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MEET BILLY STROBE—a lawyer and an ex-con, a man who believes in the law but always seems to be on the wrong side of it—in this "powerful [and] satisfying" (Publishers Weekly) suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Alternate. You are likely never to forget him.
Ambition and intelligence carry Billy Strobe to the top of his law school class and into a stock market scam gone south. Billy, without family connections or funding, is the fall guy. After a stint at a high-security prison as the fall-guy, during which he earns his law degree by correspondence while buying physical protection by serving as a jailhouse lawyer, he is finally free to take on the fight of his life: clearing the names of the two men he respects most. One is a soft-spoken lifer he befriended in jail, and the other his Billy's father, the best criminal defense lawyer in Oklahoma until alcoholism, allegations of fraud, and a suicide on the eve of his imprisonment ended his life. But things are not as they seem, and Billy's dual quest for justice will lead him into high-level conspiracies and vicious murders, ultimately forcing him to choose between loyalty and protecting a woman he has come to love.
cover of conflicts of interest
In a dazzling display of courtroom bravado, Seth "Cowboy" Cameron wins a ticket to San Francisco's Montgomery Street, home of the prestigious firm of Miller and McGrath. But he soon becomes a pawn in a power struggle between the firm's senior partners, led by Brahmin superstar Anthony Treadwell, and the juniors, whom Treadwell labels the "Young Turkeys." Surviving on adrenaline and broken promises, Seth is primed to beat Treadwell at his own game. But Treadwell sends him Elena Barton. The seductive widow of an Air Force pilot killed in the crash of a stealth bomber, she's determined to sue the government contractor—ConSpace—to prove the plane was defective and erase the stigma of pilot error. To complicate matters, her father, a U.S. Senator and former Miller and McGrath senior partner, chairs the subcommittee that approved ConSpace. Committed to the firm's questionable strategies and increasingly attracted to his client, Seth is stunned when a shocking career disaster shatters his dream and lands him in a seedy law office on Mission Street. Allyn Friedlander, Seth's new boss, hides her generous heart beneath a veneer of industrial-strength cigars and caffeine. But she believes in him and backs him when Elena reappears, a dark angel offering redemption...or a new way to crash and burn.
cover of the alternate
In an opulent Pacific Heights mansion, the beautiful Lara Ashford, wife of a powerful ex-congressman, lies dead. From San Francisco and all over the country, cops and investigators, lawyers and politicians, are being drawn into the most controversial capital case to hit the Bay Area in years. They claim they're coming for justice, but for some of them, justice will be at the ultimate price.
The victim's husband stands accused of her murder and two ambitious lawyers step into the courtroom for the most challenging trial of their careers.
Defense attorney Barrett Dickson represents the accused—Elliot Ashford—whose alibi is as questionable as his past. For Dickson, the case represents an unwanted opportunity for redemption. Assistant D.A. Grace Harris, whose future as a candidate for District Attorney of San Francisco, rests on the success of her prosecution, finds that her case rests on a piece of evidence that has mysteriously vanished.
Driven by personal vendettas and plagued by controversy, the trial is soon spinning dangerously out of control, for behind the headlines, the politics, and the legal maneuvering; behind the lies, the evasions, and the stunning reversals, another player is in the game: one with a front-row seat, and a history of madness and murder . . .
cover of Partners
The pristine blue-chip law firm of Stafford, Parrish, and MacAllister stuns the nation by agreeing to step down from its ivory tower and litigate a shocking and sensational plaintiff's class action. No one—not even the firm's partners—suspects that the staid, blue-blooded SP&M stands on the brink of financial ruin. Only one man—Austin Barrington—senior managing partner, himself a scion of old San Francisco society, knows that his beloved firm is about to go under. For ambitious attorney Rachel Cannon, the cases is her make-or-break chance to earn the firm's first female partnership. For SP&M's best and brightest litigator, Kevin Stone, it is the greatest trial challenge of his career. For both, it quickly becomes the ultimate test of their loyalties, ethics-and deepest desires.
Suddenly the headline-making, multimillion-dollar trial explodes into a scandal of greed, power-and cold-blooded murder. With the firm's survival in doubt, the goal is no longer about justice, it's about winning—at any cost. As the S.P.&M. top brass plan their courtroom strategy, and streetwise detective Dan Conti tracks a killer, Rachel becomes a pawn in a ruthless game...trapped with Kevin in a tightening web of intrigue, danger, and complicity, and struggling with a nightmare case that could not only shatter Rachel's dreams of love, but destroy her golden career.
"San Francisco author and lawyer John Martel hits the ground running in Billy Strobe. ... A refreshingly gritty approach to a decidedly button-down genre. ... Martel pulls no punches."

—San Francisco Chronicle

"Compelling reading. ... The story, and the writing, hold one fascinated."

—The Boston Globe

"John Martel writes as forcefully as his powerful characters act. Conflicts of Interest surges forward as irresistibly as a tidal wave. Packed with action and intrigue.

—Clive Cussler

"John Martel is one of the best."

—Rocky Mountain News

"A mix of legal action, government secrets, high-stakes dealings, and streetwise romance makes this [an] exciting thriller."


"The crime is startling and complex, the legal atmosphere authentic, and the courtroom scenes engrossing. John Martel has done it again."

—Richard North Patterson

"The Alternate is—without a reasonable doubt-an exciting and enjoyable novel."

—San Jose Mercury-News

"Proves that some lawyers do have a talent for writing action…. A thriller that moves like a high-speed train."

—The Orlando Sentinel

"The courtroom shenanigans are a pleasure to read, and Martel excels at building motivation."

—Publishers Weekly

"A triumph."

— The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Absorbing at every turn."

— Kirkus Reviews