The Arraignment

Version: Abridged
Author: Steve Martini
Narrator: Joe Mantegna
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Mystery, Thriller & Horror
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published In: January 2003
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 6 hours
Tell Your Friends:


A riveting new novel by the bestselling author of The Jury.

Defense attorney Paul Madriani tackles the most challenging case of his career -- the chilling murder of a friend on a crowded city street -- in this brilliantly suspenseful new novel in the bestselling series.

After a friend and fellow lawyer 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, he suspects, is involved in double murder. Madriani wants to know who killed his friend and why. He is torn by questions of conflict between his duty to a client who may be a killer and the need to know the truth. Madriani wonders whether he himself had been marked for death, only to have a friend die in his place.

Madriani is drawn into a vortex of crime that spans the Americas. Without realizing, he is suddenly riding the crest of a dangerous wave involving a family of wealthy international developers and people who murder for money. When the police focus on the wrong motive for the killings, thereby threatening to close the book on another unsolved crime, Madriani sets off on a deadly quest that takes him from California to the steaming jungles of Mexico and the ancient cultures of the Yucat√°n. There he discovers that while death may be driven by distant and exotic motives, the killer, like a serpent, lies much closer at hand.

Reviews (7)

I needed a Martini after the ending

Written by Timothy Higgins from Cincinnati, OH on December 6th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Well, I really liked the book...right up til the end. It was good suspense, good descriptions, I like Joe Mantenga as a narrator, and with him speaking, you never forgot that "Madriani" is an italian name. A lot of side plots that I wanted to know more about, but the book left a lot of loose ends. I mean a LOT! It seemed as if Steve Martini was writing a great book, wasn't quite done, and his publisher called and said it was due in two days. So he found the quickest, most unlikely ending possible. I felt cheated and mislead, wondering why 75% of the book was written, because it certainly didn't have any bearing on the conclusion.

Good, but

Written by Tony Rozendaal on July 28th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I like Steve Martini, and I thought the reader did a good job. I was disappointed in the number of 'f-bombs' that were dropped during the reading. As long as the book is abridged, certainly those could have been left out as well.

OK -- I admitt it

Written by Shane Nixon from Burlington, NC on January 10th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I am a Paul Madriani fan. Even though I prefer the previous one to this one in the series, I love them all. I especially like the length. One can get a good read out of one "check out" as these stories are typically four to five disks. Good story, about what I am growing to expect from Martini.


Written by Lucy on August 22nd, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I would actually give this a 4 1/2, the only problem with the book being that it was abridged. It's true that the ending was a whirlwind of rushed explanations to try and supply the missing information. Still, this has its up side in that I was able to listen to it without having to wait for a second or third mailing. The story was fast-moving, I already liked Steve Martini's writing style, and Joe Mantegna's reading was exceptional, bringing each character to life with his skillful accents and tone. I look forward to other audiobooks by Martini, especially the ones read by Mantegna. Highly recommend!


Written by Greg Waleke on July 26th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I'm not a big fan of abridgements and this one validated my opinion. A good story but without the details the last chapter consisted of an exposition explaining everything that you missed by not having the full book.


Written by Nanette on February 8th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This was my first book on audio and loved it. Made my trip to and from work fly by. Madriani is a very interesting character. Really enjoyed the book and look forward to more of Martini's work.


Written by Troy Little from Whitesboro, NY on December 8th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I did not find this book to be very entertaining. The story was ok, but not very realistic. I found the reading of the book to be very poor. This is the first audiobook that did not hold my attention.

Author Details

Author Details

Martini, Steve

"Steve Martini was born in San Francisco and grew up in the Bay Area and Southern California. An honors graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, Martini?s first career was in journalism. He worked as a newspaper reporter in Los Angeles and as a correspondent at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, specializing in legal issues, before gaining his law degree from the University of the Pacific?s McGeorge School of Law.

In 1974 he entered private law practice in California where he appeared in both state and federal courts. During his law career he worked as a legislative representative for the State Bar of California , served as special counsel to the California Victims of Violent Crimes Program, and was an administrative law judge and supervising hearing officer.

In 1984, Martini turned his talents to fiction. COMPELLING EVIDENCE, the novel that introduced attorney Paul Madriani, was published by Putnam in 1992. A national bestseller, that novel earned Martini a critical and popular following. "