Regular price: $19.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Deep in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains sits a mansion, its image reflected perfectly on the still water of Flat Lake. Inside that estate are the savagely murdered bodies of a wealthy elderly couple.

All evidence points to Jonathan - their mentally handicapped twenty-eight-year-old grandson - but Matt Fielder, his appointed defense lawyer, isn't convinced. While Fielder is pretty sure Jonathan committed the killings, Jonathan's childlike understanding of the world renders it nearly impossible for him to have done it out of greed or malice. Now Fielder must fight the prosecution's campaign for the death penalty, but as he scours Jonathan's past for anything that will help their case, he uncovers a cache of dark family secrets that turn the case in a shocking and unexpected new direction.

When his first novel, Felony Murder, was published, Publishers Weekly called Klempner "a writer to watch." Now, Klempner is better than ever - that rare novelist with both an insider's knowledge of the world he writes about, and a talent for intelligent, compelling storytelling.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    36
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Way more people should read this book.

This is a terrific book. It's really too bad that so few readers have found it, because it is full of enjoyable characters, a terrific plot, and an ending which will truly shock you. Matt Fielder, the lawyer who represents Jonathan Hamilton, is a fine lawyer who sticks to his beliefs and will not give up for any reason. Jonathan is being charged with the gruesome murders of his grandparents, with whom he lives in an old mansion on Flat Lake, in Ottawa, New York. This is very upstate. Gil Cavanaugh is the DA who is charging Jonathan with first degree murder, with the death penalty as a possible sentence. The case draws a great deal of attention in the small towns in the rural area. Matt is the primary character in the book, and he is very likable. He has taken on a difficult client. Jonathan is quite disabled, perhaps retarded, perhaps autistic, but in any case he is uncommunicative in the extreme. Matt knows virtually no one in the community, and so he has to work very hard to get to know all of the people and the factors involved in defending his client.
The book slows down a bit toward the and, but not all that much. I won't spoil the ending for you, as it is just flat-out fantastic. No one I know could possibly predict it with any confidence, but it is very satisfying. Great endings are very hard to write, and many good books falter at the end. This one does not.
Matt assembles a good team. The DA is a terrific politician, whose re-election depends on the outcome in this case, so he pulls no punches in trying to convict Jonathan. The atmosphere is also terrific: It is winter in northern New York State, and the elements combine to make Matt's job even harder than it otherwise would be. Both the author and the narrator are gifted. The book held my interest very well. There is no trial, which is a good and rare thing in the world of legal thrillers: most books in this arena spend way too much time on the details of a trial, which are actually as boring as they can possibly be. The book focusses on the pre-trial maneuvering, which is quite suspenseful.
I recommend this book very highly. Mr. Klempner deserves a much bigger audience. I hope that more Audible readers find him. You will not be disappointed.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 04-16-18

A haunting murder mystery

Flat Lake in Winter, first released in 1999, is a murder mystery that contains far too little action and suspense to be classified as a thriller. But it is an interesting and compelling story of damaged siblings from a horribly dysfunctional family. I did not enjoy the novel, but it is not intended to be enjoyed. There is a major plot twist at the end, but that cannot be a major surprise considering the family dynamics. People who like very dark psychological mysteries are most likely to find this novel to fit their taste. Narration is excellent.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 05-17-18

As Good As It Gets

1. Lettuce get this out of the way first: James Klempner is a terrific technician. He's got the chops to wrap a murder story tighter than a DVD.
2. James Klempner fiddles with enigmas. He wraps this tale around a seemingly simple question that has a couple of correct answers: They're both disturbing.
3. In Flat Lake in Winter, Klempner hauls us along the line between passion and reason.

He's so authentic that, for a lot of chapters, I really thought this was a true crime story.But the niggling clues dribbled out of hiding to reveal a crafty legal/murder/mental - well - conundrum. Here's a good story, well crafted, with just enough complexity to make me want to unravel it...

4. Yep, liked this book a lot. And George Newbern's as competent and creative as Klempner. They make this as good as mystery-stuff gets.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Some family relationships should not be...

This is my forth Joseph T. Klempner book and for now my last one on Audible (I hope there are more). I thoroughly have enjoyed all of his books.
This is a very good book with a very difficult subject to review without giving anything away. Basically there is a very wealthy dysfunctional family. Dad is uninvolved, mom is closet alcoholic. Now add three beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed children, the youngest showed signs of fetal alcohol effects with intellectual deficits. Include guilt, isolation, incest and a pregnancy and you have one gritty story that kicks off right from chapter one.
The two older children leave home as soon as they are able. There is a suspicious fire and the parents die. Then the grandparents are brutally murdered and the youngest son is arrested. Enter the protagonist Matt Fielder, who is a very nonjudgmental attorney whose ethics ride an internal roller coaster.
This book deals with some uncomfortable topics and unfortunately it has that "truth is stranger than fiction" feel to it. Very good book with an ending that is slightly predictable but well worth a listen.
George Newbern does a very good job narrating. I especially liked his interpretation of Matt when he questions his own judgment.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Vicki
  • Montpelier, VA, United States
  • 05-31-17

There's no real story here

The premise of the book is good but the telling of the story leaves a lot to be desired.

For starters, there are comments made in the beginning of the book about the investigation procedures indicating that this or that would be questioned later....but none of those things ever come up again.

Add in a lazy attorney who simply wants to have sex with every single woman he meets and drops working on his case for days at a time while he's off having a good time and it's a very weak story with some ridiculous story angles and dialogue.

The narrator is the only thing holding this story together. George Newbern is the only thing that kept me in to the finish.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

gripping

great narration and an interesting story. warning- if you listen to this to try to take your mind off the Supreme Court, there is a character with the same last name as our last "justice" and described as a friend of the NRA and very conservative . it's a good book, but not the refuge I was hoping for.