With "Undue Influence", Steve Martini has penned a third successful entry in the Paul Madriani franchise first introduced in "Compelling Evidence" and "Prime Witness".
Paul's wife, Nikki, pleaded with him as she lay dying of cancer to take care of her younger sister, Laurel Vega. Laurel and her ex-husband, state legislator, Jack Vega, have been warring with one another in a no-holds-barred nasty custody battle. When Jack's new trophy wife is murdered, the motive and all of the physical evidence seems to point to Laurel as the murderer. Against his own best legal judgment, Paul Madriani remains true to the wishes of his dead wife and assumes responsibility for Laurel Vega's defense against the charge of first-degree murder.
Like every great legal thriller, Martini fills your cup to the brim and positively overflows it with the subtle nuances of courtroom warfare and drama - dialogue, tricks, legalese, motions, delays, recesses, evidence, juries, objections, sidebars and processes. Martini unfolds a great plot with a superb ending twist in the courtroom environment and proves, as his colleague John Grisham said, that he is master of the legal thriller genre.