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Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid walks into her office in Portland’s Drug and Vice Division one Monday morning to find three police officers waiting for her. A thirteen-year-old girl has been brutally attacked and left for dead on the city’s outskirts. Given the lack of evidence, most lawyers would settle for an assault charge; Samantha, unnerved by the viciousness of the crime, decides to go for attempted murder. But as she prepares for the trial, she uncovers a dangerous trail leading to a high-profile death penalty case, a prostitution ring of underage girls, and a possible serial killer. And she finds her judgment—not only in matters of the law but in her personal life—called into question.
In Samantha Kincaid, Alafair Burke has created a complex, appealing character—a woman consumed by a sense of justice, who is also tough enough to take on a man’s world. Seamlessly juxtaposing courtroom scenes with those of criminal investigation, Judgment Calls reveals not only an insider’s knowledge of the criminal justice system but a fresh new voice in the world of crime writing.