ride of murder and mayhem, confirming herself yet again as a major thriller-writing talent at the peak of her powers.

The prosecutor--Julia Vacanti. Young, ambitious, and facing a case that could launch her career. The defendant--David Marquette. A successful Mia
Hardcover, 404 pages
Published July 5th 2007 by Michael Joseph (first published January 1st 2007)
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There is a trend in genre fiction of the flawed hero, a protagonist with a drinking problem, two dead children, three ex-wives, four drug convictions, five ex-girlfriends, etc., the idea being, I guess, that the personal struggles of the detective/main character add something to the book besides bulk.

Personally, I often find these flaws distracting and unnecessary, adding nothing to the plot, but I suffer along because the vividness of the setting or intricacy of the story are appealing. But I
Jul 24, 2011 Pamela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This was a really boring book. It had a great premise but nothing of interest happened with it. Every time I thought it would pick up it didn't. I felt robbed with the ending as there really wasn't one. To read through the slow boring book you would at least hope for some conclusion. How she ended it was a joke. And her heroine, annoying, naive and stupid comes to mind.
Dec 17, 2015 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Plea of Insanity by Jilliane Hoffman is a 2014 Thomas & Mercer publication.

This book was originally published back in 2008, and although that isn’t all that long ago, this book had a dated feel to it, for some reason.

I have enjoyed several of the thought provoking legal thrillers Ms. Hoffman has written, but this one falls way short of her usual standards.

When a man kills his entire family, he pleads insanity, which stirs up some truly horrific memories for second chair attorney, Julia Va
Vicki Jaeger
Hmmm. How to describe this one? The lead cast of characters:
Assistant District Attorney: Was a victim of violence as a child, has a schizophrenic brother that was connected to the violence. Is sleeping with...
District Attorney: Who assigns her to a high-profile case, though she's never done one before.
Defendent: A man accused of murder. He is either a schizophrenic or a psychopath with very rich parents.
Detective: Investigating the murder, is interested in the ADA.

The whole book is a giant mindg
Thalia Papadakis
Sep 10, 2016 Thalia Papadakis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For an example as to why people not licensed in mental health should not write books with mental health as the main topic, please read this train wreck of a book.

First of all, the "Schizophrenic" defendant was being administered an antipsychotic (Thorazine) that is conservatively prescribed as there are newer drugs with less side effects. It's a first generation antipsychotic, and is used cautiously as it can cause permanent side effects such as tardive dyskinesia, which the defendant was alread
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Don't start this book if you have to sleep, work or do anything. It's so hard to put it down!
May 10, 2015 Jojo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: krimi-thriller
Vielleicht bin ich einfach kein Fan von juristischen Krimis und Thrillern (wobei mir "Die Firma" von Grisham sehr gut gefallen hat). Mir hat dieses Buch auf jeden Fall nicht wirklich zugesagt.

Ich muss sagen, dass mir hier der Fokus zu sehr auf Julia und ihr Leiden gelegt war. Ich habe kein Problem damit, wenn Charaktere in solchen Büchern irgendwie ein Problem haben, Alkohol, Rauchen, beziehungsunfähig. Selbst ein schrecklicher Tod in der Familie, alles gut und schön. Aber hier war mir das alle
Feb 15, 2014 Alejandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading Jilliane Hoffman all I can say is John Grisham who? Damn this woman can write a wicked good legal thriller! Fast paced, on your toes action and always making you guess what the heck is gonna happen next.
Dr. David Marquette is a successful surgeon living the life in Miami. Married with three kids, he has a picture perfect life. That is, until he decides to slaughter his wife and children. Cue in Julia Valenciano, your ordinary "fight the trenches" lawyer. She is pleasantly surprised
Peter Jennett
Dec 26, 2007 Peter Jennett rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
Obviously my personal opinion, but this was a great disappointment to me after Hoffman's excellent first two books. The last one, Last Witness, ended in such a way that it left the series very open for a third in the series.
For some reason Hoffman has ignored that and gone off on a completely different track of almost amateur psychologist and the study of mental illness.
Maybe it would be OK for people who have not read her first two as they would not have the high expectations created by those e
Lorraine Cobcroft
A really enjoyable read. I picked the book up at a used book sale and had never heard of the author before, but I'm really glad I discovered her. She writes extremely well and wove an intriguing story. The back story about the lawyer's mad brother killing her parents and her own fear of madness added great interest and flavour to what is far from the typical crime story. Plenty of action and suspense here, and the characters were drawn extremely well.

Highly recommended for anyone who likes crim
3 Stars

I think there are possibly more editions of this book, because the plot outline I'd originally read for this book did not match up with everything I read in the book. I think that this edition has been edited from a previous edition. The edition I read was a Kindle version published in 2008 by Thomas & Mercer. My review is for this edition and no others.

The story revolves around Assistant States Attorney Julia Vacanti, a young prosecuting attorney in Miami Florida. She's a B trial law
Patrick Bättig
Feb 03, 2015 Patrick Bättig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Mord in Miami. Der Täter: der angesehene Chirurg Dr. David Marquette. Die Opfer: seine Frau und seine drei kleinen Kinder. Hat der Familienvater unter dem Eindruck einer schizophrenen Wahnvorstellung gehandelt, wie seine Anwälte behaupten? Oder hat Marquette kaltblütig gemordet, wie Detective John Latarrino glaubt? Der routinierte Leiter der Mordkommission meint sogar, beweisen zu können, dass der Arzt ein lang gesuchter Serienkiller ist. Staatsanwältin Julia Valenciano ist fest entschlossen, in ...more
Apr 14, 2014 Ingo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started April 10th, 2014.
Interesting take on mental illness.
Reminds me of Primal Fear, but that is better (and has been filmed).
Two interwoven stories, with a look inside a few minds, but not everything gets explained in the end and there are a few loose ends, leaving the reader to decide or guess whether the "plea of insanity" is justified or not.
This more difficult as some observations are not sure to have really happened.

The scenes in the courtroom could have been more interesting, instead t
Terri Lynn
This is as much an intense psychological thriller as it is a mystery/suspense novel. The ending was rather unsettling to me in that it was chilling and disturbing. I think it set up the scene for a follow up book so to see if the psychopath will come after Julia and if she will wind up being schizophrenic like her brother, father, and grandfather.

Julia Vacanti is a low level state prosecutor who is sleeping with the much higher level prosecutor Rick Bellido who is handsome, charismatic, and ful
Aug 24, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I have read by this author. I very much enjoyed the book. I love legal and psychological thrillers. It was a fast read, that I wanted to keep on reading to see how it ended. The only thing I wanted more of, was a look into the mind of the killer, but that may have ruined the ending. It does make you wonder.
Feb 13, 2015 lynda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it

For those that thought the main characterwasn't tough enough, showed too much vulnerability, etc... I would say that they missed the great and overwhelming anxiety associated with the fear of having potentially inherited a mental illness that may well go unrecognized by its victim. The reader, I think, is supposed to learn that early signs of schizophrenia can mimic acute stress and we are concerned for Julia, but not nearly as much as she is....even as she desperately tries to carry
Jo Kelly
Aug 01, 2010 Jo Kelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just couldn't get into this book, no matter how many times I tried I could never get more than half way through & it's the only book I have ever been like that with. It was just boring, nothing exciting happened at all, slow paced, just not good at all. Completely given up on this now
Maggie James
I have mixed feelings about this book. For most of it, it was a great read, but the plot collapsed during the latter stages. What particularly annoyed me was the non-resolution of several key points. I'm reluctant to say which ones, as I don't want to give plot spoilers, but a couple of important issues never got explained. The novel examines schizophrenia, so I'm guessing the author wanted to leave the reader also unsure what was real and and what wasn't. As a literary device, though, that does ...more
Marla Madison
This book should have been described as psychological drama rather than mystery/suspense. This more-than-four-hundred-page book would have been less than 300 pages if all the extra wordage was removed. Much of the story takes place in the mind of the prosecutor, Julia. Sometimes entire chapters consist of her backstory and her thoughts. And the real main point of the book is a study of schizophrenia. The main plot, while engaging, has to be discovered through all the extraneous matter. Curiosity ...more
Feb 27, 2016 Nenette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am partial to stories that end with the good prevailing over the bad. But I won't let the partiality affect my review (I hope).

This is the kind of writing that really draws you into the story, no matter how the ending turns out. It must be very difficult for Julia, to shed that feeling of always second guessing her stresses and anxieties. It really couldn't be helped, and Aunt Nora was right: the case was really too close and personal.

I hope this has a sequel (haven't tried to search yet), a
Mar 15, 2015 Megan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book perpetuates harmful stereotypes about serious mental illnesses (people with schizophrenia are dangerous, aggressive, violent; psychiatric inpatient wards are smelly, scary, and staffed by people who don't care; etc). Also, it contains factual errors about mental illness and psychology/psychiatry. If you're going to delve this deep into a content area, at least hire an expert to do your fact checking, or hire a better one. Also the main character was very annoying and it was not believa ...more
Cynthia  Russell
Sep 03, 2016 Cynthia Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dramatic and tragic!

This was an education in those affected by schizophrenia....the patient, the families, and the public. It delves deeply into t h e criminal justice systems' handling of
someone who is possibly criminally insane. I loved the twists and turns in the story. the reader could really feel the stress of job performance anxiety and familial pressures to deal with grief and loss and how one lives with what life throws at you from all sides. The author brought the reader to this scary
Desi Vial
Not really her best. Not much action. Plus after 5 of her books, the women are all the same - dark pasts, anxious, neurotic, cry all the time...and we're supposed to believe they go to court and kick butt. One I could see, two was stretching it, and this last female just went too far. I'd like to see her develop a strong, smart female who, though she has demons, doesn't have to retreat to her apartment and cry for 3 days. I think she could give us someone interesting and still multi-dimensional. ...more
Reilly Windsor-Daly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 17, 2016 DaJa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, 2016
Leider hat mich das Buch etwas enttäuscht.
Die Handlung wird und wird nicht spannender, und letztendlich dreht sich alles um den Gemütszustand von Julia. Als es jedoch dann darum geht, dass sie selbst krank wird, wird es kaum näher erläutert, zwei Kleine Szenen: Entlassung aus der Klinik und "geheilt, bzw.stabil" als wieder arbeitende Staatsanwaltin.
Was den Rest der Handlung angeht, habe ich fast das Gefühl, die Autorin hat vergessen, manche Dinge wieder aufzugreifen.
Zwischendrin wird ein ähnlich
Jul 15, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julia Vacanti is a young lawyer in Miami. She is assigned to prosecute the respected Dr. David Marquette who has brutally murdered his wife and children - or has he? The defense submits a plea of insanity which touches too close to home for Julia. She has pushed aside the memories of a terrible tragedy in her childhood but they come back to haunt her.

I was totally impressed with Jilliane Hoffman's writing. This is the first book that I have read of her work. It will definitely not be the last! T
In Miami twenty-eight year old Miami assistant state attorney Julia Vacanti leads the prosecution team in a case against surgeon David Marquette. Doctor Marquette stands trial for the murder of his family; stabbing to death his wife and his two older children, and smothering their newborn baby. The defense team admits he killed his family, but plea insanity due to schizophrenia. If convicted, Marquette faces the death penalty, however found insane, he could walk free.
While the prosecution team t
Jun 09, 2010 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid, fast-paced legal thriller, August 22, 2009

This review is from: Plea of Insanity (Hardcover)
A very good book! I've read both of Hoffman's previous novels and this third one is another excellent legal thriller that intrigues the reader with an interesting perspective and a unique twist.

The young prosecuting attorney, Julia Vacanti, is a bit flawed and vulnerable with demons of her own to contend with as she prepares for the "trial of the century" and her first big case.
Mar 27, 2008 Flavia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Auch wenn Jilliane Hoffman ein bisschen mit ihren Detailkenntnissen angibt und die inflationär gebrauchte Cop Lingo spätenstens auf Seite 30 zu nerven beginnt, ist dieser kurzweilige Krimi durchaus lesenswert. Die Autorin beschreibt die Gewalt wie sie ist: grausam und nicht zu verstehen. Die Heldin Julia Valenciano ist gerade mal 28 und Staatsanwältin in Miami. Ihr aktueller Fall ist ganz besonders übel, ein Vater hat seine Frau und seine drei Kinder ermordet. Die sechsjährige Emma konnte noch d ...more
May 30, 2010 Maddy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads
PROTAGONIST: Julia Vacanti, prosecuting attorney

When a successful Miami surgeon and devoted family man, David Marquette, inexplicably murders his loving wife and three children, one can only assume that he was temporarily insane. The case has grabbed the headlines; the trial is a media event. The defense is pleading an insanity defense; the prosecution strongly believes that he is faking schizophrenia. It's a lawyer's dream to be assigned to such a case, and Julia Vacant
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  • Die Puppenmacherin
  • Hexenkind
  • Der Augenjäger
  • Unspoken
  • Ice Trap
  • The Closer
  • Milchgeld (Kommissar Kluftinger, #1)
  • Eye Of The Beholder
  • The Crime Writer
  • Sturmzeit
  • The Death Chamber
  • Death Mask (Dr. Anya Crichton, #5)
  • Remembering Sarah
  • The Prosecution
  • The Calling of the Grave (David Hunter, #4)
  • The Reunion
  • Final Cut
Jilliane P. Hoffman began her professional career as an Assistant State Attorney prosecuting felonies in Florida from 1992 to 1996 with special assignments to the Domestic Violence and the Legal Extradition Units. Originally from Long Island, she currently lives in South Florida with her husband and two children.
More about Jilliane Hoffman...

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