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Publisher's Summary

I was just sitting in the car.

In the eighth installment of New York Times best-selling author Sheldon Siegel's iconic San Francisco series, Mike Daley and ex-wife Rosie Fernandez face new challenges and stare down old demons as they return to work at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office where they had started their careers and their relationship 20 years earlier. Mike and Rosie are now the co-heads of the Felony Division, where they spend more time running the office and supervising younger attorneys than trying cases. That changes quickly when Mike is visited by Melinda Nguyen, whose son, Thomas, a high school senior, is about to go on trial for murder. Thomas has been arrested under California's archaic felony murder rule, which says you can be can be convicted of first degree murder if you're present when someone is killed during the course of a felony, even if you don't pull the trigger. The charge against Thomas shows the limits of this legal doctrine. He was sitting outside in the car when a friend entered a liquor store in San Francisco's teeming Tenderloin District and allegedly flashed a gun. The shopkeeper pulled out an AR-15 and calmly filled the alleged robber's chest with bullets. Thomas is charged with murder even though he never entered the store.

Thomas fires his original lawyer on the eve of trial after she recommends a plea bargain. With nowhere else to turn, his mother petitions for help from the Public Defender's Office, and Mike agrees to handle the trial scheduled to start four days later. As the evidence mounts against Thomas, it tests Mike and Rosie's legal skills and relationship. Their stress is compounded by the fact that Thomas and his mother may have a connection to Mike's older brother, Tommy, who died in Vietnam.

©2017 Sheldon M. Siegel, Inc. (P)2017 Sheldon M. Siegel, Inc.

What listeners say about Felony Murder Rule

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  • R. Pontiflet
  • 17-06-2017

You Don't Have To Pull The Trigger!!

This novel is about the efforts of Mike and Rosie to save the life of young Thomas, a high school teenager, from being convicted of first degree murder... a crime he did not commit. It seems that Thomas didn't even know that his friend had a gun, which is one of the pieces of evidence that adds to the interest and mystery of this story. As the evidence mounts against Thomas, this case tests Mike and Rosie's legal skills and their relationship with each other.
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This is a very interesting story with believable characters and Mike's sense of humor provides the listener some relief from the tension as the story builds.

Tim Campbell's narration is very good.

9 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 15-06-2017

Every book after # 1 is a repeat

1 and done for this author. The first book was fun to listen to. I have listened to book 6 and tried to listen to this book but cannot continue.

1 - 6- 8 All have a gun with fingerprints as one of the red herrings. At least there was a borderline explanation in book 1.. book 6 was a planted gun with fingerprints & Book 8 we are back to the same explanation as book 1

This book kept repeating itself over and over to fill pages. The same question asked to different witnesses gave us the same answer over and over again.

A talented writer filling pages to fulfill contract obligations I'm sure... I guess there is no patience to write something with substance anymore.

J

4 people found this helpful

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  • Cindy
  • 18-03-2018

Eighth book in series, eighth best

I’ve listened to and mostly enjoyed all of the books in this series. I liked this one the least. The basic premise of it was flawed, and I’ll get back to that. The first 2/3 of the book has a lot of repetition and it’s just boring to go over the same ideas ten times. It isn’t just that they interview multiple people it’s that the author keeps explaining the same information as if you are too stupid or the author is ignoring his outline.

In the courtroom there are a number of objections and rulings that are not only not correct, but the opposite of the way things have gone in previous novels. For example, asking a detective if he had considered other scenarios/suspects. This is ruled speculation. He was not in any way asked to speculate, not asked what else he considered but simply if he had considered any other options or suspects. Maybe there was another objection that would have been on point, but this is not speculation.

There is a minor side story that is engaging and redeems this book somewhat, but not enough.

If you think hearing about something that happens in the beginning of a book can be a spoiler stop reading here.


If you ride to an event with a friend and the friend decides to stop at the store while you sit in the car waiting with your earbuds in, listening to music, and your friend decides to commit a crime where someone ends up dying are you guilty of murder? If you and your friend conspired to commit any felony crime then yes, by definition. But, in this case when the cops come to the scene the teenager is sitting in the car, not on drugs, listening to music and waiting for his friend. He is not driving a getaway car, he is not paying any attention as a lookout, he is completely oblivious to the fact that anything untoward has occurred, and this is obvious to the officers that are first on the scene. The cops at no point assume that the kid had any foreknowledge that a crime would be attempted. And yet somehow we jump to felony murder. This never passes the test of intent (mens rea), this is especially ironic as intent is one of the topics the author harps on early in the book. And, then, the attorneys never even consider trying to prove that he had no intent. Perhaps, if they considered it and then decided it would be too hard to prove that would be one thing but there is never any discussion about the defendant’s state of mind. Which is a necessary component to determining if a crime has been committed. I just found too many things that weren’t believable in this book.

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  • roman's mom
  • 11-07-2021

Another solid in the series

Overall, I love this series. The plots twist but are explained well and this book follows the same rhythm.

Much like my other reviews, the narration is off the charts and Mr. Campbell brings so much life to the story! Well done!

My only issue with this book is that while I understand the book takes place in the highly liberal city of San Francisco, I take exception to the constant referral 'assault weapon' as this term is undefined and strictly propaganda.
(and yes, I am from Nevada)

Once I set aside this flaw in the story, it was pretty good. My ending recommendation is just remember its still a story and set in San Francisco.

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  • Royden Lobel
  • 05-06-2021

Another fine entry in the series

An interesting story with Mike and Rosie in good form. Another winner for Sheldon Siegal.

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  • Elizabeth O.
  • 14-10-2020

Really Enjoyed This One

This one turned out to be one of the best ones in the series. Likable characters. Good plot. Nice developments. Quite enjoyable!!! Possibly the best in the series so far.

Siegel, toned down, Mike’s constant asides and brought him back to a likable Mike again.

Tim Campbell is always flawless! Bravo Tim!

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  • Mark
  • 10-03-2020

Frustratingly formulaic

Same old same old from the first books. Too bad I thought I found something.

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  • rimalaw
  • 17-02-2020

Good Installment

Always a good fun fast listen. These books go by fast and keep you entertained. They are not heavy and you can finish them (like this) without realizing you’re done. It’s just a little shorter than I prefer. Around the 9-10 hour mark is better. Ex Mom in law was annoying in this and the last installment; but I guess you need some push to help create more story friction and obstacles. I also liked the ending, and enjoy the human side to the series.

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  • doglover
  • 29-08-2019

Another wonderful story by a wonderful author.

I started with book one and couldn't stop. Very fast paced and I really feel O know them all personally.

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  • Timothy D hastings
  • 25-09-2018

Gaping holes

Huge gaping holes in the story. Key pieces of evidence should have been in this book but never showed up. Anyone reading this book would pick up on the missing video never mentioned or the lack of good cross examinations. decent premise but badly told.

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  • Judith
  • 30-10-2017

Formulaic?

I have enjoyed all of this series, having listened to them in order. I'm unsure why they aren't more popu or lar. If you like John Grisham, Adam Mitzner or Victor Methos you will enjoy these books. However, this one is beginning to feel a bit formulaic so maybe just the first 7 in the series!

1 person found this helpful

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