Mystery Writers of America Presents The Prosecution Rests

New Stories about Courtrooms, Criminals, and the Law
Length: 13 hrs and 36 mins
4 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Linda Fairstein, who "makes legal issues more exciting than any high-speed chase" (The New York Times), presents these thrilling stories of lawyers under pressure, criminals facing the needle, and heartbroken families who hope for justice and who sometimes take it into their own hands.

In James Grippando's "Death, Cheated", a lawyer defends his ex-girlfriend against the investors who bet $1.5 million on her death. In Barbara Parker's "A Clerk's Life", a disillusioned clerk at a corporate law firm suspects the worst of his colleagues when one of the firm's employees is murdered. In Phyllis Cohen's "Designer Justice", an accused murderer thinks he's lucked out when he lands a high-priced lawyer, only to learn that there are worse fates than being found guilty.

This collection - filled with shocking twists, double-crosses, and edge-of-your-seat suspense - includes "The Secret Session", by Edward D. Hoch; "Designer Justice", by Phyllis Cohen; "Follow Up", by Jo Dereske; "By Hook or by Crook", by Charlie Drees; "The Letter", by Eileen Dunbaugh; "Spectral Evidence", by Kate Gallison; "Knife Fight", by Joel Goldman; "Death, Cheated", by James Grippando; "My Brother's Keeper", by Daniel J. Hale; "The Flashlight Game", by Diana Hansen-Young; "Mom Is My Co-Counsel", by Paul Levine; "Quality of Mercy", by Leigh Lundin; "The Mother", by Michele Martinez; "Red Dog", by Anita Page; "A Clerk's Life", by Barbara Parker; "Time Will Tell", by Twist Phelan; "The Evil We Do", by John Walter Putre; "Night Court", by S. J. Rozan; "Hard Blows", by Morley Swingle; "Custom Sets", by Joseph Wallace; "Bang", by Angela Zeman; and "Going Under", by Linda Fairstein.

©2009 Mystery Writers of America (P)2009 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A stellar anthology…. consistently high quality." ( Publishers Weekly)

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A Fight Club Plot Twist. Really.

I wanted to like this collection. I really really did. I have a love of the law, its intricacy and its machinations, it’s history and its weight and solemnity when you pass the courthouse. I wish this was a reverence that the authors of “The Prosecution Rests” shared.

What we have are a collection of cliched, paper thin stories with uninteresting characters. In at least four stories in the collection, the same last minute plot twist of a hidden recording is revealed, making all of the clever plot work to that point moot. When someone isn’t wearing a wire, they’re ripping off Hitchcock’s Double Indemnity, Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, or, yes Fight Club.

The narrators are a mixed bag. None of them stood out to me, except for when they put on atrocious southern accents for the obligatory Southern Gothic stories. There was one narrator of a story set in the UP who knew when to go onto regional accents, but he was a pleasant island of subtly in a sea of cliche.

The greatest sin of this collection is that almost all of the protagonists treat the law as an inconvenience, a burden, something to work around rather than to uphold. Public defenders that work to send their clients to jail for as long as possible, crime victims going to elaborate lengths for private revenge, and at least two lawyers in two separate stories who said, in a more or less direct quote, that family was more important than true law.

Unoriginal and disappointing, which wears its self-righteousness like a badge of pride. That’s my opinion of this anthology.

The defense rests.

2 people found this helpful

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No Reasonable Doubt Here

I know, we're supposed to hear all the evidence before we reach a decision . . . but I felt morally compelled to stop when I realized, after the first story, that I'd be returning the book to the Penitentiary of Refunds.

It was. . an implausible, uninteresting story made up of cartoon-like characters lacking in even rudimentary skills of deduction. The idea that an editor would select such a yarn, from the hundreds or thousands available, is bad enough. To put it first in the series of stories is astoundingly bad judgment.

Not sure what it means, but I also found it a bit peculiar that although the editor is described as being a best-selling author of legal thrillers, my search on audible found nothing under her name but this sad volume.

3 people found this helpful

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some stories made no sense

even after listening to the stories over again, the ones that made no sense, it still did not make any sense so I did not appreciate that. I've listened to all of Linda fairstein audio books and totally enjoyed them all, but this mystery writers audio book was not as great as I thought it would be with stories
from different authors

1 person found this helpful