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Plea Of Insanity (2008)

Plea of Insanity (2008)

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3.79 of 5 Votes: 5
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0141024593 (ISBN13: 9780141024592)
penguin books

About book Plea Of Insanity (2008)

3 StarsI think there are possibly more editions of this book, because the plot outline I'd originally read for this book did not match up with everything I read in the book. I think that this edition has been edited from a previous edition. The edition I read was a Kindle version published in 2008 by Thomas & Mercer. My review is for this edition and no others.The story revolves around Assistant States Attorney Julia Vacanti, a young prosecuting attorney in Miami Florida. She's a B trial lawyer. She handles domestic abuse, drug charges and lesser felonies. She seems to be a rising star in the States Attorney Office and a bane to many judges and defense attorneys. She has caught the eye of Rick Bellido, he is THE star of the office. He tries all the big cases and is in line for the top spot. And it doesn't hurt that he's both easy to look at and they have a budding office romance. Inexplicably, Rick gives her the chance of a lifetime. The case that could make her career.David Marquette, young and successful surgeon is accused of murdering his wife and children. His influential parents have pulled together an impressive legal team and their defense is that he was suffering a psychotic break and is not guilty by reason of insanity. David, according to family and experts, was an undiagnosed schizophrenic and his mental illness caused him to to take the lives of his family.For Julia, this case is close, too close. She has a secret that no one knows about. Her brother, Andrew, took the lives of her parents 15 years earlier. He was later diagnosed as schizophrenic and his mental illness is what caused him to lose touch with reality and take the lives of those closest to him. Julia survived only because she was not home that night and has spent the last 15 years trying to forget.I did have some issues with the story, mainly with Julia. She should have recused herself from the trial, there was a true conflict of interest here and it became nearly debilitating as the trial went on. What could have been a cathartic experience seemed to make Julia weaker and even less sure of herself. The addition of her to the trial team didn't really make sense either. The only explanation that the reader can truly come to is her romantic involvement with the lead attorney. That sadly diminishes Julia somewhat.I wish there was less backstory and information about Julia, and more trial scenes. Even more scenes with the accused, David Marquette. I think more attention could have been paid to him and his story. I enjoyed his parts in the novel more than I did Julia's internal struggle. You were left with many questions about David. Is he really insane? Is he a psychopath? A sociopath? Is he really schizophrenic? I think so much was left unsaid on his side of the story that it actually took away from the book.I put this solidly in the middle of the rating scale because it was still an enjoyable read. I just wish Julia had been a little stronger and more attention had been paid to David. I have heard good things about this particular author, and I think I'll be looking into some of her other works too.

I gave this book 3 stars because it was an interesting if not original storyline. Young prosecutor gets the chance of a career to second-chair on a grisly case of a Dr. who murders his family and then claims insanity. We don't know if she was picked because she honestly has a "gift" as the lead prosecutor tells her or whether it has more to do with the fact that he's sleeping with her.The story moves along well and clearly the author has knowledge of this environment of DA's and murder cases. But towards the end of the book, the author makes the lead character do something so idiotic that I ended up being irritated and disappointed overall. Up until then the author does a decent job of getting the reader to pull for the rookie prosecutor, despite her tragic past that is clearly too close to her current case, her frequent bouts of crying, and her stupidity in sleeping with her boss.The accused, a successful, picture-perfect doctor, has been accused of brutally murdering his wife and three young children. The defense claims he is schizophrenic and therefore insane at the time of the murder. There is little doubt that he committed the crime, so the case hinges on whether he will be found not guilty by reason of insanity.Julia, the main character, gets so caught up in her own guilt over her schizophrenic brother who killed their parents that she essentially blows the case by getting her own witness to admit that the accused may be schizo and therefore was insane. Why would she do this? Why would she do the defense attorney's job? The only explanation is a few sentences where Julia thinks she has done the right thing by putting the focus on the disease and not the man. But she has disregarded what her own expert psychiatrist witness has claimed, that the guy is faking it. So the reader is left to think that just because she forgives her own schizo brother for killing their parents, she feels this guy must be forgiven and found not guilty as well? Just because her brother is truly schizophrenic doesn't mean this guy isn't faking it!Then the author does something even more annoying. She gives us a chapter from the accused's perspective in which we discover, not surprisingly, that he is faking it. So why make Julia such a moron? She torpedoes her own career and lets a killer escape jail and potentially lethal injection. For such a potentially great lawyer to let her personal feelings override evidence and the legal case she is sworn to uphold doesn't make sense to me. It was extremely dissatisfying. The 3 stars are for most of the book. A big raspberry to the ending!

Do You like book Plea Of Insanity (2008)?

PROTAGONIST: Julia Vacanti, prosecuting attorneySETTING: MiamiRATING: 3.0When a successful Miami surgeon and devoted family man, David Marquette, inexplicably murders his loving wife and three children, one can only assume that he was temporarily insane. The case has grabbed the headlines; the trial is a media event. The defense is pleading an insanity defense; the prosecution strongly believes that he is faking schizophrenia. It's a lawyer's dream to be assigned to such a case, and Julia Vacanti is extremely flattered when famed prosecutor Rick Bellido asks her to be the second, despite the fact that she hasn't worked on a murder case before. There's one thing that nobody knows about Julia's background. When she was a child, her brother killed their parents and was diagnosed with schizophrenia and has been in mental institutions ever since.Given the horrific events that occurred in her childhood, Julia should have recused herself from the case right from the start. There were many times during the trial that the testimony carried her right back to the murders of her family by her brother. When that happened, she would become so immersed in her memories that she was completely unresponsive to what was going on around her, not exactly a trait that you want to see in a prosecutor who is going for the jugular. How many of these lapses would it take before someone on her team would realize that she was not serving the cause of justice as best she could?And then, of course, there is the fact that she is sleeping with the lead prosecutor. He's an ambitious man and seemingly irresistible. It's very hard to keep these kinds of affairs secret, and more than one person wonders why Bellido selected the inexperienced Julia to be the second for the case. Although this book is advertised as a legal thriller, I found it to be more of a psychological study with a smattering of romance. Given the fact that Julia was selected for such a prestigious role in the trial, I expected that we would see some dazzling courtroom interrogation and arguments. In reality, there was only one extended scene that focused on that aspect of Julia. Instead, the narration concentrates on her own family situation and her growing doubts about the guilt of the defendant. She doesn't seem very stable and undergoes a real meltdown during the trial. There was also a completely predictable romance with a detective working the case, who was almost saint like in his devotion to Julia despite her aberrant emotional behavior. The premise of Plea of Insanity was a good one that was never realized. How does one prove that a person is or is not insane? It's not something that can be determined scientifically. Can an intelligent person adopt the behaviors of mental illness and fool even the so-called experts? What if the person really is mentally ill? There are no real answers to this dilemma – and it would have made Plea a more interesting book to concentrate on this rather than the travails of Julia.

This book perpetuates harmful stereotypes about serious mental illnesses (people with schizophrenia are dangerous, aggressive, violent; psychiatric inpatient wards are smelly, scary, and staffed by people who don't care; etc). Also, it contains factual errors about mental illness and psychology/psychiatry. If you're going to delve this deep into a content area, at least hire an expert to do your fact checking, or hire a better one. Also the main character was very annoying and it was not believable whatsoever that she would be assigned to this case, or that she would be so assertive in the courtroom and such a basketcase in her personal life.

Vielleicht bin ich einfach kein Fan von juristischen Krimis und Thrillern (wobei mir "Die Firma" von Grisham sehr gut gefallen hat). Mir hat dieses Buch auf jeden Fall nicht wirklich zugesagt. Ich muss sagen, dass mir hier der Fokus zu sehr auf Julia und ihr Leiden gelegt war. Ich habe kein Problem damit, wenn Charaktere in solchen Büchern irgendwie ein Problem haben, Alkohol, Rauchen, beziehungsunfähig. Selbst ein schrecklicher Tod in der Familie, alles gut und schön. Aber hier war mir das alles zu sehr konstruiert. Julia hat ihre Familie auf schreckliche Weise verloren und das ist auch noch ähnlich abgelaufen, wie es jetzt bei der Familie Marquette der Fall war. Und natürlich wird sie von dem Staatsanwalt gefragt, ob sie als zweite Anwältin beim Prozess dabei sein möchte und natürlich kommen dann alle Erinnerungen wieder hervor und Julia bekommt das nicht wirklich auf die Reihe. Außerdem waren ein paar Dinge dabei, wo ich mir gewünscht hätte, dass sie nicht nur am Rande erwähnt werden, sondern noch weitergeführt werden. In einem kurzen Kapitel wird nämlich erzählt, wie jemand eine Familie beschattet und eigentlich nur darauf wartet, sie umzubringen. Danach wird diese Sache aber überhaupt nicht mehr darauf eingegangen. Und eine weitere Sache in der Art wird noch eingebaut. Aber auch hier: Es passiert nichts weiter. Man hat fast als Leser das Gefühl, dass die Autorin noch irgendetwas einbauen musste, damit das ganze Buch eben nicht nur eine Wiedergabe des Prozesses gegen Marquette und eine Darstellung von Julias Privatleben ist. Zusammengefasst: Eine gute Idee, die man durchaus besser hätte ausschöpfen können. (Ich hatte zwischendurch eine Vermutung zur Handlung, was allerdings dann nicht eingetreten ist. Wenn ich mir es jetzt so überlege, wäre es toll gewesen, wenn sie so eingetreten wäre ...) Mir war auch hier der Fokus zu sehr auf Julias privaten Problemen und gerade das Ende hat mir überhaupt nicht gefallen. Damit ich aber nicht spoiler, schreibe ich dazu mal besser nichts weiter ... Leider kann ich dem Buch nicht mehr als 2 von 5 Sternen geben und möchte es auch niemandem empfehlen ...

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