If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our October Author Interviews--10/4 Wendy Tyson, 10/11 Marilyn Levinson, 10/18 Earl Javorski, 10/25 Linda Lovely. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


October Saturday Guest Bloggers: 10/7 Mark Bacon, 10/14 Elaine Orr, 10/21 WWK's Margaret S. Hamilton, 10/28 Kait Carson, and E. B. Davis 10/31 to fill out our fifth Tuesday.


WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla! Look for Carla's blog this month to find out the winner.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.
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Friday, August 4, 2017

Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver: A Review by Warren Bull








Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver: A Review by Warren Bull

            Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver was published in 1958. It quickly became the number-one best-selling book in America. It is probably better known today as the classic Otto Preminger film starring James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara and George C. Scott. The movie was rated number 4 of the top 25 greatest legal movies by the American Bar Association. I heartily recommend that you see the black and white film or see it again as the case may be. Among its many honors, were three Grammy Awards for composers Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn for the movie’s sound track.
I also highly recommend the novel. At 526 pages, it ended much too soon for my liking. The author, actually named John Donaldson Voelker, worked as a county prosecuting attorney and served on the Michigan Supreme Court. The plot is well known. In front of a bar full of people an army officer shoots and kills a man who raped his wife. He is charged with murder. A former prosecuting attorney defends him during the trial by arguing that he was insane when he killed the man.
The book takes us through the preparation for the trial, the actual trial and, briefly, through its immediate aftermath.  It portrays the flaws inherent in the legal system.  The prosecuting and defense attorneys both coach their witnesses although they use different language for what they do. Each side wants to present that part of the truth that supports the verdict they desire.
For example when the accused man’s wife is advised that the prosecutor may imply that she was complicit and not actually raped she asks how a lawyer could distort what he knows is the truth.  The protagonist answers, “We lawyers quickly develop a protective scar tissue to take care of that…It’s all rather simple. It is our lofty conviction, hugged so dearly to our hearts, that our case is basically just and right and that those on the other side are just a pack of lying and guilty knaves…It’s merely the same old dilemma of man in a new guise: that supposed noble ends can ever justify shabby means. Mitch will tell himself — and with considerable force — that even if Barney did rape you, it gave Manny no legal justification to kill him. So the man must be guilty. From there it’s only a small jump, a mere breeze to convince himself that the ultimate truth or falsity doesn’t matter. Don’t you see?”
Throughout the novel that author allows us inside the head of the defense attorney. He allows us a peek at the legal system during a trail from a vantage point we almost never have. It is a griping, fascinating picture of the unpredictable ups and downs of a trial as experienced by an experienced advocate.  The author does not neglect the work needed after the day in court is over and before the next session starts. 

Anatomy of a Murder has been described as America’s favorite courtroom drama. It’s easy to see why.

5 comments:

Grace Topping said...

I remember seeing that movie as a youngster--quite dramatic. Thanks for recommending the book.

KM Rockwood said...

I read the book and saw the movie, but I think I'm going to have to revisit both!

Gloria Alden said...

I haven't read the book and don't remember seeing the movie, but I want to read the book now.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Time to watch the movie again.

Jim Jackson said...

I live in the general neck of the woods where the story occurred and have visited and in one case, eaten it, locales used in the movie. We had a lot of hoopla during the golden anniversary year of the movie.

That said, I need to admit that I haven't read the book nor seen the movie.

~ Jim