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Meet John Martel

After serving as a U.S. Air Force pilot, John Martel studied creative writing at the University of California at Berkeley, then obtained a law degree at U.C.'s Boalt Hall.

He soon became a named partner in the now-130 lawyer firm of Farella, Braun + Martel in San Francisco and is a veteran of more than one hundred trials to conclusion with only four losses. He has been hailed by the National Law Journal as one of the top ten trial lawyers in America and brings an insight and stunning realism to his four novels unsurpassed by any other writers of legal fiction.

His best-selling debut suspense novel, Partners, spent 15 weeks on the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller list in 1988 and drew rave reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Review, and Booklist. The Sunday Times (London) described his second novel, Conflicts of Interest, as "An exciting and authentic tale . . ." and Denver's Rocky Mountain News said, "John Martel is one of the best." Equally glowing comments came from peers, such as Richard North Patterson and Clive Cussler. His third novel, The Alternate, also spent months on the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller list in hardcover in 1999 and made the New York Times mass market bestseller list in 2000. Gannett's Marin Independent said The Alternate "confirms-- like Grisham and Turow--that John Martel is an accomplished spinner of legal thrillers." Booklist, in a starred review, described Billy Strobe, Martel's "remarkable" fourth novel, as " a legal thriller in the manner in which Dickens might have written it; an epic . . ."

His new novel, The American Lawyer, out next Fall, has already garnered praise from his peers. Richard North Patterson says, "The American Lawyer is a true original in the realm of courtroom drama—smart, scary, flavorfully writing, and laced with international intrigue and memorable characters. This is John Martel's best work yet." John Lescroart adds, "The American Lawyer is a gem of international legal suspense. Martel is a total pro at the top of his game."

John is a modern renaissance man. While writing Conflicts of Interest, he took time off to become the1997 National Masters Champion in the high hurdles, running the fastest time in the world that year. In his "spare time," John, a singer/songwriter with nearly one hundred compositions, has performed his original country-rock songs under the pseudonym "Joe Silverhound" at numerous Bay Area clubs and such venues as the Troubadour in Los Angeles and the Palomino Club in North Hollywood.

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