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August 2022 Book of the Month

LEGAL THRILLERS BY DAVID ELLIS

BY  DAVID ELLIS

 

DAVID ELLIS  is a judge and an Edgar-award-winning author of nine novels of crime fiction, as well as five books co-authored with James Patterson.

In December, 2014, Dave was sworn in as the youngest-serving Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court for the First District.

Dave currently lives outside Chicago with his wife and three children.

 

Standalone Novels In Order

* Line of Vision

Marty Kalish has been accused of murdering his lover’s husband. He had a motive. He was at the scene of the crime. He manipulated evidence to hide his guilt. He even confessed. But that’s not the end of the story. That’s only the beginning.

 

* Life Sentence

Jon Soliday is a legal counsel to a powerful politician—his childhood best friend—who is running for governor. The two have shared political success and undying loyalty. But an anonymous letter hinting at black and a colleague’s mysterious death remind them of something else they have in common. A dark secret from the summer of 1979…

 

* Jury of One

Shelly Trotter, an able and determined lawyer and a children’s rights advocate, is thrust into a world in which she’s completely unschooled—the criminal court. Her client is a 17-year-old accused of killing a policeman, and she begins to suspect that he may have been involved in an undercover operation to entrap dirty cops, though his role in the scheme remains unclear. Was he the target or the bait—and what does the prosecution really have against him?

Then comes the shocker: Shelly fears that she has a connection to this boy, something she has kept secret for years, knowledge that she has hidden from her family and friends for most of her adult life.

 

* In the Company of Liars

A woman accused of murder is caught in a tortuous psychological maze that leaves her only one escape—suicide. Or does it? Told in reverse chronological order, from its enigmatic end to its brilliant beginning.

 

* Eye of the Beholder

Paul Riley has built a lucrative career based on his famous prosecution of Terry Burgos, who gruesomely murdered six girls. Now, fifteen years later, the police are confronted with a new series of murders and mutilations. Riley realizes that the two cases are connected and finds himself at the center of a police task force—as an investigator…and a suspect.

 

* Guilty Wives

with james patterson

After a lavish night of guilty pleasures in Monte Carlo, four best friends face an awful morning of arrests — and a fight for survival.

Only minutes after Abbie Elliot and her three best friends step off of a private helicopter, they enter the most luxurious, sumptuous, sensually pampering hotel they have ever been to. Their lavish presidential suite overlooks Monte Carlo, and they surrender: to the sun and pool, to the sashimi and sake, to the Bruno Paillard champagne. As the weekend moves into pulsating discos, high-stakes casinos, and beyond, Abbie is transported to the greatest pleasure and release she has ever known.

 

* Mistress

with james patterson

Ben isn’t like most people. Unable to control his racing thoughts, he’s a man consumed by his obsessions: movies, motorcycles, presidential trivia-and Diana Hotchkiss, a beautiful woman Ben knows he can never have.

When Diana is found dead outside her apartment, Ben’s infatuation drives him on a hunt to find out what happened to the love of his life. He soon discovers that the woman he pined for was hiding a shocking secret. And now someone is out to stop Ben from uncovering the truth about Diana’s illicit affairs.

 

* Murder House

with james patterson

Detective Jenna Murphy comes to the Hamptons to solve a murder — but what she finds is more deadly than she could ever imagine.

Trying to escape her troubled past and rehabilitate a career on the rocks, former New York City cop Jenna Murphy hardly expects her lush and wealthy surroundings to be a hotbed of grisly depravity. But when a Hollywood power broker and his mistress are found dead in the abandoned Murder House, the gruesome crime scene rivals anything Jenna experienced in Manhattan. And what at first seems like an open and shut case turns out to have as many shocking secrets as the Murder House itself, as Jenna quickly realizes that the mansion’s history is much darker than even the town’s most salacious gossips could have imagined.

 

* Look Closer

Simon and Vicky couldn’t seem more normal: a wealthy Chicago couple, he a respected law professor, she an advocate for domestic violence victims. A stable, if unexciting marriage. But one thing’s for sure … absolutely nothing is what it seems. The pair are far from normal, and one of them just may be a killer. When the body of a beautiful socialite is found hanging in a mansion in a nearby suburb, Simon and Vicky’s secrets begin to unravel. A secret whirlwind affair. A twenty-million-dollar trust fund about to come due. A decades-long grudge and obsession with revenge. These are just a few of the lies that make up the complex web…and they will have devastating consequences. And while both Vicky and Simon are liars, just who exactly is conning who? Part Gone Girl, part Strangers on a TrainLook Closer is a wild rollercoaster of a read that will have you questioning everything you think you know.

 

Jason Kolarich Novels In Order

* The Hidden Man

A little girl, snatched from her bed in the dead of night…

They knew who killed her. They couldn’t prove it. 26 years later, her brother Sammy doesn’t care about proof. He only cares about justice. Now, only his childhood best friend, attorney Jason Kolarich, can save Sammy from a life sentence for killing a killer.

To defend Sammy, Jason must do what authorities could not, decades ago—prove the guilt of the pedophile who killed Sammy’s sister. But a mysterious benefactor, “Mr. Smith,” suddenly appears, offering money, resources, even alibis for Sammy’s defense. And he will stop at nothing—threatening the lives of Jason and his family—to control the outcome of the case. As the trial draws near, Jason races against time to save his family from Mr. Smith’s team and his friend Sammy from life in prison, while two crimes, decades apart, converge in a stunning verdict.

 

* Breach of Trust

Jason Kolarich has spent the past year struggling to recover from the horrific deaths of his wife and baby daughter.

On the night of their deaths, Kolarich was at the office, awaiting a call from a confidential informant named Ernesto Ramirez-a call that never came. Kolarich blames himself not only for the deaths of his wife and child, but for the informant’s murder as well. He can’t bring back his family, but he can find out who killed Ramirez and bring the killer to justice.

Unfortunately, Kolarich’s guns-blazing approach to justice lands him smack in the middle of an FBI probe of a deeply corrupt governor and his cronies. To avoid jail, Kolarich must enter a world of wiretaps, double-dealing, and kickbacks, where he soon discovers that the murder of his informant was only the tip of the iceberg.

This breach of trust runs up to the highest levels of power, and exposing it may drag Kolarich into the fight of his life.

 

* The Wrong Man

A young paralegal is brutally killed. A homeless Iraq war veteran has been caught with the murder weapon and the victim’s belongings—and he can’t remember what happened…

Jason Kolarich has been asked by the young man’s aunt to defend him. It seems like a standard insanity defense based on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder—until Kolarich realizes that his client is actually innocent. The victim had been working a case of her own, following a trail of paper and money that connected international terrorists to corporate America, where there are those who want to teach the U.S. government a lesson.

Kolarich knows finding the true murderer is the key to exposing the conspiracy. As time grows short for both his client and thousands of innocent Americans, he races to find a trained killer and uncover the details of the attack. But Kolarich soon discovers that the game has already been rigged—and that he himself is about to become the next target…

 

* The Last Alibi

Believing he’s the target of a frame-up, geeky loner James Drinker hires defense attorney Jason Kolarich to take his case. Two women he knows have recently been murdered, seemingly by the same killer, and Drinker thinks he’ll be the police’s main suspect. Something about Drinker seems off from the start, but Kolarich doesn’t give it too much thought. Until another murder occurs. And then another.

As he begins to probe his client’s life and story more closely, it quickly becomes clear that nothing about James Drinker is what it seems…and the target of the frame-up isn’t Drinker, but Kolarich.

Faced with a murder charge and unable to prove his own innocence without breaking his sworn attorney-client privilege, Jason Kolarich must hunt for the truth about James Drinker, the series of brutal killings, and why he’s been set up to take the fall. The answers will be beyond anything he could have imagined.

 

Billy Harney Novels In Order

* The Black Book

with james patterson

Billy Harney was born to be a cop. As the son of Chicago’s chief of detectives with a twin sister on the force, Billy plays it by the book. Teaming up with his adrenaline-junkie partner, Detective Kate Fenton, there’s nothing he wouldn’t sacrifice for his job. Enter Amy Lentini, a hard-charging assistant attorney hell-bent on making a name for herself who suspects Billy isn’t the cop he claims to be. They’re about to be linked by more than their careers.

A horrifying murder leads investigators to an unexpected address-an exclusive brothel that caters to Chicago’s most powerful citizens. There’s plenty of incriminating evidence on the scene, but what matters most is what’s missing: the madam’s black book. Now with shock waves rippling through the city’s elite, everyone’s desperate to find it.

As Chicago’s elite scramble to get their hands on the elusive black book, no one’s motives can be trusted. An ingenious, inventive thriller about power, corruption, and the secrets that can destroy a city.

 

* The Red Book

with james patterson

For Detective Billy Harney, getting shot in the head, stalked by a state’s attorney, and accused of murder by his fellow cops is a normal week on the job. So when a drive-by shooting on the Chicago’s west side turns political, he leads the way to a quick solve. But Harney’s instincts—his father was once chief of detectives and his twin sister, Patti, is also on the force—run deep. As a population hungry for justice threatens to riot, he realizes that the three known victims are hardly the only casualties.

When Harney starts asking questions about who’s to blame, the easy answers prove to be the wrong ones. On the flip side, the less he seems to know, the longer he can keep his clandestine investigation going . . . until Harney’s quest to expose the evil that’s rotting the city from the inside out takes him to the one place he vowed never to return: his own troubled past.

 

* Escape

with james patterson

As Chicago PD’s special-ops leader, Detective Billy Harney knows well that money is not the only valuable currency. The filthy rich man he’s investigating is down to his last twenty million. He’s also being held in jail.

For now.

Billy’s unit is called in when an escape plan results in officers down and inmates vanished.

In an empty lot, Billy spots two Kevlar vests. Two helmets. Two assault rifles. And a handwritten note:

Hi, Billy
Are you having fun yet?

 

Invisible Novels In Order

* Invisible

with james patterson

Everyone thinks Emmy Dockery is crazy. Obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of unsolved cases, Emmy has taken leave from her job as an FBI researcher. Now all she has are the newspaper clippings that wallpaper her bedroom, and her recurring nightmares of an all-consuming fire.

Not even Emmy’s ex-boyfriend, field agent Harrison “Books” Bookman, will believe her that hundreds of kidnappings, rapes, and murders are all connected. That is, until Emmy finds a piece of evidence he can’t afford to ignore. More murders are reported by the day–and they’re all inexplicable. No motives, no murder weapons, no suspects. Could one person really be responsible for these unthinkable crimes?

 

* Unsolved

with james patterson

FBI agent Emmy Dockery is absolutely relentless. She’s young and driven, and her unique skill at seeing connections others miss has brought her an impressive string of arrests.

But a shocking new case — unfolding across the country — has left her utterly baffled.

The victims all appear to have died by accident, and have seemingly nothing in common. But this many deaths can’t be coincidence. And the killer is somehow one step ahead of every move Dockery makes. How?

To FBI special agent Harrison “Books” Bookman, everyone in the FBI is a suspect — particularly Emmy Dockery (the fact that she’s his ex-fiancee doesn’t make it easier).

But someone else is watching Dockery. Studying, learning, waiting. Until it’s the perfect time to strike.

 

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