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The Alternate

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  92 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
An open-and-shut murder trial takes a wild turn when a jury member's hidden motives tip the scales of justice in this engrossing legal thriller that Richard North Patterson says . . . starts with a bang and never lets up.
Paperback, 544 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Signet (first published 1999)
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Nick Duretta
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
What kept this from a higher rating is its length (it's very overwritten) and the over-the-top conclusion, which seemed even more absurd given how well the author depicted the courtroom scenes and judicial process (he's a former lawyer). There are also too many allusions to the O.J. Simpson case, which is understandable given when this came out, and that the author had some connection to that case, but it grew intrusive. There also needed to be a stronger central character. Here we have two--Gra ...more
Mickey Hoffman
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This book should have been shorter, but it still held my interest most of the time. There are twists to the story and the characters are fun.
Jud Hanson
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is quite possibly one of the best legal thrillers ever written. It begins in a pretty standard way: the wife of socialite Eliot Ashford is discovered butchered in their home and all signs point to the husband. The DA wants a conviction to boost his chances in the upcoming election; the defense team simply wants to save their client's life and engages the help of "Bear" Barrett Dickson, former hotshot lawyer. There is more to this case than meets the eye, however and soon both sides are ...more
Apr 08, 2013 rated it liked it
It was an ok story. It could've been so much better! It was long, dragged out. DA kept going back & forth as to whether they should plea bargain, dismiss or proceed, all while the trial was going on! No explanation whatsoever about the investigations into the 3 murders. follow up to the missing evidence--where did it go, who may have taken it? Yes the ADA had an idea where it went, but it was never investigated. No cops in this story whatsoever! I did like the main characters, Grace ...more
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I tried the first Martel (Partners) and couldn't get in to it, This one, however, was very inviting. Washed up attorney Barrett Dickson gets drawn into the high profile trial of an ex-congressman who's wife was found brutally murdered. The plot is further enhanced by a juror who is very involved in the case. This story has almost too many facets but it was still a good read. I am going to try is next one.
Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
The author is an attorney so the courtroom information is accurate, which I really like. I hate reading books that you know the person has no idea what they are talking about...some fiction is like that, just thrown together for a quick buck and it's usually obvious. Martel's books are very engrossing and I have a hard time putting them down; this one definitely fit that bill.
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Picked this up on a whim at a bargain used book place, and I liked it surprisingly much. Not usually a fan of courtroom dramas or anything concerning the Mafia, this had enough suspense and was enough of a psychological thriller, mingled with the courtroom/lawyer/Mafia angle, that it kept the pages turning for me. A great twist about 3/4 of the way through that I did not see coming as well!
Sep 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book started out pretty good, but had a few random chapters, that were very obviously foreshadowing. By about page 250, I had the entire plot and ending figured out and didn't see any need to keep reading for another 200 pages just to have it confirmed. I liked the courtroom scenes and the flawed but good-hearted defense attorney, but overall, I could have skipped this one and been okay.
click here to find it in the catalogue.
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Pretty good. Not what I'm use to reading.
Michael Newcombe
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