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Compelling Evidence (Paul Madriani, #1)
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Compelling Evidence

(Paul Madriani #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  5,383 ratings  ·  221 reviews
In the gripping tradition of Presumed Innocent, a courtroom drama of epic proportions
Audiobook, Abridged
Published November 1st 2003 by Phoenix Audio. (first published February 1st 1992)
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,383 ratings  ·  221 reviews

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Cathy DuPont
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First time read for a Paul Madriani book and I really enjoyed the plot and character, Paul Madriani, and especially the courtroom scenes which were a good portion of the book. Great secondary characters too, well described and vivid.

Believe I might be a ‘frustrated wannabe lawyer.’ Always, always enjoy these genre of books. It's one of the reasons I loved The Lincoln Lawyer so much. I've read a lot of lawyer/courtroom books; more two hands worth, I'm sure.

Great storyline, too, and the ending,
Mr Stewart
I shrug my shoulders and make a face like, "it's okay."

However, in this book Martini falls in to the mystery writer's trap of being so concerned about hiding his eventual perpetrator that he obfuscates to the point of telling a whole different story than the one intended. The best mystery has the eventual reveal always just below the surface and between the lines, so that when it is delivered at the end, the reader may be surprised but also understanding that all the facts were there for them to
Sep 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started out thinking this book was boring, but quickly forgot about that as I got swept up in the plot. I forgot, too, that I feel the same way about every other Steve Martini book I've ever read. The first few chapters are a little slow, then it sucks you in.

In this, the first in the Paul Madriani series, he provides very good background on Paul without beating the reader over the head with it. Paul is a believable character. He is not perfect. He is not always likeable. He is shrewd and calc
Tom Swift
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. This is the 1st book that I have read from this author, and it had lot of twists and turns. If you like a lot of courtroom drama, this is good. This is the first in a series for a young lawyer, I will definitely read the next one. I have read a Scott Turow (one of my favs) and this, so I have my satisfied my legal itch. Now, I need to finish A Little Life, which I like but I have been distracted.
Aug 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-again
I originally read this way back when (pre-kids, which means 9+ years ago) and wanted to start re-reading the Paul Madriani series to see if I still enjoyed it.

The verdict? It's actually still a pretty good book. It's a murder mystery/trial story with some nice twists & interesting characters. OTOH, I don't remember having to wade through as much coarse language the first time I read this - maybe I'm getting more sensitive with age. (Next you thing you know, I'll be spraying kids with a water
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An old one, but still good.
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book that launched the series

Almost 20 years ago, the first book in the Paul Madriani series was released. Over time (and 12 books), it has morphed into less of a legal thriller series into more of an action series with a legal thriller bent to it. But, the first one is a good old-fashioned murder mystery and courtroom drama - and a surprisingly good one for a debut effort.

In Compelling Evidence we are introduced to Paul Madriani, a struggling solo practice attorney who has recently left a
Feb 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steve-martini
This is the first Steve Martini book for me and I am pleased to say it won't be the last. I came in late to the Paul Madriani game, so there is a whole series still to be enjoyed. Martini excels in the courtroom scenes in this first edition, but some of the other chapters feel a little thin. That is not necessarily a bad thing. This author plays to his strength and that is always a plus for the reader.
Joe Newell
I listened to this as an audio book loaned and downloaded as a mp3 from the library. I did not know I got the "abridged" version. It obviously was since it only took about four hours to listen to the thing. So my review is a little tainted in that way. With the shortness, it was really difficult to get a sense of the author's capabilities. However the story was good, with a nice trick ending, so I will be giving Steve Martini more opportunities to impress me later.
Adrian Piazza
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Old Fashioned Lawyer mystery

Really love the tone and the personal struggle of the lawyer. Not a whodunit, but good court room tension. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Nov 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steve-martini
Steve Martini is a good writer I enjoy reading series of Paul Madriani.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-legal
Good. Like Presumed Innocent and Murder in the First.
Jill Manske
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Compelling Evidence" is the first Paul Madriani courtroom drama, and you can see glimpses of the beginning evolution of Steve Martini as a superb writer. He very aptly describes, in a great deal of detail, the capital murder case of Talia Potter, from the arduous process of jury selection to the decisions that prosecutors and defense attorneys make in putting together and presenting their cases. Martini's subsequent novels do not have quite that level of detail, instead focusing more on charact ...more
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal-thriller
A wild ride of a legal thriller! Every once in a while, I think everyone needs to read a book like this and put themselves in the position of being accused of a crime, that they did? or did not? commit but to imagine yourselves at the mercy of your lawyer and a jury!

Talk about feeling totally helpless! I am just saying, I had no idea if she committed the crime and many times reading the story, I found myself, in her shoes, imagining how the "wheels of justice?!!" could so easily roll over you,
This book popped up in my Goodreads recommended about a month ago. I was immediately intrigued by the Madriani / Martini parallel, but what truly captured my attention was the description. The brief summary did little to give away who was murdered and focused more on a lawyer, rather than the victim/perpetrator, which I found that many of the mystery-like books I had read did. I immediately added it to my want to read and once the opportunity arose to pick up a new book, I instantly gravitated t ...more
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great trial stuff. Good story
Gary Newsom
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for great literature...look elsewhere, but for what this is, and is obviously designed to be...a pulp legal thriller, it is quite nicely done, with a nice little, but not totally unexpected, twist at the end. Gee, does anyone else think Paul Madriani could be a pseudonym for Steve Martini?
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like a good rollicking courtroom drama, with plenty of theatrical biffo, you'll love this book.

Its very well written, and the characters are larger than life.

The problem as always, is how to end such a drama. The verdict can be anticlimactic, if there isn't some massive big twist to follow up, and that has become the standard fare. Unfortunately in this case the "twist nobody saw coming" is simply nonsensical. That's the thing with fiction, you can right any weird ending you want.
I enjoyed this book and would probably give it 3.5 stars, if that was allowed. I understand this is the first book in the series and that it was written about 25 years ago. I enjoyed the courtroom scenes and found the characters interesting enough to want to read more in the series. I had a little bit of a problem with the sudden reveal of the guilty party close to the end of the book, since I felt that the author worked very hard to obscure that from the reader. I should have been able to admit ...more
David Howard
Solid courtroom give and take, a bit thin as far as the characters go.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, fiction, mystery
I had a hard time getting into this book at first, with all the legal lingo I didn't know, but once someone died it got more interesting and then I didn't want to put it down. Too bad you still have to do adult stuff and not just sit around and read all day. I did end up finding a spot to hide so I could finish the last quarter of the book without being disturbed. It was better than I expected and I was surprised by the ending.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compelling Evidence by Steve Martini is a private eye lawyer genre fiction and is book 1 in the Paul Madriani series. Paul Madriani is considered a suspect in the murder investigation and asked to represent the main suspect, the widow. In this novel he meets his accomplice in later books named Harry Hinds. This is a somewhat slow moving legal thriller that contains unmemorable court room jargon.
Jeff Dickison
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good Paul Madriani court room drama. This is well written and has a small surprise ending (I was able to guess the ending). Keeps your interest throughout and gets better as it moves along. Recommended to fans of adult courtroom dramas.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Steve Martini book, for me it was a page turner. I liked the story and the ending was a complete surprise. I also enjoyed the vocabulary and terms Steve Martini used throughout the book. I found myself looking up more words than I usually do while reading a book.
Feb 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal-thriller
This book is not as good as the later books. I thought there was too much information about Paul's affair, too much detail that adds nothing to the book. The story is interesting, however the best parts are in the court room.
Karen Sikora Toronyi

I did not see that coming ! Very much enjoyed the writing. No excessive fluff or filler to take up space . Every word seemed relevant but I still didn't put it all together
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh - it was okay. 1st offering from this author, and many reviews mention his later work is better. I like the premise - but too much legalese for those of us who are not attorneys...
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, legal-thriller
I'm making a face like "Please don't ever make me read that in a book ever again." Other than the very overused "making a face" stuff, I really enjoyed the book.
Jeanie Sanchez
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
re-reading some of Steve Martini's books. His stories always grab my interest.
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I enjoyed it. I like a courtroom drama. I enjoyed him as a defense attorney. I thought the story was believeable. It was well read by the narrator.
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Martini's first career was in journalism. He worked as a newspaper reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the largest legal newspaper in the country covering the state, the local courts and the civic center beat. In 1970 he became the newspaper’s first correspondent at the State Capitol in Sacramento and later its bureau chief. There he specialized in legal and political coverage. During this ...more

Other books in the series

Paul Madriani (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Prime Witness (Paul Madriani, #2)
  • Undue Influence (Paul Madriani, #3)
  • The Judge (Paul Madriani #4)
  • The Attorney (Paul Madriani, #5)
  • The Jury (Paul Madriani, #6)
  • The Arraignment (Paul Madriani, #7)
  • Double Tap (Paul Madriani, #8)
  • Shadow of Power (Paul Madriani, #9)
  • Guardian of Lies (Paul Madriani, #10)
  • The Rule of Nine (Paul Madriani, #11)
“to exonerate him. Given the personalities involved, Skarpellos and Lama, I would suddenly discover that Tony was playing cribbage with a dozen elderly matrons the night Ben was killed. “Suspects are your job,” I tell Nelson. “I think we’re satisfied with the defendant we have. All we need to know is who helped her. Who carried the body, used the shotgun,” he says. “It’s an offer made to fail. Even if she were willing to enter a plea to a crime she didn’t commit in order to save her life, she can’t fulfill the terms.” He looks at me, like “Nice story, but it won’t wash.” Lama kicks in. “Have you heard,” he says, “we got a photo ID party goin’ down at the office? Seems the lady was a creature of habit. Ended up at the same place every night. A motel clerk from hell says she brought her entire stable of studs to his front door. We got him lookin’ at pictures of all her friends. Only a matter of time. Then the deal’s off.” Harry meets this with some logic. “To listen to you, our client already had all the freedom she could ask for. Lovers on every corner, and a cozy home to come home to when she got tired,” says Harry. “Why would she want to kill the meal ticket?” “Seems the victim was getting a little tired of her indiscretions. He was considering a divorce,” says Nelson. “You have read the prenuptial agreement? A divorce, and it was back to work for your client.” Harry and I look at one another. “Who told you Ben was considering a divorce?” I ask. “We have a witness,” says Nelson. He is not the kind to gloat over bad news delivered to an adversary. “You haven’t disclosed him to us.” “True,” he says. “We discovered him after the prelim. We’re still checking it out. When we have everything we’ll pass it along. But I will tell you, it sounds like gospel.” Lama’s expression is Cheshire cat-like, beaming from the corner of the couch. I sense that this is his doing. “I think you should talk to your client. I’m sure she’ll see reason,” says Nelson. “If you move, I think I can convince the judge to go along with the deal.” “I’ll have to talk to her,” I tell him, “but I can’t hold out much hope.” “Talk,” he says. “But let me know your answer soon. If we’re going to trial, I intend to ask for an early date.” 1 likes
“What Harry means is, he has a taste for “felonious voyeurism.” It happens. Lawyers, judges, cops, and jurors all find themselves titillated from time to time by the stories of violence, drugs, and sex. The criminal side of the law provides a window on the dark side of life that exists nowhere else.” 1 likes
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