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The Majority Rules by Eugene Sullivan
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The Majority Rules

by Eugene Sullivan

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Tim Quinn, a Washington DC lawyer on the move, was flattered to be recommended by his friend Harry Winston to a vacancy on the bench caused by the unsavory death of one of the judges. He was also surprised to see how easy his nomination and confirmation turned out to be once Harry had given his approval and pulled more than a few strings.

Now Tim feels he has the chance to make a difference, and perhaps clear a path for an eventual trip to the highest court in the land.
But Tim soon realizes that Chief Judge Winston's influence and favors come at a price—not just undue influence from the Executive branch, but partiality towards private concerns as well, including a certain attorney whose cases often come before their bench..

Winston expects his favors to be repaid in kind, by following his judicial lead and assuring a consistent majority ruling in matters as he sees fit… and he is not afraid to bring pressure to bear, financial or otherwise.

Troubled Tim contacts a former paramour, now a Federal prosecutor, to help him unravel the unseemly entanglements that occur behind the bench. But in doing so, risks his own status as a judge, his good name, and perhaps even the lives of him and his family—it is sometimes deadly to disagree when The Majority Rules. ( )
  dspoon | Sep 12, 2010 |
Eugene Sullivan was a Federal judge in the US for many years. In this debut novel, he has written a power-packed drama about the judicial system that is more than just another political thriller.

The Majority Rules is a gripping and intelligent tale about the inner workings and machinations of the black-robed men and women who are charged with upholding the law but sometimes fall prey to venal and political corruption. This exceptional debut novel moves non-stop from the highly-charged death of a sitting federal judge to the appointment of Tim Quinn as his replacement.

Quinn is likely to become America's newest literary icon - flawed, but not too much; just a touch more realistic than idealistic; tough but vulnerable. Quinn cannot believe his good fortune when he is suddenly wooed and appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He is welcomed on-board by his friend and patron, the chief judge, who promises Quinn future greatness for a rare, occasional favor.

Quinn is overawed at first with his new position, but soon learns that the ethics of some of his colleagues on the bench can be bought for money and other temptations. He quickly finds himself caught in a web of deceit, conspiracy and murder.

My only concern with this novel was that Sullivan seemed to sketch a fascinating outline of his characters but didn't flesh them out with nearly the same ardor as he did his descriptions of the novel's settings. Tim is an everyman hero - he's not perfect - and Sullivan nods to the conflict Tim feels between wanting to be on the inside of the good-old-boys court network (which it seems is steeped in corruption) and wanting to expose it all in the name of justice.

Vicky, Tim's partner-in-crime/former lover is also a great character, and admirably struggles with the inevitable conflict of interest the whole situation creates. (Side note: Vicky was my favorite character, but I think Sullivan did himself a bit of a disservice by making her so stereotypically drop-dead gorgeous - she struck me as more of a Hilary Swank beauty: attractive, but in an original, smart, and hard-hitting way. Describing her as a chesty blond was a bit too formulaic for my taste.)

Unfortunately, while Sullivan recognizes the conflicts within his characters, he doesn't delve into them nearly as deeply as he could with simply a few well-crafted conversations or internal monologues. Perhaps it would have made things a bit more "literary," and broken the thriller-nature of the book, but I think Sullivan's audience could have handled it. Frankly, I found myself liking Tim less at the end because I felt like he made the tough decisions too easily, and for the wrong reasons.

That said, Sullivan has written a timely and taut, insightful and compelling tale that ought to interest anyone interested in the good and the bad within our judicial system. It is an authentic, suspenseful - and frightening, especially in light of the real world concern over the closeness of courts and politicians in the Bush presidency. ( )
  Jawin | Jul 5, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 076534999X, Paperback)

Tim Quinn, a Washington DC lawyer on the move, was flattered to be recommended by his friend Harry Winston to a vacancy on the bench caused by the unsavory death of one of the judges. He was also surprised to see how easy his nomination and confirmation turned out to be once Harry had given his approval and pulled more than a few strings.

Now Tim feels he has the chance to make a difference, and perhaps clear a path for an eventual trip to the highest court in the land.
But Tim soon realizes that Chief Judge Winston's influence and favors come at a price—not just undue influence from the Executive branch, but partiality towards private concerns as well, including a certain attorney whose cases often come before their bench..

Winston expects his favors to be repaid in kind, by following his judicial lead and assuring a consistent majority ruling in matters as he sees fit… and he is not afraid to bring pressure to bear, financial or otherwise.

Troubled Tim contacts a former paramour, now a Federal prosecutor, to help him unravel the unseemly entanglements that occur behind the bench. But in doing so, risks his own status as a judge, his good name, and perhaps even the lives of him and his family—it is sometimes deadly to disagree when The Majority Rules.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Enmeshed in a conspiracy involving a string of murders and a cover up with ties to the U.S. Court of Appeals, judge Tim Quinn finds his investigation thwarted by his complicated relationships with a Southern judge who helped him win confirmation and a federal prosecutor with whom he had a prior affair. 75,000 first printing.… (more)

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