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Publisher's Summary

A premier adult community with everything you could possibly want, need, or dream of doing in your retirement years is just a golf cart ride away - now the scene of a murder.

In this John Grisham-style mystery, Matt Royal, the retired lawyer turned beach bum is called back into the courtroom to defend his girlfriend J. D. Duncan's Aunt Esther, who lives in the sprawling North Central Florida retirement community of The Villages. A best-selling author has been murdered after a book signing, and Aunt Esther has been arrested. Matt has a history with the local sheriff - one which may not bode well for his client.

Matt reluctantly suits up for the courtroom, and J. D. takes a leave from the police department to go undercover. A bizarre specter from the past haunts their investigation every step of the way. As they delve further into the case, the pieces of the puzzle refuse to fall into any kind of coherent pattern. Jock Algren arrives with his special skill set to expose the real murderer and free Aunt Esther, but to no avail. Not until the case goes to trial and the evidence is revealed does the truth emerge - and a strange kind of justice prevails.

©2018 H. Terrell Griffin (P)2018 H. Terrell Griffin

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 04-28-18

Matt Royal legal mysteries are always excellent!

Vindication, the most recent release, is Book 11 in the Matt Royal series by attorney H. Terrell Griffin. Unfortunately, only six of the 11 novels are available in audio format. Vindication is an excellent legal thriller with a superb plot and and lots of courtroom action. Like all novels in the Matt Royal series it is set in Longboat Key, Florida (central gulf coast near Sarasota). Matt Royal is a rather young and wealthy retired lawyer who seeks to avoid the courtroom, but he is never successful. In this book he is defending the aunt to his girlfriend (and police detective) J. D. Duncan. The old lady is accused of murder. As usual for him Matt Royal uses his legal skills along with some behavior which is less than legal. Steven Roy Grimsley narrates all audio books in the series. Grimsley voice and style are perfect for the series. If you enjoy legal thrillers, especially light and fun ones, the Matt Royal series is worth checking out.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another good Matt Royal adventure

I love this series because the characters are familiar and easy to love. Narration is always superb. I had technical difficulties with it though and when I called the girl could barely speak English and couldn't understand what the problem was. I THINK I heard the whole book but am not sure. If everything is working you will enjoy the story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jay
  • Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
  • 04-05-18

Totally Enjoyed

This is the second Griffin novel that my wife and I have listened to on our ride back from the Longboat Key area in Florida to New Hampshire. We totally enjoyed it and it kept our interest throughout. The story is enhanced by reference to places we are familiar with at Longboat, Sarasota and the Villages. And, the courtroom drama gave this book some added appeal.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve
  • ROCKFORD, TN, United States
  • 06-29-18

Matt and JD take on Killers in The Villages

Matt Royal books are a fun fast ride that have proven to be quite popular among author, H Terrell Griffin's, growing fan base. This one, "Vindication" is the second of Matt's sagas that take place in a courtroom setting (the other being "Chasing Justice") where he leaves beach bummery temporarily behind to pull a friend out of the frying pan with his superior tribunal skills. Courtroom dialogue is always fun and really moves the drama along. Expectantly, "Vindication" moves quickly and, as usual, is expertly told by veteran narrator, Steven Roy Grimsley, who's provided the spoken word on all 9 of Matt Royal's mysteries. (Two early Matt Royal books have yet to be made into audiobooks, he said breathlessly.) So, for those who enjoy regional mystery writers and their book's protagonists, aka Matt Royal, from the Florida Gulf Coast, Matt Royal Mysteries are a great beach read/listen especially with all the local geographical references.

I had the unfortunate experience of reading a lengthy trash review of this audiobook in which the author of said review must have spent an hour or two writing it up. My philosophy is when you hear a book you don't like, for any reason, why waste an hour or more trashing that book in a review? Why not just turn it back into Audible, get your credit, and move on to an audiobook you find more to your liking. It took me 5 minutes to write up this review. Do you think for a minute I'd spend an hour trashing an audiobook I didn't like? I could have on many occasions, but why? My philosophy is, let the author, his fans and the narrator have their day. I don't have time for such insidious silliness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

basic, Junior High stuff,

I actually like the idea of the whole book I read the one before this but it was too Elementary just not enough substance and you can almost tell it was going to happen next and I don't need to have a guy tell me all about the legal system wasn't necessary sorry

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unbearable - on so many levels

I have read or listened to several of the "Matt Royal" series and liked them. This was just so bad, so I gave up after only 17 chapters. The narration by Steven Grimsley is horrible, particularly when voicing female characters. His inflection is just odd and his "pre-cise art-ticu-lation of each word is an-noy-ing" Just read and stop trying for the actors award.
But, the story itself is what makes it a deal breaker for me. Starting with the horrible dialogue and moving right on through the characters and absurd story-line, there is just nothing that makes me want to find out who the killer is.
The story revolves around a murder at the well known, cult like, retirement mega-town of The Villages in Florida. The entire story is like the Anti-Advertisement for buying a house in The Villages with pages and pages of descriptions of activities and life in The Villages. In The Villages, we have "Driveway Parties" that are hosted by various residents of The Villages. -Have you gotten tired of my writing THE VILLAGES for this review yet? Well, that is this story. Over and Over again it details life in The Villages reinforcing ALL of the reasons I will NEVER join that senior living cult.
In any case, the murder of a writer on a book signing tour leads police to arrest a woman in her mid-60's and charge her with 2nd degree murder. The accused, as novel luck always has it, is the Aunt of our hero, Matt Royal's darling, honey, sweet heart, TMI girlfriend/local cop.
So here is where the story turns just so dumb I can't take it. First the police arrest the Aunt for murder, but the body wasn't killed where it was found in the middle of one of the many town squares that make up "The Villages". When Matt Royal gets to The Villages to defend his girlfriend's Aunt, he sees the video cameras in and around the Square where the body was found. Then, because he is a perfect schmoozer and all around perfect guy, he comes upon a witness that tells him about a vehicle speeding out of town at 6:00 A.M right before the body is found. Matt Royal, genius attorney is the first to realize that MAYBE they can find video of whoever dumped the body. Right, because the police would NEVER think to do that before arresting a little old lady for murder. Oh, and of course, the police must ignore the obvious question of how a little old lady dumps a body in the town square by herself. And hours after a body is dumped, police arrest said little old lady before the autopsy is even done.
Then we have a long discussion between Matt Royal and the female prosecutor who is just the ideal perfect prosecutor, pretty and honest, about charging a murder 2nd and not a murder 1st because "that is what seems to be the right and honest thing to do based on the evidence" at that point. WHAT EVIDENCE? At that point they don't have anything but a dead bod, and certainly nothing that would lead anyone to believe it WASN'T a Murder 1. A crime writing novelist is found shot ONCE in the BACK at 6:00 A.M. in The Villages town square where she has clearly been DUMPED and the weapon is a .22 caliber pistol. What in that "evidence" screams No Premeditation murder 2? And these are the best points in the mystery.
Then, just to add insane to implausible, the GREAT Matt Royal decides that the only way to get at the truth and learn what really happened in this RETIREMENT VILLAGE of 70,000 Sexagenarians, Septuagenarians, and Octogenarians - is to have his girlfriend, the trained police officer take a one month "leave of absence" to go "UNDERCOVER" in The Villages. Those devious old people are just too slick for straight forward door to door questioning. They go so far as to plot a back story for her (she is assuming the role of a divorcee niece of a resident in The Villages who if anyone is clever enough to do a background check, the story will look legit), have her hair cut and dyed, and avoid contacts with Royal. REALLY? WHY? In the story, his girlfriend has only been to the villages a couple times years ago. Why would you need some elaborate "Undercover Operation" as if you are trying to penetrate the Sinaloa Cartel? And really, cops and great lawyers need to go undercover to get the truth for those hardened criminal types that live in the RETIREMENT COMMUNITY? And why exactly would an entire community band together to cover for a murderer? For that matter, what retiree in The Villages is so good at lying that they have to be tricked into giving up the goods on ANYTHING much less a murder investigation. And of course, mind you, at the point Royal enlists 3 or 4 people into his "undercover operation" the murder is hours old and NO ONE has indicated a great conspiracy of silence that requires subterfuge to break it.
The dialogue is horrible and it is used to explain "legal concepts" or words that the hero uses or investigative tactics and phrases used by his cop girlfriend. The result of the choice is that you end up with a lawyer having a discussion with another lawyer (prosecutor) and going into lengthy and strained conversations about a particular pleading or filing that is planed, which would NEVER happen since both people in the conversation are lawyers and know what a "pleading" is. At one point, Royal is explaining "Discovery" to the prosecutor as if this were a little known defense tactic and the prosecutor "suggesting" to Royal he file a court order and then detailing what that is. But all of this takes place as if it is a perfectly normal conversation. It would be like your walking into a dentist's office and having a whole conversation with him about what dentures are.
Last it is the character development, and the Matt Royal character in particular. I do not recall in previous books (it's been a while or me) that the character was just so lame (and the narration only adds to that quality). The only simile that I can offer is that Matt Royal is like a character written by a fat lonely middle aged under employed guy living single in his mother's basement. The sad sack writer projects onto the protagonist what the loser wishes himself to be. So, the hero lawyer of the story is a tall, brilliant, clever, funny, guy that makes all other attorneys wish they were him and all women he passes wish they had him. He is so rich he of course doesn't need to work but sets that aside as he is the only lawyer that can save the day. The hero is just too perfect making him glaringly absurd.
In the end, I think I have listened to my last book read by Steven Roy Grimsley and definitely the last Matt Royal "mystery". This was just too bad to be redeemed in future editions.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful