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Certain Justice

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A PSYCHOPATH'S BACK ON THE STREETS--AND HE'S OUT FOR REVENGE… Dennis Carstens serves up a graphic throwback legal thriller in his fourth Marc Kadella installment, and this one’s dripping with suspense, one part captivating courtroom drama, one part grisly serial killer murder mystery. Marc is confronted with his sordid professional past when a series of violent cri A PSYCHOPATH'S BACK ON THE STREETS--AND HE'S OUT FOR REVENGE… Dennis Carstens serves up a graphic throwback legal thriller in his fourth Marc Kadella installment, and this one’s dripping with suspense, one part captivating courtroom drama, one part grisly serial killer murder mystery. Marc is confronted with his sordid professional past when a series of violent criminal cases are overturned—and some of the Twin Cities’ nastiest chickens come home to roost. We promise: you’ll need to read this one to the end. Thirteen years ago, Jimmy “Little” Oliver was an accomplished (altough diminutive) career burglar. He was no character out of Ocean’s Eleven, but he was reliable. And he knew how to case a joint. His partner was Howie “Big” Traynor, a bit younger than his cohort, and far more ruthless. Truth be told, Howie was a sociopath—and he scared the hell out of everyone, Jimmy included. So when a home robbery-gone-wrong ended up in murder, Jimmy didn’t think twice before turning his partner in. And rising-star criminal lawyer Marc Kadella was saddled with Howie’s defense. Marc was torn about his work for Howie—his first homicide case—but even he was relieved when Howie was put away for forty years… Until, a decade later, his case is re-opened. Seems the former tech in the BCA lab was falsifying DNA evidence to collude with cops in putting away suspected violent criminals. And now not only Howie, but a handful of wrongfully-accused felons, are back out on the streets. Marc and his longtime buddy PI Tony Caravelli don’t buy Howie’s come-to-Jesus act. And when an appeals judge with ties to the overturned cases winds up crucified in his own front yard, they’re convinced a dangerous killer has been wrongfully exonerated. Carsten’s wry dialogue and gritty realism shine here as Marc and his old friends in the police force band together to solve a series of brutal murders at the hands of a psychotic vigilante who isn’t slowing down. This is a unique kind of killer: one who knows the police force and takes a terrifying amount of pleasure in keeping them on their toes. One by one, lawyers and judges connected to the exonerated criminals turn up dead. And Marc’s pretty sure he’s next. A heart-racing legal thriller reminiscent of iconic hard-boiled puzzlers by John Grisham, Richard North Patterson, and Erle Stanley Gardner. This one will keep you guessing all the way to its gripping conclusion…and shaking in your shoes.


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A PSYCHOPATH'S BACK ON THE STREETS--AND HE'S OUT FOR REVENGE… Dennis Carstens serves up a graphic throwback legal thriller in his fourth Marc Kadella installment, and this one’s dripping with suspense, one part captivating courtroom drama, one part grisly serial killer murder mystery. Marc is confronted with his sordid professional past when a series of violent cri A PSYCHOPATH'S BACK ON THE STREETS--AND HE'S OUT FOR REVENGE… Dennis Carstens serves up a graphic throwback legal thriller in his fourth Marc Kadella installment, and this one’s dripping with suspense, one part captivating courtroom drama, one part grisly serial killer murder mystery. Marc is confronted with his sordid professional past when a series of violent criminal cases are overturned—and some of the Twin Cities’ nastiest chickens come home to roost. We promise: you’ll need to read this one to the end. Thirteen years ago, Jimmy “Little” Oliver was an accomplished (altough diminutive) career burglar. He was no character out of Ocean’s Eleven, but he was reliable. And he knew how to case a joint. His partner was Howie “Big” Traynor, a bit younger than his cohort, and far more ruthless. Truth be told, Howie was a sociopath—and he scared the hell out of everyone, Jimmy included. So when a home robbery-gone-wrong ended up in murder, Jimmy didn’t think twice before turning his partner in. And rising-star criminal lawyer Marc Kadella was saddled with Howie’s defense. Marc was torn about his work for Howie—his first homicide case—but even he was relieved when Howie was put away for forty years… Until, a decade later, his case is re-opened. Seems the former tech in the BCA lab was falsifying DNA evidence to collude with cops in putting away suspected violent criminals. And now not only Howie, but a handful of wrongfully-accused felons, are back out on the streets. Marc and his longtime buddy PI Tony Caravelli don’t buy Howie’s come-to-Jesus act. And when an appeals judge with ties to the overturned cases winds up crucified in his own front yard, they’re convinced a dangerous killer has been wrongfully exonerated. Carsten’s wry dialogue and gritty realism shine here as Marc and his old friends in the police force band together to solve a series of brutal murders at the hands of a psychotic vigilante who isn’t slowing down. This is a unique kind of killer: one who knows the police force and takes a terrifying amount of pleasure in keeping them on their toes. One by one, lawyers and judges connected to the exonerated criminals turn up dead. And Marc’s pretty sure he’s next. A heart-racing legal thriller reminiscent of iconic hard-boiled puzzlers by John Grisham, Richard North Patterson, and Erle Stanley Gardner. This one will keep you guessing all the way to its gripping conclusion…and shaking in your shoes.

30 review for Certain Justice

  1. 5 out of 5

    Una Tiers

    This book was way too long. In the first 25 pp I was certain I'd read it before. I realized the style is so rigid that two of his books were identical in plot. It was disappointing, not realistic and the main character was more annoying than I remember. This book was way too long. In the first 25 pp I was certain I'd read it before. I realized the style is so rigid that two of his books were identical in plot. It was disappointing, not realistic and the main character was more annoying than I remember.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    3 Stars Certain Justice is the fourth book in the Marc Kadella Legal Mysteries Series by Dennis Carstens. It is a legal mystery, with murder, psychopath, court procedure, drama, intrigue, interesting characters, and some suspense. A convicted psychopath who had been sentenced to 40 years in jail has his case reopened and is later released when the DNA evidence is overturned. Four other prisoners are also released due to the DNA slip-up. But things get intense when judges, jury members and law enf 3 Stars Certain Justice is the fourth book in the Marc Kadella Legal Mysteries Series by Dennis Carstens. It is a legal mystery, with murder, psychopath, court procedure, drama, intrigue, interesting characters, and some suspense. A convicted psychopath who had been sentenced to 40 years in jail has his case reopened and is later released when the DNA evidence is overturned. Four other prisoners are also released due to the DNA slip-up. But things get intense when judges, jury members and law enforcement officers are being targeted by a serial killer. Has Marc got a target on his back? Read the story to find out.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tulay

    Another excellent mystery. Make sure you won't be distributed all day, before start reading this book. You won't be able to put it down. Many grizzly murders of innocent people doing their jobs, but one mistake gets the guilty out of the jail. Get ready for the shocking truth comes out during the trial. Their is one mistake at the end, won't write about it here, will be asking author about this. Another excellent mystery. Make sure you won't be distributed all day, before start reading this book. You won't be able to put it down. Many grizzly murders of innocent people doing their jobs, but one mistake gets the guilty out of the jail. Get ready for the shocking truth comes out during the trial. Their is one mistake at the end, won't write about it here, will be asking author about this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anne Hill

    Slipped in quality of content I know authors must explain certain things in each and every book, but certain passages in this book seemed to be cut and pasted from the last book, annoying to say the least and it distracted from the storyline. Still like the characters and the courtroom scenes are engrossing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tina Bailey

    Gripping, sensational thriller! Marc Kadella is an exceptional defense attorney, and his major cases are never easy, but he knows his way around a courtroom. I love reading his actions in the courtroom, and I love how no matter what happens, he makes sure justice is served. He holds prosecutors accountable. Love these books!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gloria Perry

    Engaging story I really like this series and get caught up in the story telling. Unfortunately, in this book the proofreading was not on the same level as the first two. For example the lawyers left the "judges changers." There were several other examples but I can't quote them as easily. Plus the storyline was a bit less believable in this book. Engaging story I really like this series and get caught up in the story telling. Unfortunately, in this book the proofreading was not on the same level as the first two. For example the lawyers left the "judges changers." There were several other examples but I can't quote them as easily. Plus the storyline was a bit less believable in this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Patricia A Kelly

    Good, light, bedtime reading. I would give more stars but I am truly fed up with authors who do not proof read, or who do not have a publisher who corrects mistakes. I long for correct English: correct grammar, correct use of adjectives, and punctuation. How will children learn the language if they read incorrect material?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vickie Sarmina

    What a GREAT PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER!! Had me glued to the pages from the very first one!! What a roller coaster ride this one was! Multiple murders are creeping up in Minneapolis. The victim’s hands were nailed to some type of wood, their fingers were completed crushed, as well as their toes, and then once the torture was completed, the sadists sliced their throats, placed a crown of barbed wire on their heads, and left them for someone to find. Det Owen Jefferson wants to stop this murderer and What a GREAT PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER!! Had me glued to the pages from the very first one!! What a roller coaster ride this one was! Multiple murders are creeping up in Minneapolis. The victim’s hands were nailed to some type of wood, their fingers were completed crushed, as well as their toes, and then once the torture was completed, the sadists sliced their throats, placed a crown of barbed wire on their heads, and left them for someone to find. Det Owen Jefferson wants to stop this murderer and fast. Who could be doing this? What is the motive? Why are all the individuals who are being murdered judges, attorneys, or anyone else that might have to do with carrying out justice? Will Det Jefferson find out who is doing this and apprehend this monster? The plot was definitely a very well constructed storyline, which kept the reader completed engrossed and looking for more. The character development was superb! The reader could really relate to what the characters were feeling. I also liked the way the author had such knowledge of how the courtroom actually works, as well as the police forensics, and procedures. I am definitely looking forward to reading much more from this author!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Stevens

    I found this a difficult book to critique. We find out about Marc's very first case, which he loses, and his client is sent to prison. Twelve years later, we find out that this scary person has been released because the DNA evidence had been falsified and the sample was destroyed. Then a new serial killer shows up and starts operating. All of the characters we have grown to expect show up in this book. The author uses the crime spree to deepen their character development and does a nice job of i I found this a difficult book to critique. We find out about Marc's very first case, which he loses, and his client is sent to prison. Twelve years later, we find out that this scary person has been released because the DNA evidence had been falsified and the sample was destroyed. Then a new serial killer shows up and starts operating. All of the characters we have grown to expect show up in this book. The author uses the crime spree to deepen their character development and does a nice job of it. The changes of point of view are managed very well with none of the confusion that can sometime bedevil readers trying to keep track of where they are in the story. The word portrait of the serial killer is chilling and the grand finale of the book, in the killer's point of view, is especially chilled. I can't say this was an enjoyable book, but I am certainly glad I read it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Wow! This is an excellent book and the story is very well written! Marc Kadella is an attorney who represents the same client for two separate murder trials. And even after the client gets freed from prison on a technicality, he realizes that the client is a sociopath who threatens his life if he gets out. While that is not the only unusual fact in the story, what is unusual is that Marc has to honestly try to get a not guilty verdict for a very bad man that he knows will not stop killing. And st Wow! This is an excellent book and the story is very well written! Marc Kadella is an attorney who represents the same client for two separate murder trials. And even after the client gets freed from prison on a technicality, he realizes that the client is a sociopath who threatens his life if he gets out. While that is not the only unusual fact in the story, what is unusual is that Marc has to honestly try to get a not guilty verdict for a very bad man that he knows will not stop killing. And stay alive. Kept me going right up to the end of the book! Didn't see that coming and I love being surprised when I think I have figured out! I will be reading another by this author for sure!! Thanks for a great book!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ken Bour

    Carstens has added yet another top notch legal thriller to the Marc Kadella series. I enjoy the author's writing style and story development. This particular edition has a considerable amount of legal courtroom drama which I find interesting and engaging. A warning may be in order for some readers: there is a plethora of gruesome killings and, not only are they described in detail when they happen, the gore is subsequently covered again and again during trial testimony. Unlike the jury in the st Carstens has added yet another top notch legal thriller to the Marc Kadella series. I enjoy the author's writing style and story development. This particular edition has a considerable amount of legal courtroom drama which I find interesting and engaging. A warning may be in order for some readers: there is a plethora of gruesome killings and, not only are they described in detail when they happen, the gore is subsequently covered again and again during trial testimony. Unlike the jury in the story, the shock value of each cruel and brutal murder never waned in my case. As others have reported, and worthy of a one star deduction, the editing could have been much tighter failing to catch a number of punctuation errors, misspellings, and other distracting mistakes.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carol Martin

    Terrific cat & mouse plot This was a well written wild ride. Attorney Marc Kadella represents Howie Traynor, a very scary sociopath, whose conviction for murder is overturned (along with several others) because of mishandled DNA. Traynor has converted to Catholicism while in prison & comes out a changed man. He ends up being suspected of several new murders & Kadella ends up representing him again. But how can he be guilty if he has really good alibis? The twists and turns keep the reader wonderi Terrific cat & mouse plot This was a well written wild ride. Attorney Marc Kadella represents Howie Traynor, a very scary sociopath, whose conviction for murder is overturned (along with several others) because of mishandled DNA. Traynor has converted to Catholicism while in prison & comes out a changed man. He ends up being suspected of several new murders & Kadella ends up representing him again. But how can he be guilty if he has really good alibis? The twists and turns keep the reader wondering-is it him or is it one of the others who were also released for bungled DNA testing? Great suspense throughout.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Treva Parkins

    I love court drama and Carstens does this as good as or better than most. I prefer the majority of the action to be in the court room. A truly despicable villain, however, I must say I kept going back and forth between, he's totally guilty to maybe not. I've read books 1-4 and I agree with others that introductions to the various regular cast of characters is repetitive. In my opinion, reference to prior plots only make me want to go back and get all of the books that I've missed rather than hav I love court drama and Carstens does this as good as or better than most. I prefer the majority of the action to be in the court room. A truly despicable villain, however, I must say I kept going back and forth between, he's totally guilty to maybe not. I've read books 1-4 and I agree with others that introductions to the various regular cast of characters is repetitive. In my opinion, reference to prior plots only make me want to go back and get all of the books that I've missed rather than having them totally explained each time. I've read some of the other reviews and I also found misspellings, but this didn't take away from the thrill of the plot, the twists and turns.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bob Ely

    This was a good book, once you got into it. 4 men are let out of prison due to a bad DNA test. Once they are out, Judges and Lawyers that were involved in their cases start to be tortured and murdered. A retired cop and his friends are PI's and help the police keep an eye on these ex-cons. One of them is arrested and Marc, who represented him in his previous trial, is hired again to represent him. Once the trial starts, the book is hard to put down. Good ending and different. This was a good book, once you got into it. 4 men are let out of prison due to a bad DNA test. Once they are out, Judges and Lawyers that were involved in their cases start to be tortured and murdered. A retired cop and his friends are PI's and help the police keep an eye on these ex-cons. One of them is arrested and Marc, who represented him in his previous trial, is hired again to represent him. Once the trial starts, the book is hard to put down. Good ending and different.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Captain Dady Mody

    Just when I believed... I was proven so very wrong. I quite enjoyed the style & minute true to life's details that Dennis Carstens included in the story making it extremely readable & credible. This is the first book I have read by Mr. Carstens & I thoroughly enjoyed every page turning sequence of events that kept me wanting to turn the pages for longer periods of time thereby depriving me of sleep at times. I would recommend the book if ever I was asked. Captain Dady J. Mody Just when I believed... I was proven so very wrong. I quite enjoyed the style & minute true to life's details that Dennis Carstens included in the story making it extremely readable & credible. This is the first book I have read by Mr. Carstens & I thoroughly enjoyed every page turning sequence of events that kept me wanting to turn the pages for longer periods of time thereby depriving me of sleep at times. I would recommend the book if ever I was asked. Captain Dady J. Mody

  16. 4 out of 5

    Boots S

    Lawyer, Marc Kadella defends a man accused of murder and loses . His client is sent to jail, but is released four years later because of false DNA tests. Four other prisoners also released for the same bad DNA results and suddenly a serial killer is after judges, jury and law enforcement people that handled these cases. Marc wonders if he is on the list. This book gave very detailed court preparations and court explanations.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patty U.

    Awesome book, and very funny in parts. These books just keep getting better and better. Marc isn't the main focus till the last part of the book. I enjoyed reading about the cops and the criminals and the background of some of the main characters. Very interesting. I hope this series keeps going for a very long time, as I can't get enough! Awesome book, and very funny in parts. These books just keep getting better and better. Marc isn't the main focus till the last part of the book. I enjoyed reading about the cops and the criminals and the background of some of the main characters. Very interesting. I hope this series keeps going for a very long time, as I can't get enough!

  18. 5 out of 5

    C P

    Well written, dngaging First time reader of this author. As I write this, I have stayed up.last midnight just to see how it would end. After al! The challenges with trying to see if there were any ethical police or lawyers, they all came together at the end. And really fast had a large part in it

  19. 5 out of 5

    Keith Withers

    What goes round comes round A highly intriguing book. A convicted murderer and 3 other criminals are released from jail on a technicality. Suddenly people associated with tgeir cases start toturn up mutilated and murdered. Coincidence or not? You will be totally surprised. A must read for all suspense lovers.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa G Adams

    This was a horrible book. The authors writing style is boggling. Way too much flowery, unnecessary dialogue between the main character and almost every person he encounters. I doubt I'll read any more works by this author. This was a horrible book. The authors writing style is boggling. Way too much flowery, unnecessary dialogue between the main character and almost every person he encounters. I doubt I'll read any more works by this author.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Perrott

    Fantastic Twist This I think is the best one of the series so far. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time of reading it, it was hard to out down. The twists and turns had me biting my nails wondering what was going to happen next. Fantastic!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    michael pilgrim

    5 stars since 10 isnot available Excellent read,language is tough, ?ots of action...sex kis referred but not told! Good story line ,good CAST, and full of suspence! Ending is unexpected, but quite possible

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    Won't be reading anything else by this author. The writing was clumsy and repetitive. Took a long time for the story to get moving with lots of deaths that had v little impact because of the way they were written. Won't be reading anything else by this author. The writing was clumsy and repetitive. Took a long time for the story to get moving with lots of deaths that had v little impact because of the way they were written.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Glo

    Great mystery ! I loved how the author told you up front who did it and yet began to lead you to believe the killer was possibly someone else. Then shocked you in the end. If you enjoy a good mystery you’ll enjoy,this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    PWA Allen

    A really enjoyable story with very interesting characters. A lawyer is put in an unbelievable position. How he and his friends deal with this serial killer is truly a good story. It's murder, revenge, alittle romance, justice and great friends -what else could you ask for. A really enjoyable story with very interesting characters. A lawyer is put in an unbelievable position. How he and his friends deal with this serial killer is truly a good story. It's murder, revenge, alittle romance, justice and great friends -what else could you ask for.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    A Great Book! I enjoyed this mystery. It had lots of suspense and drama. I loved the characters and how they interacted. The killer had lots of tricks for sure and how they discovered him was interesting. The ending was surprising too.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Compelling Crime Thriller A dramatically compelling crime thriller with non-stop action and horrific crime scenes. Well written with fantastic characters and a well thought out plot.

  28. 4 out of 5

    linda kellogg

    Quite the story Fast paced and multidimensional this book is full of suspense, action, colorful characters, and intrigue. Hard to imagine one person being so evil. Fun to see law enforcement and legal work the case.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Keith McDonagh

    Great book Is give it5 stars but it was a bit more lengthy than it needed to be, in my opinion. That said, Great story, excellent character development, and overall a very good book. I'd recommend it. Great book Is give it5 stars but it was a bit more lengthy than it needed to be, in my opinion. That said, Great story, excellent character development, and overall a very good book. I'd recommend it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joseph C. Smith

    Fast paced murder mystery/courtroom drama. Certain Justice held my interest right up to the 98% finished point. The conclusion was somewhat disappointing....but, I guess, not terrible.

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