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Publisher's Summary

On the surface, the court-appointed case that lands on young Dean Abernathy's desk is a biggie; he is slated to defend a homeless man accused of the felony murder of the popular black New York City Police commissioner during an early-morning mugging attempt. But at second look, the case promises to be a routine conviction. The evidence is overwhelming. The police have come up with an eyewitness, they have physical evidence, and Joey Spadafino has given the arresting officers a signed confession.

Dean's course seems obvious: Get Joe Spadafino, an ex-con, to plead guilty, bargain for the most lenient sentence possible, and figure you can't win 'em all.

Before he can talk to his client about a plea bargain, however, he finds that the prosecutor has already offered one - which Joey refuses. Dean, not only a conscientious defense attorney but a former investigator, starts looking harder at the seemingly incontrovertible evidence.

What he turns up changes a foregone conclusion into something very different. The district attorney, although outwardly cooperative, seems to be trying to keep Dean from interviewing the eyewitness - and the reason becomes apparent when Dean, challenged, digs deeper into her background. Anomalies and discrepancies in the government's case crop up.

Dean realizes that he is drawing closer to a particularly nasty truth, one that not only puts his life and those of others in immediate peril but confronts him with a moral dilemma that is even more difficult to face.

©2016 Joseph T. Klempner (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 11-22-17

Engaging Premise If You Like Conundrums

Clever plot, well written. Wish Klemper had not abruptly shifted from showing to telling in an unnecessarily long epilogue. There is a ton of interesting but not plot-advancing detail in the first two-thirds here, that makes this book so long - detail that could easily have been edited out in order to allow a reader-satisfying denouement as the plot continued into revealing the consequences of actions upon the appropriate characters. Instead, all of this was stuffed into one long narration.

Okay, perhaps this was a first novel, but that's what editors are for. But an editor's blue pen could have allowed the author to continue what he does best and show us the consequences of actions through the emotions of the relevant characters. Pity... what was a very good book became less so.

Still, I'll follow Klempner and look for another Dean Abernathy book should Klempner write it. But then again, I love conundrums and this one at the heart of 'Felony Murder' coupled with the grit of Klempner's characters really works.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 04-14-18

Así así¡ (so so)

Felony Murder has been in my Audible library for 11 months. I tried to listen several times, but found it repetitive and boring. Now that I have listened to the entire novel I find that it has a excellent plot and narration is outstanding, but it is too repetitive and too slow developing. I have no issue with long audio books; I have many superb ones in my Audible library over 30 hours long and a few over 50 hours, yet at 13.4 hours Felony Murder begs to have the repetitiveness eliminated.

Felony Murder was first released in 1995 and finally released in audio early in May 2017.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Murder, Cover Ups and Conspiracies!

What other book might you compare Felony Murder to and why?

Can't say what other books I might compare this one to. Other authors though might be John Grisham or David Baldacci in their earlier years.

Which character – as performed by Peter Berkrot – was your favorite?

Peter Berkrot did a fantastic job narrating. His voice was perfect for this book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes but unless I sped the book up I couldn't and this was so good I just assumed to make it last.

Any additional comments?

This is such a good book. The story is so well developed and the characters are all so colorful. The police commissioner is robbed at knife point by a homeless man and dies from cardiac arrest, the homeless man is then charged with felony murder during the commission of a crime. Or so it seems...
The court appointed lawyer hero Dean Abernathy begins a half hearted investigation and begins turning up some facts that just don't jibe with the official reports. So of course he digs deeper and the can of worms he opens may end up killing him or the witness he is trying to protect. Somebody has already killed another witness and this web keeps growing and getting more complicated, but not unnecessarily so. The plot maintains a coherent storyline and is easily followed through each new discovery.
There is some humor and sarcasm that enhances it that much more.
This book has my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

28 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

For a legal thriller, a pretty wild ride.

If you could sum up Felony Murder in three words, what would they be?

I hate this question. If I said, "The Brady File," it would mean nothing to you, but once you had read the book, you would understand easily. These questions actually don't leave you any place to talk about your opinion of the book, which is truly weird. In any case...this book is the story of an attorney named Dean Abernathy, a client of his named Joey Spadifino, the murder of NYC Police Commissioner Edward Wilson, Dean's girlfriend Janet Killion, and a large cast of NYPD officers and others. The book does not include a long, boring trial section, which is good. It includes adventures that do not typically happen in a book like this. For instance, Dean is a rock climber who, near the end of the book, climbs a seven-story building in Hoboken, NJ, to rescue Janet, who is being kidnapped and held there by a conspiracy of cops. When they rappel down the building, Janet is naked and covered with soap, which is required so that she can escape through a tiny bathroom window. And there are many other thrills from beginning to end. You will enjoy this book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Felony Murder?

The scene I just mentioned, in which Dean climbs up a building, grabs Janet, and they rappel down. This is quite memorable, as is their love making shortly thereafter.

What about Peter Berkrot’s performance did you like?

Peter is very good at a whole number of facets of narrating. He sometimes gets too excited, but I forgive him that. His voice is easy to listen to. His ability to push the plot forward is excellent. He is able to voice several characters distinctly in a believable way.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I just can't do that. I did listen to it in a very short time, as we here in the SF Bay Area have been visited by a heat wave so extraordinary, such obvious proof of global warming, that I have had to stay inside in the air-conditioning for several days now. This book has been excellent company during that time.

Any additional comments?

Have fun. You don't need to love New York City to enjoy the book, although as is often the case, the city is an important character in the narrative.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

This Story Was Not For Me.


Some novels are not for everybody and this story was not for me. The story started well and the plot was interesting and I was well into it. Then a plot twist happened that disturbed me and shortly thereafter, I became irritated with the story. I listen to the end of the novel but by that time, I thought the story had spiraled downward into nonsense.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, great performance!

Peter Berkrot's performance of "Felony Murder" was excellent! His characters, voices and accents were just right and kept things interesting with out being cliche, too heavy, or over-baked. This is the first of Mr. Berkrot's narrations that I've had the pleasure of listening to, and it will not be my last. I'll be seeking out his others.

The story itself was good and compelling enough to keep me coming back. There is a plot hole or two and some devices used by the author were, I felt, over used, but it was still a fun story to enjoy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Well Done

This is an excellent legal mystery. Well written and performed even better. I would have given it a solid 4 stars but there was an excess of gratuitous sex.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

First novel problems?

This is my first try at a Klempner mystery. I love mysteries and am willing to tolerate a lot for a good story. I even listened to many hours of this novel, hoping it would eventually make sense. At least one third of this book should have been edited out. There are long sections that do not advance the plot and have to be slogged through to get back to the story. Eventually, however, the delaying tactics became just too annoying because they were illogical. I believe that other Klempner books have been well reviewed but I am too gun shy now to try any of them.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent read.

this was a great book. first time I read anything by this author and I found myself engaged and wanting to keep reading.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Don't waste your credit or your time

Awful... that about sums it up. The so called lawyer (main character) is so dense it's impossible to believe he could have got into a law school let alone pass the bar
The story drags on with so much trivial detail I'm sure I napped at times but I don't feel I missed anything
And the narrator sounds like he's speaking to a 1st grade class
Omg it was torture 😱