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The Resource The defense

The defense

Label
The defense
Title
The defense
Statement of responsibility
D.W. Buffa
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Member of
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Young, handsome defense attorney Joseph Antonelli is in the enviable though somewhat dangerous position of having won all of his cases, thus making him one of the most sought-after lawyers in Portland. When his old friend and mentor, the Honorable Leopold Rifkin, asks that he defend a man accused of raping his stepdaughter, Joe cannot decline. Rifkin is a loner who buries himself in scholarly pursuits, philosophizing about how the trials and tribulations of the classics still prevail in modern life. Joe finds the old man odd but interesting, sad but wise, a perfect complement to his own strange way of life. But what Joe doesn't realize is that this case will test his belief that good people don't do bad things. Such naivetein a defense attorney, especially one who has no qualms about defending obviously guilty people, is at once charming and unbelievable. In this debut novel, Buffa shows signs of being a great courtroom dramatist, but too often the action is plagued by truncated courtroom scenes and stilted dialogue preaching the ethics of the Law. However, a healthy publicity push touting the novel as "in the tradition of Turow" may generate interest. ((Reviewed Sept. 1, 1997)) -- Mary Frances Wilkens
  • Belying its generic title, this debut novel is an ingenious, riveting legal thriller about an Oregon criminal attorney whose defense of a child rapist unleashes life-changing events. Prominent Portland attorney Joseph Antonelli is asked by his friend, Judge Leo Rifkin, to defend Johnny Morel after Morel is accused of raping his young stepdaughter. Despite overwhelming odds and the knowledge that his client is almost certainly guilty, Antonelli gets Morel acquitted. The implications of his defense resurface, however, when Morel is murdered and the evidence points to his wife, Denise, a seductive drug addict who uses her sexuality to try to enlist Antonelli's services. Antonelli refuses to defend Denise and she is convicted of the crime. But the cloud of deception and duplicity that trails the couple soon darkens Judge Rifkin's formerly impeccable reputation when Denise is murdered in Rifkin's apartment after she's released from prison. The high-profile murder trial, in which Antonelli defends Rifkin, tests the lawyer's considerable talents as well as his belief in the legal system, and the surprise ending packs a powerful punch. Although its plot is compelling, what distinguishes this novel from standard genre fare is the depth of the characterizations, from the thoughtful, Plato-quoting Judge Rifkin to Antonelli's win-at-all-costs mindset and the worldly musings of his African American legal rival and confidant, Howard Woolner. Buffa, a former Oregon criminal trial lawyer, has crafted a fast-moving, thoroughly gripping entertainment that has the moral and emotional authority of a literary novel. (Oct.)
  • In this first novel, Buffa hands self-assured defense attorney Joseph Antonelli a particularly tough case: a con man and convicted drug dealer is accused of raping his 12-year-old stepdaughter. Hot stuff, indeed, and the folks at Holt are so fired up about their new find that they opted for a 100,000-copy first printing.
  • Ham-fisted, corpse-clogged legal procedural from defense-lawyer/first-novelist Buffa. Joe Antonelli is just too good a lawyer to be true: He's won about every case he's ever taken, including those involving clients so obviously guilty that his mentor, Senior Circuit Judge Leopold Rifkin, compares him to Athenian pretty boy Alcibiades, the air-headed contemporary of Socrates with whom, Rifkin insists enigmatically, Antonelli shares an "erotic" persuasiveness. Instead of recommending that Rifkin double-check his Plato for this kinky misreading of Greek social ethics, Antonelli accepts Rifkin's challenge to defend Johnny Morel, an especially loathsome piece of human slime who's accused of raping his 12-year-old stepdaughter Michelle. Morel insists he's innocent, and, despite flunking a lie detector test, demands that Antonelli refuse a plea bargain and go to trial. While doing background work, Antonelli fends off the seductive advances of Michelle's drug-addled mother, Denise. Meanwhile, Denise's estranged lesbian lover, Myrna Albright ("Funny," she tells Antonelli, "you don't look like a court-appointed lawyer"), hints darkly that there's more to this case than he thinks. Soon enough Johnny is found dead, followed by Denise. Judge Rifkin, of all people, is accused, and picks Antonelli to defend him. As has become typical for the genre, Buffa has Antonelli cynically jigger the system to acquit a client with whom Antonelli's interests are conflicted, only to have Antonelli discover that someone has been manipulating him all along. Cool courtroom high jinks mired in forced plotting, clumsy dialogue, and the author's clear loathing of the legal trade. (Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 1997)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
017882
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1940-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Buffa, D. W
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Joseph Antonelli novels
Series volume
0001
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Trials (Murder)
  • Legal stories
Label
The defense
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
309 p.
Isbn
9780805053074
Lccn
9712861
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780805053074
  • (OCoLC)36597846
Label
The defense
Publication
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
309 p.
Isbn
9780805053074
Lccn
9712861
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780805053074
  • (OCoLC)36597846

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