A brilliantly suspenseful new Paul Madriani legal thriller.

“Lean, speedy and packing a wallop of a plot twist,” was Publishers Weekly’s verdict of Steve Martini’s THE JURY. “Martini remains one of the form’s most popular practitioner.” Now Martini has crafted yet another legal nail-biter in THE ARRAIGNMENT, featuring perennial favorite Paul Madriani.

After a lawyer-friend is killed along with his client in a hail of gunfire outside the federal courthouse in San Diego, attorney Paul Madriani takes on another client who Paul believes is involved at the edges of the double murder. He takes the case not to defend the man, but to find out who killed his friend and why. Paul is tortured by questions of conflict, his duty to a client who may have killed his friend and the need to know the truth, wondering whether he himself had been marked for death only to have a friend die in his place. Paul finds himself with a window into places he never wanted to go, drawn into a vortex of crime that spans the Americas.

As he searches for the killer, Paul rides the crest of a dangerous wave involving international drug deals and the people who murder for money. Suddenly he realizes it is not heroin or cocaine that resulted in the murder of his friend, but a priceless piece of pre-Columbian art, something so dazzling in the information it holds as to be one of the treasures of the ages.
In a quest that takes Paul from California to Mexico and the Guatemalan border, he discovers that while the motive to kill may be driven by distant, exotic and ancient artifacts, the killer, like a serpent, lies much closer at hand.