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The Defense (Joseph Antonelli #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  297 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Dynamite defense attorney Joseph Antonelli has never lost a case--or felt the sting of conscience for letting the guilty go free. "I can deceive anyone," he says, "and no one more quickly or more completely than myself." Now the man he most admires, the honorable Judge Rifkin, has asked him a favor: Defend a drug dealer accused of raping his twelve-year-old stepdaughter. Y ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 29th 1998 by Fawcett (first published October 1st 1997)
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Wes Derby
Jul 26, 2009 Wes Derby rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Conrad Haas
Jan 18, 2010 Conrad Haas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: legal-fiction
Like the other Buffa books, the story line was very good and the courtroom scenes were very descriptive. Buffa does a nice job of explaining the law as a part of the narration of the characters in the story and that made everything more interesting.

Robert Beveridge
D. W. Buffa, The Defense (Henry Holt, 1997)

It's hard to figure out which side of me is going to win the battle over how to review this book. One side of me wants to harp on the slowest beginning in history. The other side of me wants to harp on the fact that once I got past those opening chapters, I ended up reading most of the rest of it in one long marathon.

After reading the first two interminable chapters of this novel, I was sure that I was going to hate it. I'd give it the fifty page test,
Emily Bonn
Dec 02, 2007 Emily Bonn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: high schools students and up
The Defense
His ten years as a defense attorney and his doctorate in political science have always played a major roles in all his books. When reading a book by D.W. Buffa you can always expect excitement with the logicality of his previous job of being a lawyer. A great and relatively new book by D.W. is the Defense. It is about a defense attorney Joseph Antonelli and a case that involves a stepfather and his 11 year-old step daughter who was supposedly raped by him. Joseph, who always wins his
Michael Alan Grapin
Jul 19, 2014 Michael Alan Grapin rated it really liked it
Joseph Antonelli is a superstar criminal defense attorney who has never lost a case. He's asked by his dear friend, Judge Leopold Rifkin, to defend a man accused of raping his 13 year old step daughter. After the acquittal of the client that he's all but certain is guilty, a complicated plot for revenge is set in motion with a conclusion that I found predictable yet very entertaining.
Debra Mack
Apr 06, 2014 Debra Mack rated it liked it
Is a good story but moves too fast for me. Time passes too fast and the story doesn't develop quite like I wanted it to.
Christina Manzo
Jul 22, 2014 Christina Manzo rated it really liked it
The first half of the book takes way too long to set up the story but it still held my interest. The conclusion I was not expecting.
Dorothy Clark
Mar 07, 2015 Dorothy Clark rated it it was amazing
A great book. Buffa is really good.
Jul 20, 2016 Tasha rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Kurt Young
Jan 22, 2012 Kurt Young rated it it was ok
Not a bad law-thriller-mystery, but not good either. I figured out the big "twist" 1/3rd of the way through, which left me reading, not with an eye towards discovery, but with an eye on how the author hid the news.

Also, in a world of CSI, Law and Order, and NCIS the final court case seemed underwhelming. Simple things that seem to occur in every murder investigation were just ignored in the story.

Interesting look at consequences of the legal system, though.
Jan 14, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
Joseph Antonelli is a defense attorney who has never lost a case. This is the story of about 15 years of his life and cases. He wins his cases but not without major challenges that test him severely. It's Buffa's first novel and I sure hope it isn't the last. The characters are fascinating. The start is good. The middle is a tad slow but when you get to the last third of the book, it's one of those you are totally sucked into.
May 03, 2009 J rated it liked it

First of the Buffa books I have read, though not first in the series.

Main character is defense lawyer Joseph Antonelli, who's stepped away fr. the law, due to past trauma, not clearly identified at start. It includes the suicide of a jdge he really liked/respected.

Mystery involves the wife of Antonelli's close friend, a black judge who's a Viet vet who lost a leg during combat.

Jan 18, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this so long ago, I was halfway through before I realized it. It's a good read - now I have to see if I ever read any of the rest of this series.
Dec 29, 2009 Marleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Christmas present from Dermot this year.
A book and author I knew nothing about when I got them.
A very pleasant surprise to find it such a good and unconventional read.
Sep 24, 2009 Julie rated it it was ok
Not terrible as a story but not at all "thrilling". Lack of action to call it a thriller. Did not finish the last 50 pgs b/c I had to return it to the library.
Joe O'c
Aug 27, 2009 Joe O'c rated it liked it
Very Good; Continuing character: Joe Antonelli; defense lawyer sets off a 10 year series of events when he defends a man guilty of abusing his step-daughter.
Sep 27, 2013 Herzog rated it liked it
Shelves: series, mystery
So-so legal thriller. Lots of time goes by during the course of the book and sometimes things seem disjointed though they all resolve in the end.
Dec 20, 2011 Sherri rated it really liked it
This wasn't my favorite legal thriller but it is one in which I never saw the end coming! I had figured out who did it but was still surprised.
Jun 13, 2011 Lena rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this. While the ending was somewhat predictable, the details were not. I look forward to reading more by this author.
Mar 17, 2008 Jill rated it really liked it
If you like the legal suspense genre, such as John Grisham DW Buffa's are great novels for you.
Nov 25, 2014 Suevredevoogd rated it really liked it
Shelves: d-w-buffa
Buffa does courtroom dramas as well as anyone and this is no exception.
Bonnie Kerr
Jan 04, 2011 Bonnie Kerr rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, it has a such a surprise ending.
Jen Roe
I thought this was a good book
May 18, 2010 Kim rated it it was ok
Very predictable.
May 03, 2009 Linda rated it liked it
Twist at the end
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Sep 15, 2016
Kenneth Wilson
Kenneth Wilson marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2016
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Sep 12, 2016
Vince rated it liked it
Sep 07, 2016
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D.W. Buffa (full name: Dudley W. Buffa) was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. After graduation from Michigan State University, he studied under Leo Strauss, Joseph Cropsey and Hans J. Morgenthau at the University of Chicago where he earned both an M.A. and a Ph. D. in political science. He received his J.D. degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Buffa was a criminal defense ...more
More about D.W. Buffa...

Other Books in the Series

Joseph Antonelli (7 books)
  • The Prosecution
  • The Judgment
  • The Legacy
  • Star Witness
  • Breach of Trust
  • Trial by Fire (Joseph Antonelli, #7)

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