Judge & Jury

Judge & Jury

BY James Patterson & Andrew Gross

Andie DeGrasse, an aspiring actress and single mom, is not your typical juror. Hoping to get dismissed from the pool, she tells the judge that most of her legal knowledge comes from a bit part curling around a stripper's pole in The Sopranos. But she still ends up as juror #11 in a landmark trial against a notorious mob boss.

The case quickly becomes the new Trial of the Century. Mafia don Dominic Cavello, known as the Electrician, is linked to hundreds of gruesome, unspeakable crimes. Senior FBI agent Nick Pellisante has been tracking him for years. He knows Cavello's power reaches far beyond the courtroom, but the FBI's evidence against the ruthless killer is iron-clad. Conviction is a sure thing.

As the jury is about to reach a verdict, the Electrician makes one devastating move that no one could have predicted. The entire nation is reeling, and Andie's world is shattered. For her, the hunt for the Electrician becomes personal, and she and Pellisante come together in an unbreakable bond: they will exact justice-at any cost.

James Patterson spins an all-out heart-pounding legal thriller that pits two people against the most vicious and powerful mobster since John Gotti. Judge & Jury is a stunning feat by "one of America's most influential authors" (New York Times).

Chapter 1

IN HIS HOUSE on Yehuda Street in Haifa, high above the sky-blue Mediterranean, Richard Nordeshenko tried the King’s Indian Defense. The pawn break, Kasparov’s famous attack. From there Kasparov had dismantled Tukmakov in the Russian Championship in 1981.

Across from Nordeshenko a young boy countered by matching the pawn. His father nodded, pleased with the move. “And why does the pawn create such an advantage?” Nordeshenko asked.

“Because it blocks freeing up of your queenside rook,” the boy answered quickly. “And the advance of your pawn to a queen. Correct?”

“Correct.” Nordeshenko beamed at his son. “And when did the queen first acquire the powers that it holds today?”

“Around fifteen hundred,” his son answered. “In Europe. Up until then it merely moved two spaces, up and down. But . . .”

“Bravo, Pavel!”

Affectionately, he mussed his son’s blond hair. For an eleven-year-old, Pavel was learning quickly.

The boy glanced silently over the board, then moved his rook. Nordeshenko saw what his son was up to. He had once been in the third tier of Glasskov’s chess academy in Kiev. Still, he pretended to ignore it and pushed forward his attack on the opposite side, exposing a pawn.

“You’re letting me win, Father,” the boy declared, refusing to take it. “Besides, you said just one game. Then you would teach me . . .”

“Teach you?” Nordeshenko teased him, knowing precisely what he meant. “You can teach me.

“Not chess, Father.” The boy looked up. “Poker.”

“Ah, poker?” Nordeshenko feigned surprise. “To play poker, Pavel, you must have something to bet.”

“I have something,” the boy insisted. “I have six dollars in coins. I’ve been saving up. And over a hundred soccer cards. Perfect condition.”

Nordeshenko smiled. He understood what the boy was feeling. He had studied how to seize the advantage his whole life. Chess was hard. Solitary. Like playing an instrument. Scales, drills, practice. Until every eventuality became absorbed, memorized. Until you didn’t have to think.

A little like learning to kill a man with your bare hands.

But poker, poker was liberating. Alive. Unlike in chess, you never played the same way twice. You broke the rules. It required an unusual combination: discipline and risk.

Suddenly, the chime of Nordeshenko’s mobile phone cut in. He was expecting the call. “We’ll pick it up in a moment,” Nordeshenko said to Pavel.

“But, Father,” the boy whined, disappointed.

“In a moment,” Nordeshenko said again, picking up his son by the armpits, spanking him lightly on his way. “I have to take this call. Not another word.”


Nordeshenko walked out to the terrace overlooking the sea and flipped open the phone. Only a handful of people in the world had this number. He settled into a chaise.

“This is Nordeshenko.”

“I’m calling for Dominic Cavello,” the caller said. “He has a job for you.”

“Dominic Cavello? Cavello is in jail and awaiting trial,” Nordeshenko said. “And I have many jobs to consider.”

“Not like this one,” the caller said. “The Godfather has requested only you. Name your price.”

Copyright © 2006 by James Patterson

Read by Joe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna won a Tony for his portrayal of Richard Roma in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross. Selected film credits include Bugsy, Searching for Bobby Fischer, and The Godfather III.

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Judge & Jury
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400 pages
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