In a prequel to A Grateful Nation, Noah Shane, along with two members of his law school study group, Sandy Sutherland and Kate Waverly, take positions with the Alameda County Public Defender in Oakland, to avoid confronting the horrors of a first job alone. Noah is a likeable Jewish kid, raised by a narcissistic, divorced princess in Beverly Hills, who never having experienced it growing up, lacks...
File Size: 1955 KB
Print Length: 490 pages
Publisher: Curtis Brown Unlimited (January 15, 2018)
Publication Date: January 15, 2018
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A fast-paced thriller with colorful cast of characters and suspenseful plot. Noah, the protagonist, faces staggering challenges in his first job that have him questioning his abilities at every turn, so lives out the adage "fake it 'til you make it"...
. His first week on the job, Noah is fitted up with a high-profile special circumstances murder case. Accused is childlike Pablo Ruiz, a one-man, penny-ante crime spree trying to raise the money for treatment of his spiritual mother, Amparo, who has cancer. The DA claims that while Pablo was burglarizing a Lake Merritt penthouse, well-to-do stockbroker, Warren Van Zandt, returned home early and surprised him. A preposterous case for a rookie, we find that Noah’s involvement is a consequence of pressure from a conspiracy that pervades the local political process, with influence that reaches down into the justice system. Its spearhead is charming, but sinister, black Oakland power-broker Freeman Mustafa, CEO of Ebony Properties, a development company that builds rehab hospitals, low-income housing projects, and pre-schools, all to aid the black community, but all funded by illicit drug money. Noah and Kate, who have shared an attraction in law school, become involved, but when his fear of intimacy causes a blow up between them, she succumbs to the advances of Noah’s smarmy boss, Jim Stark, and feeds him information about Noah’s trial preparation which he passes on to the conspiracy. Noah teams up with veteran, but neurotic, investigator, Buzz Hoogasian, who mentors him through the litigation ropes. As trial approaches, it appears that Pablo may have been in Mexico with friends when the murder went down. Noah dispatches Buzz to Baja California in search of an alibi witness. What he finds there plunges Noah into despair about the outcome of the case. As trial proceeds, matters deteriorate and Noah ultimately explodes in the courtroom, prompting irascible but brilliant Judge Pulansky to jail him for contempt. On his return from Mexico, Buzz gets Noah released and together they embark on a high-risk search for evidence to clear Pablo which leads them into deadly battle with the malevolent forces buried within the social and political fiber of the city. The plot twists through the County Jail, the heights of the business community, and into a suspense-filled chase that leads deep into Oakland’s barrio. The surprising culmination will shake the belief that local government and the judicial system are under control. Once unwound, Justice By the Pound lays bare the reality that our vulnerability to the system lies closer than we know, and all that shields us is the delicate veil of justice. "JUSTICE BY THE POUND heralds a new, vibrant voice in crime fiction. Ivan Weinberg takes us behind the scenes in the Public Defenders office as young PD, Noah Shane, on his first day, is thrown into the bubbling vat of criminal justice and draws a case that eventually blows the lid off Oakland, California. A fast, furious, good read by a debut novelist at the top of his game." -- STEPHEN J. CANNELL. Emmy Award winning writer and creator of more than forty TV series, producer, and best-selling author of THE PLAN, FINAL VICTIM, KING CON, RIDING THE SNAKE, DEVIL'S WORKSHOP, THE TIN COLLECTORS, THE VIKING FUNERAL and HOLLYWOOD TOUGH. "JUSTICE BY THE POUND is a taut page turner with a likeable protagonist, a compelling story and a keen insider's look at the inner workings of the Alameda County Public Defender's Office. Ivan Weinberg is a fresh voice in the legal" thriller/courtroom drama genre. --SHELDON SIEGEL. Best selling author of CRIMINAL INTENT, INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE and SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES.