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Group Read Books - archive > Group Read - The Verdict Part 2 Ch 27-53 Spoilers welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14293 comments Spoilers welcome!
This segment of the book discussion covers the second part: 133-286 for 153 pages.
If the first to post could provide a short summary to guide the discussion it will be appreciated!


message 2: by Russ (new)

Russ | 330 comments 27-28: Devastating forensics test results show VJ & Evelyn’s clothing fiber & hair all over each other.
29-31: Swayne & Terry find that none of Evelyn’s “friends” really knew her. The common link was Richard, one of the women’s new husband, who Evelyn was stalking.
32: The legal team confronts VJ with the damning evidence but he sticks to his story.
33: A watch dealer tells Terry that the model of VJ’s stolen Rolex as described is worth six figures.
34-36: Hotel video matches VJ’s description of his interaction with Evelyn—brief & unromantic. Terry meets Dave Stratten, a PI hired for VJ by his associate, Ahmad Sihl.
37-38: Terry meets the manager of a Quaker soup kitchen sitting on a property that Sihl confirms VJ wanted.
39: Terry’s daughter Amy wants an iPhone because her friend has one. Terry says that’s the worst reason to want something and friendships never last.
40-42: Terry visits the hotel banquet hall. Later at home he realizes he DVR’ed VJ’s speech, watches it, & spots Fabia. But Christine is not impressed by the new evidence.
43: Terry tells Swayne why he defends VJ even though he hates him.
44: Rudy Saks, hotel employee, tells a perfect tale of bringing champagne to Vernon & Evelyn.
45: Janet explains KRP’s criminal practice hangs in the balance on this case.
46-48: Terry finds a stripper who danced in Suite 18 (the crime scene) a week earlier. She wears the same thong brand as the thong VJ soiled. Terry swipes her DNA sample to confirms it’s hers, which it is, & Christine gets the thong struck as inadmissible at a preliminary hearing. Kopf lauds Terry for his work on the thong but warns him not to cross the line to obvious illegality.
49: Swayne feeds Terry a story about a pro-Apartheid death squad that could be involved in the case.
50: The prosecution finds 4 witnesses who say VJ was into S&M, got too rough, & paid them for their silence.
51-53: A watch collector calls Terry. The Rolex has turned up. Fabia tried selling it in Southend. It was fake, so the collector had her arrested. Terry meets her in jail. She tells him she was paid to seduce Vernon James & slip him a mickey. It didn’t kick in fast enough. He got rough & abusive. She fought back and he passed out.

Terry calls Janet. He looks for dinner while waiting. When they get back to the jail, the desk sergeant says Terry is under arrest for Fabia’s murder.


message 3: by Ann (last edited Mar 01, 2016 09:46PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14293 comments I'm up to chapter 39. The evidence known from the police case is certainly piling up. Terry's reactions to the potential defensive strategies is an interesting side view and a different way of looking at what could have happened.
As a contrast to what we know from the prologue the possible alternatives are rather fascinating, as is wondering what Terry will do with the new details.
I loved how Terry's little daughter rationalized needing an iPhone to have somewhere to store her friends' phone numbers. That the regular phone wouldn't do because she didn't have their numbers, crazy perspective.


message 4: by Russ (last edited Mar 01, 2016 04:51PM) (new)

Russ | 330 comments Ann, I'm curious to know how do you feel about VJ at this point. Do you like him any more than you did initially?


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14293 comments Russ: excellent question ande one I have pondered. I keep thinking there must be more to him than Terry's negative opinions reveal. I have sympathy for VJ if he has been set up. I keep trying to imagine what was behind his actions against Terry at Cambridge - which currently clouds my opinion with an idea that VJ might have wanted Terry out of the way to free VJ to date Terry's girlfriend.
VJ is still mostly a mystery, How about you, is VJ a man you love to hate?
Russ wrote: "Ann, I'm curious to know how do you feel about VJ at this point. Do you like him any more than you did initially?"


message 6: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14293 comments Yikes! I was only up to chapter 50 before. Just finished this part. Wow. Who killed Fabia? And Russ - no I do NOT like VJ now at all. What a sleaze. But still set-up. Very intriguing!


message 7: by Russ (new)

Russ | 330 comments Good insight, Ann. For some reason I hadn't given much thought to why VJ assumed Terry stole (his journal, right?) from him. I considered that Terry may have in fact stolen it. When Terry looked at the "package" in the spare room I suspected that's what he took from VJ. But VJ using that as a method of getting Terry out of the way is cleverer.

As for VJ, I see him as very flawed, but a fairly compelling character. I wonder if his character was inspired by O.J. Simpson (VJ=OJ?). That is, somebody who killed once but was not found guilty, then committed a lesser offense later and looks like he'll get nailed to the wall for it.


message 8: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14293 comments Russ: the VJ/OJ similarities are something to consider. I suppose I have been harboring sympathies for Vernon since I haven't been 100% convinced he killed Rodney back as a teen. I saw that (perhaps incorrectly, he could actually be a murderer) as racial profiling, or the police looking for an easy suspect, the son. I know most of us would have trouble with an alibi on the occasions when we are alone and yet are perfectly innocent. Lack of an alibi isn't guilt.
That being said we did find out later that Rodney was planning on blocking VJ from going to Cambridge- a clear motive for a guy with VJ's ambitions. So I don't know what to think. Is the first unsolved murder indicative of how murders are worked and often never solved, or of a past pattern, and does it and the alibi from Terry and his Mom have anything to do with the "stolen" diary.
I hadn't thought about the sealed package in Terry's spare room. Obviously it might be a factor, good point to keep it in mind! As introduced initially it seemed to me unlikely to be the diary - at least I hope not. I do not want Terry to turn out to be an unreliable narrator. Now I am highly curious of what Terry blocked away.
Terry and VJ are a lot alike. They both rose above the birth circumstances, though one higher than the other. Was there a rivalry later even though they were close fast friends in their youth?
What did go wrong at Cambridge? Was VJ threatened by Terry's obvious now aptitude for the law? Was the other student with VJ when he confronted Terry about the stolen diary a factor? Did the diary contain a confession or evidence about Rodney's murder? I look forward to finding out. This is really getting good!!


message 9: by Russ (new)

Russ | 330 comments I enjoyed this section. Nice twist at the end of Part II. I suspected Fabia would be killed but I didn't expect another frame-up. Wow!

On the downside I was a little frustrated to be half of the way through the book and the trial hasn't begun.

Yet it's all still readable and interesting. At this point in the book I was suspecting the Quakers, Ahmad Sihl, or the Hoffman Trust in the apparent set-up of VJ. And I felt that the Rhodesia and Israel "clues" were red herrings.


message 10: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14293 comments Russ: The clues are fun and complex so there are quite a few possibilities for how VJ was set-up, the why is still a deeper mystery. I liked the ambiguity and discovering where some of the parts are interlocking along with the discoveries Terry is making about his history with Vernon and his feelings about their shared youth. I was stunned when Terry was arrested for Fabia's murder. I never saw that coming. His nerve to speak up about being selected to be on the case and to skirt the law to find evidence are interesting to contemplate the choices both VJ and Terry have made.


message 11: by Jack (new)

Jack | 179 comments Fascinating insights Ann and Russ, I had thought about the diary being hidden by terry in that box but I think that's the letters he never replied to weren't they? I can see the falling out happening because of Melissa and vj wanting her. Perhaps terry did steal it to check if they were having an affair. Ann, I would also hate for terry to be an unreliable narrator, I think his character shows a lot of moral code and his explanation to Andy about why he Is putting himself on the line to help vj was a brilliant example of this. I hope he is able to keep his family life together as it looks to be the best thing going for him. I thought the same about the iphone part Ann. Exactly the logic you expect from a kid trying to get something they don't need. A bit of a whack to the younger generation relying on phones/ computers to do everything for them and not trying to make do.
I was stunned at the end as well Ann probably more because it was done in police custody.
My feelings about vj - he is detestable and i hope even if the murder charge goes away he should be put away for sexual assult. I am surprised at terrys reaction to the s&m evidence. I thought he would have lost it given how he feels about Melissa and his moral standing. I suppose it is a sign he is now fighting to build his career now and putting his personal feelings aside.
I agree Russ that it is taking a long time to get into the book and push on with the case. Probably would have skimmed through to find out the ending if it wasn't a group read to discuss.
At this point what do you think is going to happen? I suspect Terry will get the fabia thing cleared up and not get in trouble. It will also give them more leads to find who killed her and set up vj. I think the pieces will all have relevance at the end and come together nicely, It just seems that kind of book with too much detail to waste as red herrings, but will be unexpected culprit behind it.
Based on that I have a prediction about who I think is behind it all. Can I add it here or should I hold off.


message 12: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7808 comments Ann wrote: " I keep trying to imagine what was behind his actions against Terry at Cambridge - which currently clouds my opinion with an idea that VJ might have wanted Terry out of the way to free VJ to date Terry's girlfriend. .."

Ooh, I hadn't thought about that. Good speculation. I am eager to know the reason VJ accused Terry of the theft of his journal. If your theory is correct, he is colder than I ever imagined. That is low.


message 13: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7808 comments Ann wrote: "Yikes! I was only up to chapter 50 before. Just finished this part. Wow. Who killed Fabia? And Russ - no I do NOT like VJ now at all. What a sleaze. But still set-up. Very intriguing!"

I found this part of the story riveting. When Fabia turned up I was astonished and thought, "no, this is too soon! the story is going to end if she's been found." Didn't occur to me she'd be killed until Terry and Janet arrived at the police station and officers were rushing in and the reception desk was unmanned. Then I knew.

One question I had; if they knew Fabia was alive when Terry left, and she had another visitor before she was found dead, why were they so quick to arrest him and tell him he was accused of murder? (not entirely sure of the last statement, will check the book when I get to it.)


message 14: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7808 comments Ann wrote: "I do not want Terry to turn out to be an unreliable narrator..."

Ann, I wondered about this too, whether Terry was an unreliable narrator. I hate that literary device, it feels like trickery.


message 15: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7808 comments Ann wrote: " I was stunned when Terry was arrested for Fabia's murder. I never saw that coming. His nerve to speak up about being selected to be on the case and to skirt the law to find evidence are interesting to contemplate the choices both VJ and Terry have made. ..."

I questioned Terry's decision to come clean with DCI Carol Reid. I thought he would be better off with "no comment," and waiting until Janet or someone else from the law firm could come to his aid. He could come clean with them if he wanted to. He violated his own "golden rule."


message 16: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7808 comments Jack wrote: "Based on that I have a prediction about who I think is behind it all. Can I add it here or should I hold off. ..."

Thanks for asking, Jack. We've not had this come up before I don't think. I suppose a guess isn't exactly a spoiler, but personally, I'd prefer if you held off on posting it here, or if you do, put it inside the spoiler HTML codes (see the codes in "some html is ok" above) so it isn't visible unless you click on it. You can try it out and test it---> (view spoiler).

I hate, hate, hate, spoilers, and a guess could plant possibilities in my mind that I hadn't thought of -- not techically a spoiler, but close in my mind, especially if it turns out to be right. I'm pretty suggestible when other theories get mentioned, and would prefer it not to be in my head.


message 17: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1189 comments Well that section ended with a bang. I'm with Russ and Jack in that I wish the trial would hurry up and get started but all the red herrings are fun. I'm also now in the VJ is pretty detestable group and it will take quite a big turn for me to change. Terry seemed a bit steadier in this section but still am wondering if he is an unreliable narrator (which I do enjoy if done right).

I guess the author and Joseph Finder are friendly since he used his name and the set up from his book Paranoia (with a few tweaks) for that character. I checked my hardback copy and Finder did not give the book a blurb though.

Am looking forward to the next section and am hoping all the various strings start to coalesce.


message 18: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14293 comments Jack: I saw Terry as growing through this case as well, leaving his resentments of VJ behind him and realizing how much he is enjoying the work on the case. He has described himself as older than his co-workers, having started entry level as a clerk and that leads to thinking hehadn't had as much ambition as he seems to have found now in competition with "Adolf" ( her name escapes me) Swayne also seems to motivate Terry, and I think VJ himself motivates him.
Some of that seems to be from letting go of any fears of what might happen "he is going to be fired when the case is over". Karen is very supportive too. Terry is a lucky man compared to VJ.
Jack wrote: "my feelings about vj - he is detestable and i hope even if the murder charge goes away he should be put away for sexual assult. I am surprised at terrys reaction to the s&m evidence. I thought he would have lost it given how he feels about Melissa and his moral standing. I suppose it is a sign he is now fighting to build his career now and putting his personal feelings aside."


message 19: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14293 comments Carol: that was a surprise to me too. Taking to the police when you are on the defense team seems like a big no-no.
I understand the impulse to get the evidence out in the open, but telling it isn't going to help VJ if the prosecution devises strategies against it.
That said, I think it indicated Terry's level of motivation to help VJ.
Carol/Bonadie wrote: "I questioned Terry's decision to come clean with DCI Carol Reid. I thought he would be better off with "no comment," and waiting until Janet or someone else from the law firm could come to his aid. He could come clean with them if he wanted to. He violated his own "golden rule." ."


message 20: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14293 comments I've got some suspicions about that too, Jack!
Since I have finished the book I will hold off speculationg, but I was thinking about a possible culprit myself around now too.
Jack wrote: "It just seems that kind of book with too much detail to waste as red herrings, but will be unexpected culprit behind it.
Based on that I have a prediction about who I think is behind it all. Can I add it here or should I hold off."



message 21: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7808 comments Sandi wrote: "
I guess the author and Joseph Finder are friendly since he used his name and the set up from his book Paranoia (with a few tweaks) for that character. I checked my hardback copy and Finder did not give the book a blurb though...."


Sandi, I noticed the multiple references to "Joe Finder" also and wondered the same thing.


message 22: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 1257 comments I was not expecting that ending! With so many twists in this book, I don't know why that suprised me. I agree Ann...at this point I do not like VJ. I was about to write that even if he is innocent but ends up in jail, that might be justice for all the other rotten things he's done...but I realize thats not they way the justice system works or even should work. And who is setting him up. His wife is the too obvious choice, and it must be someone with some substantial power.


Ann wrote: "Yikes! I was only up to chapter 50 before. Just finished this part. Wow. Who killed Fabia? And Russ - no I do NOT like VJ now at all. What a sleaze. But still set-up. Very intriguing!"


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