So what happens when a forensics expert decides to become the judge and jury instead of just reporting the facts? That's the premise of Phillip Margolin's latest novel, Proof Positive. Definitely makes you think...
A homeless person, suffering from mental issues, is accused of a rather gruesome murder that nearly appears to be an open-and-shut case. His attorney has that small voice that says she believes that he didn't do it, but the evidence is overwhelming. Meanwhile, her father is defending a crime boss's muscle who's been accused of murdering a junkie tied to a rival. Again, the evidence points directly to the accused, but there's still the insistence that he didn't do it. When they start comparing notes and poking at the few open issues, they discover a common thread... the same forensic expert for the State is involved in all the cases. When an additional lawyer brings in a case that bears the same characteristics, the pressure starts to build and people start dying to cover up the truth... whatever it may be.
I like Margolin's writing a lot... The pacing in Proof was good, and the premise was a bit different than stories I've read of late. What *would* happen if a criminologist went bad and started determining who should and shouldn't be innocent or guilty? I'll also confess to a certain bias towards his novels because they are all set in my home town of Portland Oregon. Reading a story and visualizing each location exactly as it exists always adds an element of enjoyment for me...
A great summer read, and one that should appeal to anyone who is hooked on the CSI-style shows currently in vogue on network TV.
The handling - and mishandling - of forensic evidence take center stage in Proof Positive. Evidence tampering, wrongful convictions and executions, and flagrant cover-ups converge to destroy lives, and the perpetrator of all this mayhem is supposed to be one of the good guys. When a co-worker becomes suspicious, he stops at nothing to preserve his own reputation and career. Author Margolin fields a huge cast of characters in this novel, which occasionally causes confusion. The pace is brisk, but … more
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
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