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Plea of Insanity

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  2,431 Ratings  ·  235 Reviews
Julia Valenciano is a young, ambitious Miami prosecutor. Assigned to a hectic trial division with an ornery judge, just getting through the day can be a challenge. When Julia is asked to second chair a case that could very well make or break her career, she doesn't hesitate to jump on board. The defendant: a successful Miami surgeon. The victims: his own wife and small chi ...more
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Published April 28th 2009 by Tantor Media (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 12, 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
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!
Renita D'Silva
Thrilling and unputdownable. A fast paced, fab read.
Mar 01, 2012 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
Mathilda Grace
Jan 16, 2017 Mathilda Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Darf man einen offenbar schizophreniekranken Arzt, der des 4-fachen Mordes an seiner eigenen Familie angeklagt ist, zum Tode verurteilen?

Der Frage muss sich Anwältin Julia in "Vater Unser" stellen, und das ist nicht das Einzige, dem sie sich im Laufe der Geschichte stellen muss, denn sowohl der Anklagte als auch sie selbst haben Geheimnisse, die ihrer beider Leben bald so richtig durcheinander wirbeln werden. Und als wäre das nicht schon genug Chaos in Julias Leben, das im Grunde nur zwischen Ar
The Badger
Sep 08, 2016 The Badger 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
Feb 08, 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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 12, 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.
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
Caryn Denny
Feb 15, 2017 Caryn Denny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

An absolute pleasure to read, this book had me in tears several times. The main subject we are dealing with mental illness, specifically schizophrenia. Having grown up with a schizophrenic mom and brother, I related to the characters especially Julia who grew up living with her dad and brother having it too.

This book left me wondering if the defendant was so brilliant with an act or if his condition was true. Very well written I highly recommend this book to all!
Mar 18, 2017 Arnold rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Depressing, unstructured, weak

Not sure what to make out of the story. Character development has some inconsistencies. Didn't like the shifting POV's. There are parts of the story that are draggingly long but not contributed to the story at all. Every part of the novel either made me sad or made me angry.
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
Aug 02, 2009 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
Jan 24, 2011 Lydia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book 3 stars because it was an interesting if not original storyline. Young prosecutor gets the chance of a career to second-chair on a grisly case of a Dr. who murders his family and then claims insanity. We don't know if she was picked because she honestly has a "gift" as the lead prosecutor tells her or whether it has more to do with the fact that he's sleeping with her.

The story moves along well and clearly the author has knowledge of this environment of DA's and murder cases. Bu
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 30, 2012 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-german
"Vater, Mutter, Kind
Mord in Miami. Der Täter: der angesehene Chirurg Dr. David Marquette. Die Opfer: seine Frau un ddie drei kleinen Kinder. Ist der Familienvater psychisch krank - oder hat er kaltblütig gemordet? Verbirgt sich in ihm womöglich ein lang gesuchter Serienkiller, wie Detective John Latarrino glaubt? Staatsanwältin Julia Valenciano will die Wahrheit herausfinden, gegen alle Widerstände. Die lauern auch in ihrer eigenen Vergangenheit, die sie seit fünfzehn Jahren erfolgreich verdräng
Feb 20, 2017 Joanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Book!

This book was free, so I thought I'd try it because I wasn't familiar with the author. I am glad I did. A very intense story that pulled you into it. It is a mystery that you hope never comes true. Try it. You'll be glad you did.
Feb 24, 2017 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good read. The story was good and spot lighted mental illness and sometimes the involvement people with that have with the legal system.
Meredith Montgomery-bartz
I normally am not interested in legal thrillers due to interpretation and understanding of legal matters, but being a human relations graduate student going into a therapy career, I was curious. Turns out I still don't care for reading about legalities; however, the parallelism of the protagonist's story to that of her counterpart was quite an interesting twist. This fictitious work brings to light our own parallels within our lives between our conscious activities and subconscious fears. It mak ...more
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.
Reilly Windsor-Daly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 08, 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
May 09, 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
Tara Pollock
Feb 15, 2017 Tara Pollock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Great story!
Main characters all easy to identify with.
Keep me reading from the beginning.
Wonderful read.
Hope more to come.
Jilliane Hoffman war selbst Staatsanwältin und das merkt man dem Buch auch an. Die Vorgehensweise und die Prozessführung sind einsame Spitze, ebenso wie ihre Schilderungen zur Schizophrenie.

Die Protagonistin Julia Valenciano war mir auf Anhieb sympathisch: Aber was mich immer richtig aufgeret hat: [spoiler]Warum hat diese Frau einen Hund, wenn sie sich sowieso nicht um ihn kümmern kann?[/spoiler] Bei sowas geh ich immer an die Decke, auch wenn es "nur eine erfundene Geschichte ist" :grmpf:

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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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