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Group Read Books - archive > Group Read - The Verdict Part 3 Ch 77 to end Spoilers welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14974 comments Spoilers welcome!
This segment of the book discussion covers up through the end of the book and of the third part: 386-499 for 113 pages.
If the first to post could provide a short summary to guide the discussion it will be appreciated!


message 2: by Ann (last edited Mar 05, 2016 01:01PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14974 comments Chapter 77. day two in court. Christine dismantles the investigation by the police especially DCI Reid's initial interview with VJ and evidence gathering at the hot e l
Terry plays an important role as observer of the jury.
Chapter 78. Short sweet, key evidence from the hotel key cards and cctv in Terry's hands
Chapter 79. Forensics evidence in court
Chapter 80 missing prosecution witness Rudy Saks
Chapter 81 an escort testifies of VJ's violence
Chapter 82 Ahmad Sihl testifies for the prosecution
Chapter 83-84 day six in court. More strong defensive details convey doubt.
Chapter 85 day 7 in court the passkey evidence shows alternative people accessing the hotel rooms
Chapter 86 VJ takes the stand. Prosecutor Carnavale makes some points.
Chapter 87 day 8 closing arguments I was underwhelmed by Christine's closing.
Chapter 88 Terry and DCI Reed have an interview about his interactions with the kidnappers and the woman who killed Fabia.
Chapter 89 Christine collapses after court ends.
Chapter 90. Terry visits the Quaker warehouse again, connections to the conspiracy are slowly being revealed, Kopf is involved
Chapter 91 Terry's family is home
Chapter 92 riots and a verdict. Guilty. I was surprised
Chapter 93 - 94 post verdict, Terry's life is changing. If he takes Janet and Kopf's promotion and tuition to law school.
Chapter 95 riots
The news- headines for months, more evidence and freedom f or VJ when a confession clears him.
Epilogue Terry and VJ have that conversation about the past.


message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14974 comments Wow. The trial and aftermath were one wild ride. I found the trial details fascinating and Terry's story compelling and revealing of much human emotion.


message 4: by Russ (last edited Mar 08, 2016 04:15AM) (new)

Russ | 339 comments Ann wrote: "Wow. The trial and aftermath were one wild ride. I found the trial details fascinating and Terry's story compelling and revealing of much human emotion."

I enjoyed the trial, too. That was the best part of this section.


message 5: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 1320 comments I loved reading about Christines performance at the trial. However, like Terry I was disappointed in the prosecution. I expected more of a case from them - it was too easy. I guess that is what made the verdict so surprising. Someone mentioned the correlation to the OJ trial...maybe that is it...what we are seeing on the outside seems so obvious but its very different when you're sitting in that jury box.
It seems so surreal that this whole plot and all the additional murders were all to cover up evidence of one murder years ago.
I was glad that Terry finally came to the realization that his family is the most important acheivement in his life.


message 6: by Russ (new)

Russ | 339 comments What do you think about Terry staying on the firm & accepting the promotion?


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14974 comments Russ: I was torn about that. The reputation and brutal focus of the firm seemed toxic, but the tuition was a great offer. Terry obviously has an aptitude for investigations, and a focus on the law has rejuvenated his outlook. Janet is probably blackmailing Sid, so that adds an element of uncertainty that things will change under her leadership, but it's a big enough carrot to be worth it in my opinion.
Russ wrote: "What do you think about Terry staying on the firm & accepting the promotion?"


message 8: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 1320 comments Like Ann, I was torn with Terry's decision to stay. Disappointed, but believe the decision was realistic especially for Terry who wouldn't have much luck in the job market with his current skills. He often mentioned having to return to his clown suit. It sat better knowing that Sid was gone. I thought that Janet taking over was good thing, but Ann made a good point about what means did Janet use to push Sid out.


message 9: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14974 comments Was anyone else suspicious about Christine's sudden illness at the end of the trial? Mild suspicion, but when the story called attention to her taking a pill during a breakfast meeting with Terry it seemed significant. I wondered if Sid had hoped to blunt her impact.


message 10: by Jack (new)

Jack | 179 comments I was surprised with the way it ended too. The trial was great but Christine's stroke was sad although I think it was better for her to go without knowing she lost the case.
The way the story was concluded with the news articles was strange to me, how did it feel for anyone using audio books? I was expecting more twists, I actually thought it was going to be Melissa trying to get back at vj for his affairs and get him out of the picture. Then when she kept appearing with sid I thought maybe they were in it together, I was way off.
Is anyone else disappointed vjs fathers murder didn't get explained or get tied in somehow?
I agree dawn, I thought it was great for terry to move on, go back to his family and accept it was good that his life had turned out the way it had and now with a second chance at following his dream career.
I also think it was good terry forgave vj one he explained his side. It seemed so trivial in the end and i felt it was anticlimactic after so much of the novel highlighted how much he hated vj and blamed him for his struggles in life. I wonder how much the visit to his family put it in perspective, made him realise he had it good and should be proud to have escaped that future that all his family have got trapped in.
Russ, its a good dilemma terry had. I agree with Ann that I don't think he would have taken the Job if sid stayed on. It was his second chance to his dream career and gave his family more financial security but i wonder if he will keep his head or go off the rails if difficult cases come along similar to this one.
It is set up to become a series I think so maybe we will find out what the author has install for him.


message 11: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14974 comments Jack- good question about the headlines section near the end and how they translated on the audio. I had seen that section briefly in the hardback as I checked on the chapters to set up the segments so I was expecting them. The way the dates were conveyed I was able to follow them. If I hadn't had knowledge of them I might not have "gotten it" though. They did speed the ending along.


message 12: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8262 comments Ann wrote: "Was anyone else suspicious about Christine's sudden illness at the end of the trial? Mild suspicion, but when the story called attention to her taking a pill during a breakfast meeting with Terry i..."

Yes, when she collapsed I thought that was suspicious at best or heavyhanded on the part of the author at worst. I couldn't think of why she would be a target at that late moment, though, but it was just too much on top of everything else. Ann, when you point to her taking a pill, do you mean you think she caused her own collapse?


message 13: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8262 comments Russ wrote: "Ann wrote: "Wow. The trial and aftermath were one wild ride. I found the trial details fascinating and Terry's story compelling and revealing of much human emotion."

I enjoyed the trial, too. That..."


I enjoyed the trial too. Courtroom scenes just fascinate me, and when reading about a British court I'm always interested in the differences from the US court system.

I was surprised/disappointed in the verdict, I thought the defense poked so many holes in the prosecution's case it didn't fit. Christine especially picked apart DI Carol Reed's testimony around the room entry, the bed turndown, etc.


message 14: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8262 comments Russ wrote: "What do you think about Terry staying on the firm & accepting the promotion?"

I was torn as well, but ultimately I thought it was an offer too good to refuse, and Terry was not that upstanding that he would be the one to turn it down. But like the rest of you I wondered about the relationships in the firm in the aftermath, with all the corruption Syd enacted, and Janet's likely involvement in covering it up and using it to her advantage.

There was a moement when I thought Terry might blow the whistle, before he was offered the job that is.

I also wanted one final comeuppance moment with Adolph, his nemesis. There was a little satisfaction when we heard that her case had been overturned because the defendant was caught intimidating a witness, but I wanted some face-to-face action.


message 15: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8262 comments Jack wrote: "The way the story was concluded with the news articles was strange to me, how did it feel for anyone using audio books?..."
It felt to me a little bit of a rush job, like the case ended, VJ explained the past, and then the author had to tie up the loose ends quickly and did it through the news stories. I didn't have a problem following it on audio because the time frame was announced at the beginning and then through the headlines. It did seem kind of convenient that everything got uncovered accidentally, I would have expected Terry to play more of a role in bringing things to light, but I was so interested in finding out how it all resolved itself that I didn't mind it too much.


message 16: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8262 comments I was really taken aback by the conclusion to the stolen journal business -- I had been waiting the whole book to learn that detail and when it was revealed I was like "what?" That VJ couldn't find a more direct way of telling his very best friend since childhood that he was a mess and he'd better get his act together or VJ was done, just astonished me. But part of me says that was how VJ the man was starting to conduct himself, through manipulation and subterfuge.

It did also make me wonder, as others have suggested, whether VJ killed his dad after all, but we are left with our theories on that one.

It was also a bit much for the cop from the dad's murder investigation to show up at the end of the trial with an "I told you so!" to Terry.


message 17: by Ann (last edited Mar 11, 2016 04:54AM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14974 comments Carol: I wondered if someone swapped a pill (major conspiracy, but the hired Isreali team was quite lethal) I realize a stroke can come on quite quickly but she seemed in reasonably good health, then a major decline and the pill was "called out" or at least it struck me that it was mentioned with emphasis. A red herring perhaps. The methods for killing the others were different. And it didn't work, Chrustine got through the closing. But it seems to lack the fire of her earlier cross examination and defensive moves.

Carol/Bonadie wrote: "Yes, when she collapsed I thought that was suspicious at best or heavyhanded on the part of the author at worst. I couldn't think of why she would be a target at that late moment, though, but it was just too much on top of everything else. Ann, when you point to her taking a pill, do you mean you think she caused her own collapse? Ann wrote: "Was anyone else suspicious about Christine's sudden illness at the end of the trial? Mild suspicion, but when the story called attention to her taking a pill during a breakfast meeting ..."


message 18: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14974 comments Carol: I know!! The stolen journal that never existed and that VJ had forgotten. That was the kicker to me, he had to be reminded of it.
Terry's last eighteen years were impacted in a huge way from being kicked out of school and VJ assumed he would have been kicked out anyway and all the journal theft accusation did was distance Terry from VJ. Whatever happened to helping out a friend, not kicking them to the curb?
What a sleaze VJ was then and now, manipulative and only out for himself. So why did the story imply he had a heart of gold regarding the land for the Quakers and how he would help them. (If he got a chance) was that just smoke?
Carol/Bonadie wrote: "I was really taken aback by the conclusion to the stolen journal business -- I had been waiting the whole book to learn that detail and when it was revealed I was like "what?" That VJ couldn't find..."


message 19: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8262 comments Ann wrote: "What a sleaze VJ was then and now, manipulative and only out for himself. So why did the story imply he had a heart of gold regarding the land for the Quakers and how he would help them. (If he got a chance) was that just smoke? .."

Yeah, right? At that point I was starting to think there was hope for VJ to let more of that softer side emerge, but that's not gonna happen. Who knows what motivated that action, but it was an aberration as far as I can tell.

There was a part of me that hoped that he wasn't going to turn out to be guilty after all (remember our "unreliable narrator" comments in an earlier thread? That would have been just TOO ugly. I can still remember books where the author pulled that one on me, it is TRAUMATIZING! But I guess once Fabia turned up I could put that fear aside, she at least corroborated his story around their interaction, although I'm not sure that eliminated that possibility that he later murdered the other girl.


message 20: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14974 comments Wow Carol! I hadn't thought of that possibility. Could VJ have actually been the murderer turning the tables on the effects of the date rape drug to allow him to forget doing it when he was dosed in a much higher concentration?
It still seems like the set-up involved the murder to frame him, but it is food for thought and could have left doubt on the jury deliberations. I don't know that they got a good picture of the frame-up, just alternative possibilities to cast doubt.


message 21: by Russ (new)

Russ | 339 comments Some very creative alternative solutions have been presented on this discussion board! I think the point raised by Jack and others about VJ's wife Melissa is quite plausible. In retrospect it is curious why Christine or Janet didn't have Melissa scrutinized.

Personally I would have investigated Richard, the husband from the hen party that Evelyn was stalking, more thoroughly. He had a new marriage to protect from an unlikeable stalker.

I'm a bit surprised that Ahmad Sihl turned out to be completely blameless and even helpful to VJ's defense. He seemed shady from the outset.


message 22: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1229 comments Russ wrote: "Some very creative alternative solutions have been presented on this discussion board!

Personally I would have investigated Richard, the husband from the hen party that Evelyn was stalking, more thoroughly. He had a new marriage to protect from an unlikeable stalker."


I agree. For a time I thought he definitely would be in the frame somehow.


message 23: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14974 comments Agreed Russ, not only did Ahmad Sihl seem shady, but the set-up prior to his testimony "for the prosection" seemed to be leading somewhere....in the end he merely seemed a vehicle for revealing details of the use of escorts by VJ. The same could probably be said of Evelyn's friends. ( a vehicle for details)

Russ wrote: "I'm a bit surprised that Ahmad Sihl turned out to be completely blameless and even helpful to VJ's defense. He seemed shady from the outset.."


message 24: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 1320 comments That is one of my complaints...things fell in place too easily toward the end.
Ann wrote: "Agreed Russ, not only did Ahmad Sihl seem shady, but the set-up prior to his testimony "for the prosection" seemed to be leading somewhere....in the end he merely seemed a vehicle for revealing det..."


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