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Book Title: Star Witness|
The author of the book: D.W. Buffa
The size of the: 19.74 MB
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Loaded: 1612 times
Reader ratings: 7.7
Date of issue: April 6th 2004
ISBN 13: 9780451411334
Format files: PDF
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This fifth book in the series finds Joseph Antonelli defending Stanley Roth, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, who has been accused of murdering his movie star wife, Mary Margaret Flanders (nee Marian Walsh). There were only 3 people at their home when Mary Margaret was killed: Mary Margaret, Stanley and a maid. The security system had not been breached. When the police find Mary Margaret's blood on some clothing in Stanley's laundry hamper, he is charged with murder.
Antonelli has a reputation for being a lawyer who rarely loses. Roth calls upon him immediately; but strangely, he seems rather disinterested in his own defense. Instead, he is consumed by the details of a movie called Blue Zephyr (which is also the name of his studio) that he has written and is planning to film. The movie is really 2 things: an homage to Orson Welles' Citizen Kane as well as a fictionalized account of Stanley and Mary Margaret's life together, including an accounting of who killed her. If the movie makes Stanley look bad, so be it—the making of a great movie means more to him than the unraveling of his entire life.
Stanley's situation is threatening the future of the studio, and the partner who is the main financial backer is ready to pull out. There is a scene where Stanley almost kills him with a wine bottle. Although not a violent man, Stanley has lost control of his temper before, most noticeably when he hit his wife and gave her a black eye after she had an abortion. Antonelli uses all of these events in a very unique way in his defense of Stanley, and the trial is wonderfully portrayed in these pages. It's not the usual defense to bring up Roth's lack of concern about his wife's affairs, the fact that he hit her, the fact that he attacked his partner. It appears that this risky strategy just may backfire.
Buffa has done an exceptional job in creating the character of Stanley Roth. He is a very unique individual, and it is fascinating to see how he turns everything that happens into a movie-related event. The man is a sheer genius with incredible talent. He steals the book from Antonelli. The conversations between the two men are intriguing. In an interesting twist, Blue Zephyr is eventually filmed, and Antonelli is portrayed by an actor who was part of the trial.
Buffa has a unique writing style. As he is presenting the narrative, he also threads in some thought-provoking questions about the nature of fame and desire and obsession that apply to Antonelli just as much as they apply to Roth.
Based on the strength of STAR WITNESS, I plan to seek out the other books in this series.
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Read information about the authorD.W. Buffa (full name: Dudley W. Buffa) was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. After graduation from Michigan State University, he studied under Leo Strauss, Joseph Cropsey and Hans J. Morgenthau at the University of Chicago where he earned both an M.A. and a Ph. D. in political science. He received his J.D. degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Buffa was a criminal defense attorney for 10 years and his seven Joseph Antonelli novels strive to reflect, from his own experience, what a courtroom lawyer does, the way he (or she) thinks, and the way he feels about what he does.
Buffa had been writing for pleasure for many years when Henry Holt and Co. decided to publish his first novel, The Defense, in 1997. The week it was published, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, the literary critic of the New York Times, called The Defense ‘an accomplished first novel" which ‘leaves you wanting to go back to the beginning and read it over again."
The Defense was followed by The Prosecution and then The Judgment, which was one of the five books nominated in 2002 for the Edgar Award as best novel of the year. While the first three novels are set in Portland, the author's fourth novel, The Legacy, takes place in San Francisco and is as much a political thriller as it is legal thriller. Star Witness tells the story of Stanley Roth, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, who is charged with murder of his famous movie star wife.
Breach of Trust, published in 2004, was considered by one critic as "one of the few books that fifty years from now will really matter." It offers readers a scintillating look at Washington politics. Buffa's seventh Joseph Antonelli novel, Trial by Fire, was released in 2005; in this latest Antonelli book, the focus is on the media and the role that television "Talking heads" increasingly play in very high profile criminal cases. Publishers Weekly says of Trial by Fire, "In this intelligent, gripping legal thriller... fast moving dialogue and fine sense of characterization keep the reader hanging on for the ride."
The author's last several novels reflect a subtle shift in storyline from D.W. Buffa's original 'judicial' arena into the the broader one of politics. Buffa has built a new series around protagonist Senator Bobby Hart, an Antonelli-type everyday hero of strong moral fiber who is willing to take on "The Establishment" for the betterment of his constituents...
D.W. Buffa lives in Northern California.
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