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Publisher's Summary

I was just sitting in the car.

In the eighth installment of New York Times best-selling author Sheldon Siegel's iconic San Francisco series, Mike Daley and ex-wife Rosie Fernandez face new challenges and stare down old demons as they return to work at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office where they had started their careers and their relationship 20 years earlier. Mike and Rosie are now the co-heads of the Felony Division, where they spend more time running the office and supervising younger attorneys than trying cases. That changes quickly when Mike is visited by Melinda Nguyen, whose son, Thomas, a high school senior, is about to go on trial for murder. Thomas has been arrested under California's archaic felony murder rule, which says you can be can be convicted of first degree murder if you're present when someone is killed during the course of a felony, even if you don't pull the trigger. The charge against Thomas shows the limits of this legal doctrine. He was sitting outside in the car when a friend entered a liquor store in San Francisco's teeming Tenderloin District and allegedly flashed a gun. The shopkeeper pulled out an AR-15 and calmly filled the alleged robber's chest with bullets. Thomas is charged with murder even though he never entered the store.

Thomas fires his original lawyer on the eve of trial after she recommends a plea bargain. With nowhere else to turn, his mother petitions for help from the Public Defender's Office, and Mike agrees to handle the trial scheduled to start four days later. As the evidence mounts against Thomas, it tests Mike and Rosie's legal skills and relationship. Their stress is compounded by the fact that Thomas and his mother may have a connection to Mike's older brother, Tommy, who died in Vietnam.

©2017 Sheldon M. Siegel, Inc. (P)2017 Sheldon M. Siegel, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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You Don't Have To Pull The Trigger!!

This novel is about the efforts of Mike and Rosie to save the life of young Thomas, a high school teenager, from being convicted of first degree murder... a crime he did not commit. It seems that Thomas didn't even know that his friend had a gun, which is one of the pieces of evidence that adds to the interest and mystery of this story. As the evidence mounts against Thomas, this case tests Mike and Rosie's legal skills and their relationship with each other.
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This is a very interesting story with believable characters and Mike's sense of humor provides the listener some relief from the tension as the story builds.

Tim Campbell's narration is very good.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • tallevast, FL, United States
  • 06-15-17

Every book after # 1 is a repeat

1 and done for this author. The first book was fun to listen to. I have listened to book 6 and tried to listen to this book but cannot continue.

1 - 6- 8 All have a gun with fingerprints as one of the red herrings. At least there was a borderline explanation in book 1.. book 6 was a planted gun with fingerprints & Book 8 we are back to the same explanation as book 1

This book kept repeating itself over and over to fill pages. The same question asked to different witnesses gave us the same answer over and over again.

A talented writer filling pages to fulfill contract obligations I'm sure... I guess there is no patience to write something with substance anymore.

J

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Good legal mystery; not really a thriller.

This is an short entry in the series, just a little more than 7 hours long (320 pages in paperback) and is one of Siegel's best (of the four in this series I've read.) The set-up and time frame is a little far-fetched, but how many times have I said that "truth is stranger than fiction"? So I had no difficulty in suspending disbelief for the purposes of listening to the book. It is a good legal mystery, although the outcome was never really in doubt (at least, not in my mind.) The Five W's were sufficient to sustain my interest. Tim Campbell's reading is excellent, although not exceptional.

This story deals with two issues in the life of the unlikely duo Daley/Fernandez: (1) the "California felony murder rule", and (2) what ultimately happened to Mike's older brother Tom, whose plane was shot down in Vietnam. In case you think that the felony murder rule is confined to crazy Californians, be aware that it exists in some form in 46 states as well as in some other countries. For good reason, IMO; the general rule is that if a murder is committed in the course of a felony, it doesn't really depend on which of the perpetrators actually did the deed, they are all equally responsible. However, the law has frequently been written so that it can be applied too broadly, as is explained and demonstrated in this novel. For example, in the case in point, it can even apply if none of the perpetrators committed a murder, but one of them is killed!

As for details of this and the second issue, there are lots of other four- and five-star reviews that you can read here and on Goodreads or Amazon, and since I agree with most, I will not repeat their sentiments. To those readers/reviewers who may be skeptical that the "felony murder rule" would not apply in this case, I remind them that Sheldon Siegel is a long-practicing attorney in San Francisco. On his web site, he even comments on the rule and may respond to your questions.

I would strongly encourage you not to start the series with this book unless the only thing you care about is the legal issue.

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Enjoyable Legal Twist

I really enjoy these Daley/Fernandez books though I wish they stayed in private law practice. The narrator is superb and believable as the voice of many characters. I will listen to all books in this series. I rated two books (Confession and Incriminating Evidence) as 4 1/2 stars though i had to pick 5 as no 1/2stzrs are allowed.

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 04-29-17

Wonderful legal thriller!!

The publisher's summary is nicely done and I have nothing to add about the story. Felony Murder Rule is at least as good as any of the many legal thrillers I have read. It is also very inexpensive ($3) when purchased using Whispersync for Voice at Amazon. Tim Campbell's narration is superb. Felony Murder Rule is the 8th novel in Sheldon Siegel's Mile Daley & Rosie Fernandez series.

6 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Felony Murder Rule

Oh my stars!!!!! I want more! Please write more.
Truly a wonderful story and I had tears at the end! Thank you!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Judith
  • 10-30-17

Formulaic?

I have enjoyed all of this series, having listened to them in order. I'm unsure why they aren't more popu or lar. If you like John Grisham, Adam Mitzner or Victor Methos you will enjoy these books. However, this one is beginning to feel a bit formulaic so maybe just the first 7 in the series!