Shadow of Power by Steve Martini

shadowReviewed by Jud Hanson

Fewer words in the English language are more volatile than “slavery.” So when scholar and wanna-be celebrity Terry Scarborough announces to the world that he has a secret letter from Thomas Jefferson that could turn US History on its head, passions run high across the country. When the son of a friend is charged with Scarborough’s brutal murder, attorney Paul Madriani takes the case because he believes there may be more to it than meets the eye. Is the so-called “Jefferson Letter” authentic and if so, what does it say? Madriani must dig deep to find out the truth and prevent the division of the nation and an innocent man from execution.

Paul Madriani is one of my favorite characters and Shadow of Power is another engaging novel featuring this clever attorney. I’ve always been a big fan of legal thrillers and Martini does a superb job of chronicling the trial which is the focus of the book. While allowing for literary license, the trial portion of the book is convincing with its realistic portrayal of a trial connected to a hot button issue like slavery. Martini definitely deserves to be mentioned in the company of Turow, Tanenbaum and Grisham.

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