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Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. LLC  
Release Date:  July 2003
ISBN: 0805073868 
Format Reviewed: Hardcover  
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Genre: Legal thriller  
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Barbara Buhrer  
Reviewer Notes:  

Judgment Calls
By Alafair Burke  

     Samantha Kinkaid is an assistant district attorney usually assigned to the Portland, Oregon Drug and Vice Division. She is deeply shaken by the case of 13-year-old heroin addict prostitute Kendra Martin who was brutally attacked and left for dead. Her passion for justice leads her to take on the case even though there is little evidence. She sets out to prove that this is not a simple assault, but an attempted murder. In her pursuit for proof she uncovers a prostitution ring of underage girls, corruption in the DA's office, a possible serial killer, and a suspicious connection to a high profile death penalty case. This search for the truth endangers her career and even her life.

     This is an intense and compelling legal thriller. The characters are strong and seem real, showing how they are changed by circumstances. The plot is well constructed and believable. The action is swift and suspenseful. The author draws on her own courtroom experience to have us see the legal procedures as seen through the DA's perspective. The courtroom scenes are realistic and powerful.