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The Alternate Mass Market Paperback – Apr 2000

13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 532 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Book; Reissue edition (April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451199960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451199966
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 3 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,166,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
The various and arcane means by which one human being sometimes ended the life of another had always fascinated Grace Harris, head of the district attorney's homicide trials team, but this one, she thought, took the cake. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 24 Mar. 1999
Format: Hardcover
Wealthy Elliot Ashford resigns from Congress when the media learns that his spouse cuckolds him with a senator. Ashford and his spouse return to San Francisco where rumors soon surface that he has ties to the Mafia. He has become one of the city's celebrities, but that ends when his spouse is sexually mutilated and murdered in their bathroom. All evidence points towards Elliot.
Assistant District Attorney Grace Harris expects to take the case to trial even though the proof seems a bit short to fully obtain a conviction. Apparently, the police lost some key DNA evidence that would have proved whether Ashford did the crime. Ashford swears he is innocent and has an alibi to back his testimony. However, he is unable to provide the alibi because it involves the Don's son. Defense attorney Barrett Dickson, who thinks the judicial system is a farce, agrees to represent Ashford. More murders follow, leaving Ashford and Barrett struggling to uncover the truth.
Fans of legal procedurals will enjoy THE ALTERNATE, a work that includes two murder trials, three murders, and a witness with a personal agenda. John Martel paints the legal system as being unfair due to political interference with justice and the law. Once the book is started, it is impossible to not complete the novel in one sitting in spite of its length and complexity. After perusing this tale, many sub-genre fans will wait for Mr. Martel's next book rather than choose an alternate author.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 July 1999
Format: Hardcover
For anyone interested in courtroom thrillers, this is a "must read". John Martel captures the pressures and excitement of trying high visibility cases and masterfully passes it along to the reader. As a retired trial lawyer, who has tried high visibility cases, I can attest to the great job Martel does. I think it the best of his three novels to date.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Jun. 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My first book by John Martel and not my last. This book races along and holds the interest well. The courtroom scenes are well written and realistic. I would have given this 5 stars but for the slightly cliched ending. However if you are looking for a good courtroom drama give this book a try.
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Format: Hardcover
I agree with the San Francisco Examiner. This is the best legal thriller I've read in some time. It's a great summer read and be fore-warned, it'll keep you up all night. I have one friend who missed a day of work and another who read it over a 24 hour period. Martel has characters you care about and dialogue which is witty and sharp. Barret Dickson is my favorite, a defense lawyer who you fall in love with. How rare is that!! The mother and daughter ( the Alternate) relationship is haunting and disturbing, to say the least, creating chaos in the courtroom, and turning the murder case upside down and the lives of the main characters, as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Aug. 1999
Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to sneak and read the ending---cuz I wasn't sure that i could read fast enough. Best book that I've read in months. Thanks Mr. Martel.
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By A Customer on 26 Jun. 1999
Format: Hardcover
The Alternate is a must read for anyone seeking great dramatic courtroom fiction. John Martel manages to keep the reader's interest at peak level while he takes you through the drama and pressures of high visibility litigation. He does it as only someone who has been there can do. As a retired trial lawyer, who has been there and experienced the pressure and drama of the courtroom, I enthusiastically recommend Martel's latest, and best, literary effort.
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Format: Hardcover
In "The Alternate," Martel brings you into the world of a high-profile trial and never lets you go. Unlike many practioners of the genre, he doesn't stint when it comes to sudden plot turns and unpredictability--you feel like you're in the hands of an expert, but an EXCITING expert. Like a great Hitchcock film, the peripheral characters are just as interesting and engaging as the central characters. Check this out.
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