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The Drum Within (A Denise Aragon Novel) by…
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The Drum Within (A Denise Aragon Novel)

by James R. Scarantino

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Sante Fe Detective Denise Aragon had him – the man who committed cold blooded murder. Artist Cody Geronimo was running from the law, stepped into a heavily shrubbed area and phoned his attorney, Marcy Thornton. Aragon was close enough to record his side of the conversation. It was a clear confession. She played the tape for the court. It was thrown out. The judge ruled it ‘attorney-client privilege’. Now Geronimo is set free. Not only that, upon the judge’s complaint to the mayor, both Aragon and her partner, Rick Lewis, were suspended. This doesn’t stop Aragon who is more concerned about seeking justice than following rules and regulations.

This story is a well-thought out debut by James R. Scarantino, who according to his bio, had been a prosecutor, defense attorney, and investigative reporter. Antagonist Cody Geronimo’s thoughts were so bizarre, I had to think twice whether it was due to drugs or just the crazed mind of a cold-blooded serial killer. Cody was an established and very successful artist. People who viewed his work either really loved it or really hated it – no middle ground. I found Aragon to be a knowledgeable and gutsy protagonist. This is different from the standard ‘whodunit’. We know the killer. What we don’t know is the extent to which people will go to in order to pursue or eschew justice. And, the best news is this is the ground floor of a brand new crime series. Rating: 4 out of 5. ( )
  FictionZeal | Jan 18, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0738747742, Paperback)

Santa Fe Detective Denise Aragon and her partner are called to investigate a murder on U.S. Forest Service land only to be pulled away to investigate the murder of Linda Fager, wife of ruthless criminal-defense attorney Walter Fager. When Aragon presses a key fob found at the murder scene, artist Cody Geronimo flees the area as his vehicle’s alarm blares nearby.

Marcy Thornton, Fager’s twisted protégé, will do anything to defend Geronimo, including trading sexual favors with a judge. To counter Thornton’s underhanded tactics, Aragon enlists the help of the FBI special agent investigating the Forest Service murder. But the situation escalates when Aragon misjudges Fager’s ruthlessness, and she’s forced into a vicious, high-stakes game with opponents who have no moral limits.

Praise:

"First of a welcome series."―Kirkus Reviews

"The Drum Within is a superb novel, and this is a hearty welcome to an insanely talented newcomer, Jim Scarantino."―Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author

"The Drum Within is a gritty police procedural that will make you rethink everything you know about justice. A tour de force of good guys and bad guys. A masterpiece. I loved it."―Robert Dugoni, #1 Amazon and New York Times bestselling author of My Sister's Grave

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 18 Jan 2016 10:21:54 -0500)

"Santa Fe detective Denise Aragon must outsmart and outrun corrupt lawyers and judges to stop a celebrity artist who kills for his supplies. The latest victim is the wife of a man she hates: the cold-hearted criminal lawyer, Walter Fager. For the first time in his life he wants the police to succeed. But his twisted protégé, Marcy Thornton, gleefully defends the killer using maneuvers Fager never imagined. Aragon pits lawyer against lawyer to keep her case on life support and enlists the FBI to bypass a state judge trading rulings for Thornton's sexual favors. The lead FBI agent reminds Aragon too much of the dead boyfriend who haunts her dreams. He wants romance. She can't handle it. Aragon badly misjudges Fager's grief and Thornton's power. The killing ends. But not the way she planned" --… (more)

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