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Plea of Insanity by Jilliane Hoffman

Plea of Insanity (2007)

by Jilliane Hoffman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (18)  German (3)  Dutch (1)  All (22)
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Book Description:
The prosecutor--Julia Vacanti. Young and ambitious, and facing a case that could launch her career. The defendant--David Marquette. A successful Miami surgeon and devoted family man. The victims--Marquette’s own wife and three small children. The plea--Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. David Marquette seemingly just snapped. His experienced defense team claims paranoid delusions caused by schizophrenia drove him to slaughter his entire family. But the state suspects Marquette’s insanity defense is being fabricated to disguise murders that were cold blooded and calculated. To bring him to justice, Julia must embark on a terrifying personal journey back into her own past--something she has struggled to forget for fifteen years.

This story was interesting because it focused on whether or not Marquette was insane at the time he killed his family. Julia is conflicted because her brother is schizophrenic and killed her parents. There are a lot of emotional situations with Julia as she tries to determine the truth about Marquette, which she can’t help but compare to her brother. I questioned some of the decisions she made but decided it could be believable since she was examining her traumatic past. Overall, I liked it. ( )
  gaylebutz | Apr 20, 2017 |
Plea of Insanity by Jilliane Hoffman is a 2014 Thomas & Mercer publication.

This book was originally published back in 2008, and although that isn’t all that long ago, this book had a dated feel to it, for some reason.

I have enjoyed several of the thought provoking legal thrillers Ms. Hoffman has written, but this one falls way short of her usual standards.

When a man kills his entire family, he pleads insanity, which stirs up some truly horrific memories for second chair attorney, Julia Vacanti.

Nearly everyone believes the defendant is faking mental illness, but because of her own personal demons, Julia begins to wonder if maybe, just maybe, the killer is telling the truth, which of course provides her with a moral dilemma.

While this set up could have been very suspenseful, full of courtroom banter, and shed light on mental illness at the same time, it becomes a disorganized mess, instead.

The case is a mixture of notorious cases like Jeffrey MacDonald and Scott Peterson, with a Primal Fear element tossed it for good measure. But, the actual case takes a backseat to Julia’s personal issues. Julia is tense, makes lots of professional blunders, and allows her personal feelings to intrude on her career, which of course could have dire consequences. I have to say, I tried to like her, tried to relate, tried to understand her obsession, but ultimately I failed. I ended up being underwhelmed with the whole story, the characters, and the author’s long winded diatribes about mental illness, that cropped up at every turn. The courtroom drama lacked suspense, the dialogue was boring, and the little twist at the end was very anti-climatic.

This author is a capable writer, so maybe this is just a one off, which happens to nearly every author if they write often enough, so I’ll just put this one off to the side and forget it ever happened. I’m sure any future releases will measure up the level of quality I have come to expect from this author. ( )
  gpangel | Dec 18, 2015 |
Started April 10th, 2014.
Interesting take on mental illness.
Reminds me of [b:Primal Fear|187650|Primal Fear|William Diehl|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1176917927s/187650.jpg|954092], but that is better (and has been filmed).
Two interwoven stories, with a look inside a few minds, but not everything gets explained in the end and there are a few loose ends, leaving the reader to decide or guess whether the "plea of insanity" is justified or not.
This more difficult as some observations are not sure to have really happened.

The scenes in the courtroom could have been more interesting, instead the scenes where short, and consisted only of a little part of the trial.
And most of the trial was from the pov of Julia, the main character (this book is mostly about her).
If you want to take a lock at what mental illness (in this case Schizophrenia) does to people, families and also the fear to get it, - siblings and children of schizophrenics are supposedly predisposed - this is one of the books to read.

As someone who lives in a country where there is no death penalty I strongly object to it.
The controversy even in the USA is only touched, and being locked up for an undefined time in a mental institution may not always be better, only letting the supposed release as an open end and in the case of brutal and bloody murder (of 4 people) a questionable solution.
Some of the more interesting questions and plot points are open to interpretation and are not answered or explained.
This is unsatisfying and so it only gets 3 stars and no real recommendation from me. ( )
  Ingo.Lembcke | Oct 27, 2015 |
This book should have been described as psychological drama rather than mystery/suspense. This more-than-four-hundred-page book would have been less than 300 pages if all the extra wordage was removed. Much of the story takes place in the mind of the prosecutor, Julia. Sometimes entire chapters consist of her backstory and her thoughts. And the real main point of the book is a study of schizophrenia. The main plot, while engaging, has to be discovered through all the extraneous matter. Curiosity about the end is the only thing that kept me reading. And the end too, was disappointing. Recommended only for people who don't mind reading endless mindthought and backstory written in italics.
Too bad. This could have been a terrific suspense read. ( )
  MarlaAMadison | Jun 1, 2015 |
After reading Jilliane Hoffman all I can say is John Grisham who? Damn this woman can write a wicked good legal thriller! Fast paced, on your toes action and always making you guess what the heck is gonna happen next.
Dr. David Marquette is a successful surgeon living the life in Miami. Married with three kids, he has a picture perfect life. That is, until he decides to slaughter his wife and children. Cue in Julia Valenciano, your ordinary "fight the trenches" lawyer. She is pleasantly surprised when she gets recruited for the prosecution as second chair, as this could be the launch her career needs. The defence is claiming Dr. Marquette is innocent by pleading insanity arguing that he is schizophrenic. From here, the action spins and swirls from gruesome crime scenes to flashbacks to Julia´s childhood; where a terrible secret has been waiting to resurface. Will David Marquette be sentenced to death if found guilty or confined to a mental facility if found innocent? The ending will make your skin crawl, I guarantee it. ( )
  AleAleta | Feb 15, 2014 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jilliane Hoffmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ebsen, BerndPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pepperzak BrandCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sawatzki, AndreaSprechersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheweling, Ninasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Subin, NinaPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weele, Kees vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, KarenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zeitz, SophieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Rich, Amanda and Katarina - my beautiful, daily inspirations. And for those who face the world when reality goes missing, may you find peace, tolerance, understanding and a cure.
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Georgia Adams finished off the rest of the coffee in the oversized 'Some Bunny Loves Your' mug, sat back in her chair at her desk and closed her eyes.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The prosecutor - Julia Valentine. Young and ambitious and facing a case that could catapult her career. The defendant - David Marquette. A successful Miami attorney and devoted husband and father. The victims - his own family. The plea - not guilty by reason of insanity.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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