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Preview — Sandrine's Case by Thomas H. Cook
Samuel Madison always wondered what Sandrine saw in him. He was a meek, stuffy doctorate student, and she a brilliant, beautiful, bohemian with limitless talents and imagination. On the surf ...more
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This book is amazing, brilliantly structured about a man on trial, for the murder of his wife. What we learn about their marriage, their relationships with others, their work and family life, their hopes and dreams, we learn throughout the trial. It ...more
Cook is a marvelous writer, and this one displays his talent to the best advantage. Although the story is mostly set in a courtroom, this is not a legal thriller. It is a sensitive exploration of a marriage, and what went wrong with it. We meet Sam and Sandrine Madison. They have been married for many years, and have a lovely house in a small college town in Georgia. They both teach at the college. Sandrine learns that she has Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a ...more
The Madison's, Sand ...more
My first book by Cook. I was not encouraged. Some of the traits that I disliked most in the character of Samuel Madison and in the book provided an accurate reflection of Madison's character: pedantic, verbose, aloof, self-centered.
The plot is focused around the trial of Samuel Madison for the murder of his wife, Sandrine. Many chapters begin with the courtroom examination of a witness as the county prosecutor presents his case against Madison. Each witness brings up some situation that causes...more
I loved the exquisite writing, although at times overwritten and verbose, and the manner in which the story flowed from past to present, from court room to home, motel room to neighbors house, from Mediterranean travel to backyard gazebo. A symphony of words comes to mind as I could feel the relationship of Sam and Sandrine evolving over time and their marriage tw ...more
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. -- Leo Tolstoy, opening sentence of "Anna Karenina."
One of the joys of book reviewing is discovering a new -- to the reviewer -- author at the height of his or her powers. It's also a source of frustration when the reviewer discovers the author has been around for a long time! The situation is unavoidable because one person -- even a voracious reader like the present reviewer -- can read only so many books.
I found my ...more
To me the contrasts were plentiful; the beauty and brilliance of Sandrine versus the or ...more
Sandrine’s Case was a disappointing read for me. I’ve read other books with similar themes/storylines (courtroom/trial, setting; husband accused of killing his wife) that were done better and lived up to expectations. The storyline was boring; or maybe it was just the narrator as I listened to the audiobook and the voiceover never really grabbed me. But, this could have been because the plot just wasn’t that engaging and he had very little to work with.
The characters ...more
This is a riveting novel, although not a very convincing court trial. The narrator used a particularly grating voice for the prosecutor, I think on purpose. Publisher’s note describes this pretty well so I’ll include it here.
Samuel Madison always wondered what Sandrine saw in him, he a meek, stuffy doctorate student and she a brilliant, beautiful bohemian with li ...more
The novel is a detailed analysis of a man, Sam Madison, who is charged with murdering his wife, Sandrine. The two were profe ...more
The police question Sam and with some questions about Sam's nonchalant attitude and other things, they arrest him for murder and trying to stage it as suicide.
The story goes on to Sam's trial and Sam narrates it. We learn of the character's testimony as Sam relates it. As the trial progresses, Sam's mind wanders and he thinks about times in his and Sand ...more
It was really hard to engage emotionally with the main characters (Sam, Sandrine and their daughter, Alexandria) mainly because they didn't seem that emotionally engaged with each other. And it didn't help that most of what we see of their relationships is told in flashbacks through Sam's eyes only.
I understand that Sam is presente ...more
Thomas H. Cook has been praised by critics for his attention to psychology and the lyrical nature of his prose. He is the author of more than 30 critically-acclaimed fiction books, including works of true crime. Cook published his first novel, Blood Innocents, in 1980. Cook published steadily through the 1980s, penning such works as the Fra ...more