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Q&A | February 27, 2014

Rene Denfeld: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Rene Denfeld



Describe your latest book. The Enchanted is a story narrated by a man on death row. The novel was inspired by my work as a death penalty... Continue »
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    The Enchanted

    Rene Denfeld 9780062285508

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1 Beaverton Mystery- A to Z

The Amber Room

by

The Amber Room Cover

 

 

Excerpt

ONE

Atlanta, Georgia Tuesday, May 6, the present, 10:35 a.m.

Judge Rachel Cutler glanced over the top of her tortoiseshell glasses. The lawyer had said it again, and this time she wasnt going to let the comment drop. “Excuse me, counselor.”

“I said the defendant moves for a mistrial.”

“No. Before that. What did you say?”

“I said, ‘Yes, sir. ”

“If you havent noticed, Im not a sir.”

“Quite correct, Your Honor. I apologize.”

“Youve done that four times this morning. I made a note each time.”

The lawyer shrugged. “It seems such a trivial matter. Why would Your Honor take the time to note my simple slip of the tongue?”

The impertinent bastard even smiled. She sat erect in her chair and glared down at him. But she immediately realized what T. Marcus Nettles was doing. So she said nothing.

“My client is on trial for aggravated assault, Judge. Yet the court seems more concerned with how I address you than with the issue of police misconduct.”

She glanced over at the jury, then at the other counsel table. The Fulton County assistant district attorney sat impassive, apparently pleased that her opponent was digging his own grave. Obviously, the young lawyer didnt grasp what Nettles was attempting. But she did. “Youre absolutely right, counselor. It is a trivial matter. Proceed.”

She sat back in her chair and noticed the momentary look of annoyance on Nettless face. An expression that a hunter might give when his shot missed the mark.

“What of my motion for mistrial?” Nettles asked.

“Denied. Move on. Continue with your summation.”

Rachel watched the jury foreman as he stood and pronounced a guilty verdict. Deliberations had taken only twenty minutes.

“Your Honor,” Nettles said, coming to his feet. “I move for a presentence investigation prior to sentencing.”

“Denied.”

“I move that sentencing be delayed.”

“Denied.”

Nettles seemed to sense the mistake hed made earlier. “I move for the court to recuse itself.”

“On what grounds?”

“Bias.”

“To whom or what?”

“To myself and my client.”

“Explain.”

“The court has shown prejudice.”

“How?”

“With that display this morning about my inadvertent use of sir.”

“As I recall, counselor, I admitted it was a trivial matter.”

“Yes, you did. But our conversation occurred with the jury present, and the damage was done.”

“I dont recall an objection or a motion for mistrial concerning the conversation.”

Nettles said nothing. She looked over at the assistant DA. “Whats the States position?”

“The State opposes the motion. The court has been fair.”

She almost smiled. At least the young lawyer knew the right answer.

“Motion to recuse denied.” She stared at the defendant, a young white male with scraggly hair and a pockmarked face. “The defendant shall rise.” He did. “Barry King, youve been found guilty of the crime of aggravated assault. This court hereby remands you to the Department of Corrections for a period of twenty years. The bailiff will take the defendant into custody.”

She rose and stepped toward an oak-paneled door that led to her chambers. “Mr. Nettles, could I see you a moment?” The assistant DA headed toward her, too. “Alone.”

Nettles left his client, who was being cuffed, and followed her into the office.

“Close the door, please.” She unzipped her robe but did not remove it. She stepped behind her desk. “Nice try, counselor.”

“Which one?”

“Earlier, when you thought that jab about sir and maam would set me off. You were getting your butt chapped with that half-cocked defense, so you thought me losing my temper would get you a mistrial.”

He shrugged. “You gotta do what you gotta do.”

“What you have to do is show respect for the court and not call a female judge sir. Yet you kept on. Deliberately.”

“You just sentenced my guy to twenty years without the benefit of a presentence hearing. If that isnt prejudice, what is?”

She sat down and did not offer the lawyer a seat. “I didnt need a hearing. I sentenced King to aggravated battery two years ago. Six months in, six months probation. I remember. This time he took a baseball bat and fractured a mans skull. Hes used up what little patience I have.”

“You should have recused yourself. All that information clouded your judgment.”

“Really? That presentence investigation youre screaming for would have revealed all that, anyway. I simply saved you the trouble of waiting for the inevitable.”

“Youre a fucking bitch.”

“Thats going to cost you a hundred dollars. Payable now. Along with another hundred for the stunt in the courtroom.”

“Im entitled to a hearing before you find me in contempt.”

“True. But you dont want that. Itll do nothing for that chauvinistic image you go out of your way to portray.”

He said nothing, and she could feel the fire building. Nettles was a heavyset, jowled man with a reputation for tenacity, surely unaccustomed to taking orders from a woman.

“And every time you show off that big ass of yours in my court, its going to cost you a hundred dollars.”

He stepped toward the desk and withdrew a wad of money, peeling off two one-hundred-dollar bills, crisp new ones with the swollen Ben Franklin. He slapped both on the desk, then unfolded three more.

“Fuck you.”

One bill dropped.

“Fuck you.”

The second bill fell.

“Fuck you.”

The third Ben Franklin fluttered down.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345460042
Author:
Berry, Steve
Publisher:
Fawcett Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Suspense fiction
Subject:
Americans -- Germany.
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Publication Date:
August 2004
Binding:
Mass Market Paperbound
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
6.86x4.18x1.15 in. .46 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense

The Amber Room Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Fawcett Books - English 9780345460042 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Sexy, illuminating, and confident....A globe-trotting treasure hunt packed with exotic locales, sumptuous art, and ruthless villains."
"Review" by , "A fast-moving, globe-hopping tale of long-lost treasure and shadowy bad guys. Fans of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code will find much to like here."
"Review" by , "Plotted cleverly and written with style and substance. A welcome change."
"Review" by , "Magnificently engrossing, with wonderful characters and a plot that speeds, twists, and turns. Pure intrigue, pure fun."
"Review" by , "Steve Berry has written a tremendous first novel. He weaves vivid details into a lightning quick read."
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