With his first novel, Special Circumstances, Sheldon Siegel delivered legal fiction so exciting, it drew comparisons with the very top tier of courtroom thrillers. Now he has a new challenge for defense attorney Mike Daley - ex-priest, ex-husband, ex-public defender - and it's a high-profile zinger: a case he doesn't think he can win for a client he can't stand.
It starts with a phone call Mike Daley never expected, from District Attorney Prentice Marshall Gates III, San Francisco's chief law enforcement officer and front-runner candidate for California attorney general. Friends they're not, but Gates needs Daley now - badly. He's just been arrested. A couple of hours earlier he woke up in his hotel room and found the dead body of a young male prostitute in the bed. Prosecutors are already talking the death penalty, and there's nothing in the mounting evidence to convince Daley and his partner - and ex-wife - Rosie of Gates' innocence. But even if he's lying, it's their job to defend him. Sure enough, the deeper Mike and Rosie dig, the seamier their findings. From a shady Internet entrepreneur who trades flesh for cash to a prominent businessman who uses muscle to keep his enterprise prospering, Mike and Rosie chase down leads that take them from the depths of the Mission District, where drugs and bodies are always for sale, to the gated mansions of Pacific Heights, frantically trying to piece together the shocking truth of what actually happened, even as the trial itself is under way.
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Is it still PLAGERISM if you copy yourself?
If I hadn't read book 1 (Special Circumstances) first and thereby had no idea this was a cut and paste.
He was Mildly annoying. Every female came equipped with a quivering "...I'm about to cry" voice.. Even the strong ones. The "posh" voices were only a step off that. It just became a bit much, and considering he had book 1 to go by, you'd think it would have been easy.
OK, so seriously, is it plagiarism if the work that you are copying from is your own? Probably not since it is after all, with your permission.
This book is so exact, that I swear, I may buy both print copies in Kindle just to see how many lines are precise duplicates (verses just near misses).
Start with plot. In both books a limited cast of characters are the suspects because the murder occurs in a locked room (book 1 the law office and book 2 a hotel room) where the law partner (or in this case former partner) are accused with incontrovertible evidence.
In both books, our hero(s) defense attorney, Mike Daily, is hired to defend the accused who repeatedly and needlessly lies about the events (many times the same lies) causing the defense to be impossible. In both, the accused intentionally contaminates the crime scene with his fingerprints in full view of witnesses during the discovery of the body (book 1 safeing the firearm book 2 rendering 1st aid).
It is impossible to list all of the identical dialog, circumstances, and twists, but I can say I have never read another book where the author copied himself and merely changed names and places to protect the innocent (or in this case a blind and deaf person from noticing his copying of previously original ideas). Even things like the hired gun of a pathologist who tells the jury from the witness stand "... I like Dr. [so and so] he's a good medical examiner, I admire him but here, I think he got it wrong, dead wrong" I swear I am sure there was cutting and pasting.
In the end, I became so consumed with (and annoyed by) spotting the "ctrl - C, ctrl - V" (for anyone not familiar, that is the keyboard shortcut for Copy and Paste) that I lost all interest in the book. Add to that, very obvious questions are never asked (if both people are given GHB and it knocks them out, then where is the container it came in assuming the suspect gave it to himself and the victim?) over and over again... it was truly a disappointing read. The first book was good and I gave it 4 and 5 stars, this was a mindless repeat.
I been robbed I tell ya, robbed!
Formulaic to the max