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Breach of Trust by D. W. Buffa

Breach of Trust

by D. W. Buffa

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Good legal drama, emphasis on legal. The book bogs down when it strays away from the courtroom.

VP Browning is an interesting character. We learn he memorized Lincoln's 2nd inaugural address, "to make it his own," and that ever since the United States had gone downhill, that that address represented the pinnacle of American history. He attended Harvard Law School not to become a lawyer, but because he wanted to learn the law. Now, stunted in his role as vice-president, he finds himself under attack and a former classmate, Jimmy Haviland, under indictment for the murder of Annie Malreaux whom they both loved who had ostensibly fallen from a window years before. Browning hires Antonelli to be his classmate's attorney, with the goal of insulating himself from the political fallout. Clearly, Browning, and Antonelli, believe that the purpose of the trial is not to convict a killer, but to bring Browning into disrepute so he cannot run for president against the current President Walker. As Antonelli notes in his opening statement,, "Why would the prosecution not call the only witness to the death, someone who was present in the room when Annie fell or was pushed from their hotel room to her death many years earlier, a death that had officially been ruled an accident.

The premise that the White House would resurrect a twenty-year-old case to embarrass the sitting VP so they could get him to resign and not run for president so they could appoint a new Chief Justice as the current Chief is in the hospital and expected to expire soon (let me catch my breath) is bizarre if not ridiculous.

For some reason, this book has a flavor similar to those of Richard North Patterson, and I kept having the feeling I had read it before, unlikely. It reeks of middle age disillusionment, political corruption, and hidden agendas. Everyone has his trust breached.

Layering a book with seemingly irrelevant digressions can be tricky. The reader has to have some interest in the subject of those digressions which often are at the expense of plot. Buffa manages to pull it off in this book -- most of the time. Things will be cooking along nicely in the courtroom and then, as if he has no prep work to do, he'll trot off someplace or with someone and muse upon his life and friends. Stick to the courtroom. ( )
  ecw0647 | Nov 6, 2013 |
This is a "legal mystery" story centered on a criminal trial. The defendant is indicted and prosecuted on an alleged crime committed thirty years ago. The prosecution does not have a scintilla of evidence against the defendant. The Defense wins the day by offering "surprise" documentary evidence that would never be permissible in an actual trial. The drama rests on such a flimsy premise that it's ridiculous. ( )
1 vote brendajanefrank | Oct 27, 2012 |
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"A friend in power is a friend lost."

—Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams
For Morley Winograd
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They must have thought me mad, all those solemn-eyed art lovers, all those exhausted, lost-looking tourists, all those New York faces struggling to get past me while I stood in front of a painting that looked like someone I once knew.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451411803, Mass Market Paperback)

When Joseph Antonelli attends a Harvard reunion, it brings back memories of a tragedy that still shadows him and his friends. Years ago, a young woman fell to her death from a hotel window. Now the case is being reopened-and so is the sordid past of the star witness, the Vice President of the United States.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:46 -0400)

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"Defense attorney Joseph Antonelli dives into a case of White House intrigue, intimacies not forgotten, and suspicions dark and deep in this legal thriller." "In Breach of Trust, Antonelli is seduced into taking an old case that has dangerous implications not just for the upcoming United States presidential race but also for a group of old friends who thought they had put the sudden death of a young woman behind them long ago. When Antonelli attends a Harvard Law School reunion in Manhattan, at the very same hotel where the lively young woman fell from a window to her death, he doesn't suspect how disturbing his return will be."."The case was never solved at the time and now has been reopened, and a potential witness - a man with promise and ambition in equal measure - is wary that the story may ruin his political chances to run for vice president of the United States. When the trial begins, the nation's eyes turn to the accused - a downtrodden lawyer who was once a member of this elite circle of friends - and also to the unseen powers both within and without the White House who want to bury him. It is up to the shrewd and sharp Antonelli to uncover just where the secrets lie-and exactly who is playing whom."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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