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Hate Crime: A Novel of Suspense

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Bestselling author William Bernhardt is an unsurpassed master at blending psychological suspense with gripping, surprise-filled legal action. Now, Bernhardt and his crusading attorney Ben Kincaid return in a thrilling story of love, hate, and the power of a courtroom to separate deception from the truth. In Tulsa, Ben Kincaid has built a national reputation as a stalwart de Bestselling author William Bernhardt is an unsurpassed master at blending psychological suspense with gripping, surprise-filled legal action. Now, Bernhardt and his crusading attorney Ben Kincaid return in a thrilling story of love, hate, and the power of a courtroom to separate deception from the truth. In Tulsa, Ben Kincaid has built a national reputation as a stalwart defense attorney who will fight tirelessly for his clients. In Evanston, Illinois, Johnny Christensen has built a national reputation as a sadistic bigot who beat and stabbed a gay man and left him to die. When Johnny’s mother comes to Ben and begs him to defend her son, he has one secret reason for saying no. But while Ben turns down the case, his younger, beautiful partner, Christina McCall, does not. Traveling to Chicago and facing an explosion of controversy and deadly violence surrounding the trial, Christina steps into a case that is already nearly lost. Her client’s only defense is his claim that he left his victim bludgeoned but alive. To prove that someone else committed the actual murder, Christina needs a little bit of evidence—and a good motive to go with it. When unforeseen circumstances force Ben Kincaid to enter the trial, the defense attorney sees only one way to prove Johnny’s innocence. But Ben’s plan means luring a killer out of the woodwork—even though he may kill again. . . . A novel of gut-wrenching twists and surprises, this thriller brilliantly explores the passions between lovers—and the passions behind society’s most heinous crimes. Once again, the remarkable William Bernhardt makes us challenge every assumption, second-guess every judgment, and feel the terror of the truth. From the Hardcover edition.


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Bestselling author William Bernhardt is an unsurpassed master at blending psychological suspense with gripping, surprise-filled legal action. Now, Bernhardt and his crusading attorney Ben Kincaid return in a thrilling story of love, hate, and the power of a courtroom to separate deception from the truth. In Tulsa, Ben Kincaid has built a national reputation as a stalwart de Bestselling author William Bernhardt is an unsurpassed master at blending psychological suspense with gripping, surprise-filled legal action. Now, Bernhardt and his crusading attorney Ben Kincaid return in a thrilling story of love, hate, and the power of a courtroom to separate deception from the truth. In Tulsa, Ben Kincaid has built a national reputation as a stalwart defense attorney who will fight tirelessly for his clients. In Evanston, Illinois, Johnny Christensen has built a national reputation as a sadistic bigot who beat and stabbed a gay man and left him to die. When Johnny’s mother comes to Ben and begs him to defend her son, he has one secret reason for saying no. But while Ben turns down the case, his younger, beautiful partner, Christina McCall, does not. Traveling to Chicago and facing an explosion of controversy and deadly violence surrounding the trial, Christina steps into a case that is already nearly lost. Her client’s only defense is his claim that he left his victim bludgeoned but alive. To prove that someone else committed the actual murder, Christina needs a little bit of evidence—and a good motive to go with it. When unforeseen circumstances force Ben Kincaid to enter the trial, the defense attorney sees only one way to prove Johnny’s innocence. But Ben’s plan means luring a killer out of the woodwork—even though he may kill again. . . . A novel of gut-wrenching twists and surprises, this thriller brilliantly explores the passions between lovers—and the passions behind society’s most heinous crimes. Once again, the remarkable William Bernhardt makes us challenge every assumption, second-guess every judgment, and feel the terror of the truth. From the Hardcover edition.

30 review for Hate Crime: A Novel of Suspense

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    Christina McCall (Ben’s beautiful attorney partner) must take a case that Ben Kincaid (attorney) will not take in Evanston, Illinois. The case - Johnny Christensen - “sadistic” beat & another college fraternity classmate. They killed this gay man with a hammer/taser, the gay man left to die is found. It was a “Hate Crime” against homosexuals. Unjustified, Bias toward an ethnic group, against homosexuals. Only Johnny Christensen is found & on-trial. There are secrets that may exist in the “Hate Crim Christina McCall (Ben’s beautiful attorney partner) must take a case that Ben Kincaid (attorney) will not take in Evanston, Illinois. The case - Johnny Christensen - “sadistic” beat & another college fraternity classmate. They killed this gay man with a hammer/taser, the gay man left to die is found. It was a “Hate Crime” against homosexuals. Unjustified, Bias toward an ethnic group, against homosexuals. Only Johnny Christensen is found & on-trial. There are secrets that may exist in the “Hate Crime”. They can’t uncover Johnny’s missing friend. How was Johnny’s actual involvement in the attack? Would it be from his Fraternity where the body is found? Would being gay the only retribution reason? Would it be a anti-gay & lesbian group? Would it be for stolen money? In the beginning, Johnny’s mother had begged Ben to defend her son, Ben says no. They need to come terms of past personal relationships & she must get Ben forgive her to defend her son. Before getting Ben to help, Christina confronts Ben of his secret in the past. Then Ben, Christina & “her” legal team do good review as expected. The book goes thru how badly Christina & Ben were in harm/danger. They may be attacked due to defending homosexuals - defending Johnny Christensen in the “Hate Crime”. The book is nice & ending good. The actual court case & the legal debates are good in the book. Introduction into the courtroom chapters start half way thru the book, it seems faster than crime investigation completes, earlier than expected. Note- I found an interest story/link when reading... “On October 10, 2013, William Bernhardt became a Jeopardy! champion, fulfilling a lifelong dream of appearing on that quiz show.” http://www.j-archive.com/showplayer.p... http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php... — winner

  2. 5 out of 5

    David

    I feel as if I have read books by this author (featuring the same hero, Ben Kincaid) but nothing stands out about this Kincaid character except that he likes chocolate milk instead of alcohol.. that and his heart was broken once upon a time-- which is covered via a few flashbacks in this novel. Here's the setting-- two frat boys brutally beat a gay man-- leaving him in horrendous shape-- later, they are arrested after bragging in a local bar of their actions-- only to discover that the body of t I feel as if I have read books by this author (featuring the same hero, Ben Kincaid) but nothing stands out about this Kincaid character except that he likes chocolate milk instead of alcohol.. that and his heart was broken once upon a time-- which is covered via a few flashbacks in this novel. Here's the setting-- two frat boys brutally beat a gay man-- leaving him in horrendous shape-- later, they are arrested after bragging in a local bar of their actions-- only to discover that the body of the gay man was found in their frat house, now dead. Kincaid refuses to accept the case, but his partner, Christine, accepts the case and begins to look for a way to prove that her client did not commit the murder, even though he has confessed to the beating. Bernhardt does a good job of mixing the action, legal wrangling, and red herrings-- however, the reader is left flipping back and forth between investigators, a murderer, a street prostitute, and the courtroom. The novel has some great twists and turns-- but the characters (with the possible exception of Charlie the Chicken, the male prostitue) aren't fleshed out very well at all. It is one of those novels where nobody (except the lawyers and the accused) are really what they seem to be. Bernhardt needs to read some Lescroart-- and learn something about creating real emotional tension. Still, I have to say that this one was worth reading, if only for the powerful anti-death penalty statement (that I cannot completely agree with) in the closing author's note at the end of the book. The author's note is a powerful essay and worth reading. The novel, while lacking the power and any real sympathetic characters, is also worth reading.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chi Dubinski

    The author writes legal thrillers similar to John Grisham. This book begins with a kidnapping in Tulsa—the boy is returned to his parents, but the kidnappers are never found. Months later in Chicago, the manager of a bar, who is gay, is savagely beaten by two college frat boys. When his body is discovered the next day in the frat house, the frat boys maintain that he was alive when they left him, and they did not move the body to their house. Ben Kincaid is hired to defend the frat boys, but he The author writes legal thrillers similar to John Grisham. This book begins with a kidnapping in Tulsa—the boy is returned to his parents, but the kidnappers are never found. Months later in Chicago, the manager of a bar, who is gay, is savagely beaten by two college frat boys. When his body is discovered the next day in the frat house, the frat boys maintain that he was alive when they left him, and they did not move the body to their house. Ben Kincaid is hired to defend the frat boys, but he turns down the case, and his partner, Christina McCall, decides to take the case. She cannot understand why he refuses to take the case, but it seems that there is past history between Ben and the stepmother of one of the frat boys. There are many twists and turns, and a fair amount of violence, as the lawyers and police discover what really happened, and tie the two cases together. It was a good, page turning read, and anyone who enjoys legal mysteries will like this one.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Hagen

    Hate Crime, by William Bernhardt, a-minus. Narrated by Paul Boehmer, produced by Books on Tape and downloaded from audible.com. Ben Kincaid is a crusading criminal defense lawyer in Tulsa, Oklahoma who has a habit of taking cases on the basis of cause, not profit. His partner, Christina, worked her way up in his law office from legal assistant to partner once she passed the bar. A case drawing national attention was unfolding in Chicago where John Christiansen was one of two defendants charged wit Hate Crime, by William Bernhardt, a-minus. Narrated by Paul Boehmer, produced by Books on Tape and downloaded from audible.com. Ben Kincaid is a crusading criminal defense lawyer in Tulsa, Oklahoma who has a habit of taking cases on the basis of cause, not profit. His partner, Christina, worked her way up in his law office from legal assistant to partner once she passed the bar. A case drawing national attention was unfolding in Chicago where John Christiansen was one of two defendants charged with following a gay bartender out of a singles bar and beating him to death. Christiansen and his co-defendant insist that someone else must have murdered the bartender because they left him badly beaten but still alive. Christiansen’s mother, Ellen Christiansen, wants Ben Kincaid to take the case. But Ben and Ellen have a past and he has no interest in taking the case at all. But Christina, who can’t understand why he won’t take the case, does take it. At first it seems to be a hate crime. But as the case unfolds it becomes clear there might be other motives for killing the bartender. The case is fraught with danger with gay activist groups and anti-gay groups squaring off against each other. Finally Ben is pulled into the case against his will. It appears that someone wants to kill the lawyers. It is unclear whether the victim was involved in unlawful activity, and if so there are others involved as well. Finally, Ben conceives a plan to flush out the killer which puts him and Christina in even more danger. This was a very good book and Boehm did a wonderful job narrating and portraying all the different characters. This is my first novel by this author but not my last.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    In Tulsa, Ben Kincaid has built a national reputation as a stalwart defense attorney who will fight tirelessly for his clients. In Evanston, Illinois, Johnny Christensen has built a national reputation as a sadistic bigot who beat and stabbed a gay man and left him to die. When Johnny’s mother comes to Ben and begs him to defend her son, he has one secret reason for saying no. But while Ben turns down the case, his younger, beautiful partner, Christina McCall, does not. Traveling to Chicago and f In Tulsa, Ben Kincaid has built a national reputation as a stalwart defense attorney who will fight tirelessly for his clients. In Evanston, Illinois, Johnny Christensen has built a national reputation as a sadistic bigot who beat and stabbed a gay man and left him to die. When Johnny’s mother comes to Ben and begs him to defend her son, he has one secret reason for saying no. But while Ben turns down the case, his younger, beautiful partner, Christina McCall, does not. Traveling to Chicago and facing an explosion of controversy and deadly violence surrounding the trial, Christina steps into a case that is already nearly lost. Her client’s only defense is his claim that he left his victim bludgeoned but alive. To prove that someone else committed the actual murder, Christina needs a little bit of evidence—and a good motive to go with it. This was one of the best in the series (even if there weren't any Tulsa landmarks for me to recognize). The different story lines progressed at a nice pace.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    I'm not sure how to rate this book. The mystery was absorbing and as always I enjoyed the main characters of Ben Kincaid, Christina and the rest of the office team. However, there was a LOT of objectionable content in this book: graphic violence and TMI about a male hooker's practice of his profession. As this was a download, disc by disc instead of track by track, I had to take the earbuds out for long stretches when I could tell that I didn't want to listen to and have unwholesome images that I'm not sure how to rate this book. The mystery was absorbing and as always I enjoyed the main characters of Ben Kincaid, Christina and the rest of the office team. However, there was a LOT of objectionable content in this book: graphic violence and TMI about a male hooker's practice of his profession. As this was a download, disc by disc instead of track by track, I had to take the earbuds out for long stretches when I could tell that I didn't want to listen to and have unwholesome images that would stay in my head. I feel a bit foolish for not quitting the book right away.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    This story was well written (although I listened to it). I enjoyed the depth that the characters had and the way they fit together. Without giving too much away, the "Hate Crime" portion of the book was really hard. I was in tears envisioning what was happening. I also thought the story was gonna go in a direction that would have really angered me. William Bernhardt did a great job with the story and the Narrator in the audio book told the story great. This story was well written (although I listened to it). I enjoyed the depth that the characters had and the way they fit together. Without giving too much away, the "Hate Crime" portion of the book was really hard. I was in tears envisioning what was happening. I also thought the story was gonna go in a direction that would have really angered me. William Bernhardt did a great job with the story and the Narrator in the audio book told the story great.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gary E

    I really enjoy this series and this book was no exception to that trend. I generally describe these books as equal parts courtroom drama and detective story. There is almost no way to guess who done it until the characters know themselves. Sometimes you can guess a few pages before the characters figure it out but that is about it. These books are fast paced and they are filled with characters that you just want to learn more and more about. In short these books are everything I am looking for in I really enjoy this series and this book was no exception to that trend. I generally describe these books as equal parts courtroom drama and detective story. There is almost no way to guess who done it until the characters know themselves. Sometimes you can guess a few pages before the characters figure it out but that is about it. These books are fast paced and they are filled with characters that you just want to learn more and more about. In short these books are everything I am looking for in a casual novel. If any of that sounds good to you grab a copy of the first book in the series and start reading.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Madland

    "Hate Crime" is the continuation of William Bernhardt's Ben Kincaid series. If you're familiar with the series, then you know that some of Ben's clients aren't the greatest of people, but Ben's newest client Johnny Christenson might be the worst of them all. Johnny is a self professed bigot who has been charged for the murder of a gay man in the Chicago area. Not the ideal client for most lawyers, but most lawyers aren't Ben Kincaid. "Hate Crime" is another well written book in this series. I rec "Hate Crime" is the continuation of William Bernhardt's Ben Kincaid series. If you're familiar with the series, then you know that some of Ben's clients aren't the greatest of people, but Ben's newest client Johnny Christenson might be the worst of them all. Johnny is a self professed bigot who has been charged for the murder of a gay man in the Chicago area. Not the ideal client for most lawyers, but most lawyers aren't Ben Kincaid. "Hate Crime" is another well written book in this series. I recommend you read the previous books in the series as you should get to know the characters before you make it this far.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Thought-provoking book. A mystery based on the torturous death of a gay man played out in the trial of his attacker. I’ve read other books by this author that were also good. I can easily recommend this one. Tough to put it down after I got started.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Orth

    The author is riding a very thin line taking on the topic of a defense attorney's perspective on hate crime. it is easy to completely vilify the perpetrator - especially when the sole motivation for the crime is hate of the victim based on their group affiliation. I love how there are interwoven chapters of the victim's diary and how he came about finding self-respect and peace within his own self. What would be interesting is having similar diary entries for the perpetrator of the crime and how The author is riding a very thin line taking on the topic of a defense attorney's perspective on hate crime. it is easy to completely vilify the perpetrator - especially when the sole motivation for the crime is hate of the victim based on their group affiliation. I love how there are interwoven chapters of the victim's diary and how he came about finding self-respect and peace within his own self. What would be interesting is having similar diary entries for the perpetrator of the crime and how he came to a place where he perceived taking such heinous, violent action are reasonable, sane, or legitimate in any way.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brian O'Leary

    Kincaid and the gang are always a great read

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathy kennedy

    did not finish too violent.

  14. 5 out of 5

    David Masumba

    Sometimes the monster is not really under the bed but in the acts that go unwitnessed. WILLIAM BERNHARDT does not hide the social horror of an act unwitnessed.

  15. 5 out of 5

    LARRY

    As posted in [http://www.amazon.com]: *Hate Crime* was just ok. While there were many things going on, some of them really took your attention away from the main story. My biggest gripe about this installment was that there was too much focus and unnecessary drama between Ben Kincaid and a mysterious woman, Ellen Christensen. Ellen comes into Ben's law firm in Tulsa, begging him to take her son's case, in Chicago. Her son, Johnny, has been accused of torturing and murdering a young gay man at his As posted in [http://www.amazon.com]: *Hate Crime* was just ok. While there were many things going on, some of them really took your attention away from the main story. My biggest gripe about this installment was that there was too much focus and unnecessary drama between Ben Kincaid and a mysterious woman, Ellen Christensen. Ellen comes into Ben's law firm in Tulsa, begging him to take her son's case, in Chicago. Her son, Johnny, has been accused of torturing and murdering a young gay man at his fraternity house. Ben, upon seeing Ellen, flat out refuses. Standing nearby is Christina McCall, who has recently been promoted at partner. Feeling for the mother's plea, Christina decides to take the case, without Ben's blessing. While Johnny freely admits to torture, he claims he's innocent of the murder. Meanwhile, everyone else would like to get their hands on Johnny, especially a gay activist group. Christina soon realizes that she has a nightmare of a case once she discovers that Johnny's fraternity brothers are members of a Christian organization that is openly opposed to homosexuality and toss Johnny "to the dogs". At the same time, Mike Morelli, Ben's former brother-in-law, is featured, working on a case with an FBI agent. They've just recently worked on a high-profile and mysterious kidnapping case. Overall, it was a good book, worthy of reading just to kill time while riding the public transportation. I just felt that almost half the book was focused on why Ben wouldn't help Ellen out. In addition, the sexual overtures were overused between characters, such as with Ben and Christina and Mike and his partner and FBI agent.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lynda

    Lawyers tried to defend a man accused of a gruesome murder of a homosexual man. Public outcry, protests, and threats complicated their efforts, especially when they were targeted by an aggressive group. This story had graphic details of the murders and woven between the pages surprising twists connecting all the murders. Hidden between the main storyline were smaller background stories adding interest to the characters. The fears about homosexuality and the violence that followed was addressed a Lawyers tried to defend a man accused of a gruesome murder of a homosexual man. Public outcry, protests, and threats complicated their efforts, especially when they were targeted by an aggressive group. This story had graphic details of the murders and woven between the pages surprising twists connecting all the murders. Hidden between the main storyline were smaller background stories adding interest to the characters. The fears about homosexuality and the violence that followed was addressed and the assumption of guilt before a fair trial was detrimental. A difficult book to read but at the same time, an interesting way to present an issue that invaded society and must be handled with respect and acceptance.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rick Ludwig

    William Bernhardt does it again with this installment of the Ben Kincaid story. How he combines a horrific crime, an unsympathetic defendant, a woman from his past, and all his usual colleagues in another exciting and moving legal thriller without once repeating himself is magic. This one puts everything together so well that it deserves the five stars that I am always very hesitant to bestow on any book. This one grabs you from the first page and never lets you go. There are surprises throughou William Bernhardt does it again with this installment of the Ben Kincaid story. How he combines a horrific crime, an unsympathetic defendant, a woman from his past, and all his usual colleagues in another exciting and moving legal thriller without once repeating himself is magic. This one puts everything together so well that it deserves the five stars that I am always very hesitant to bestow on any book. This one grabs you from the first page and never lets you go. There are surprises throughout, yet it all fits neatly together. I will never stop until I have read all of this series and all of the other efforts by this gifted and prolific author.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This book was given to me by a "gay" friend. The book is quite well written. From my perspective as a straight" woman it has left me w/a better understanding about these HATE crimes & a lot of what's involved from the emotional make-up of the perp to the often times denial of victims along w/a glimpse of that particular arm of "justice". It was well worth reading; keeping my interest at all times. I would recommend this book to any & every one. This book was given to me by a "gay" friend. The book is quite well written. From my perspective as a straight" woman it has left me w/a better understanding about these HATE crimes & a lot of what's involved from the emotional make-up of the perp to the often times denial of victims along w/a glimpse of that particular arm of "justice". It was well worth reading; keeping my interest at all times. I would recommend this book to any & every one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    Ben Kincaid is asked to defend the son of a woman from his past in a case of torture and murder of a homosexual. But Christina takes the case after Ben refuses to. Major Mike Morelli of the Tulsa police works with an FBI agent to arrest kidnappers who escape. Then members of the kidnapper's crew staart getting murdered. The two cases become intertwined. An interesting read with many twists and turns. Ben Kincaid is asked to defend the son of a woman from his past in a case of torture and murder of a homosexual. But Christina takes the case after Ben refuses to. Major Mike Morelli of the Tulsa police works with an FBI agent to arrest kidnappers who escape. Then members of the kidnapper's crew staart getting murdered. The two cases become intertwined. An interesting read with many twists and turns.

  20. 4 out of 5

    J. Ewbank

    This book by Bernhardt is exceptional. The characters we have come to know and enjoy and the usual interesting and compelling plot. We know it will turn out pretty well in the end, but do not know how or what twists and turns it will take before we get there. J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'" This book by Bernhardt is exceptional. The characters we have come to know and enjoy and the usual interesting and compelling plot. We know it will turn out pretty well in the end, but do not know how or what twists and turns it will take before we get there. J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Even though Bernhardt is a former attorney, he doesn't lose his readers with complicated legal jargon. You end up learning more about the legal system through his books but it comes easily...he's simplistic yet not to the point that you get bored. Another great book!!!! Even though Bernhardt is a former attorney, he doesn't lose his readers with complicated legal jargon. You end up learning more about the legal system through his books but it comes easily...he's simplistic yet not to the point that you get bored. Another great book!!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    The issue of the hate crime is a little over blown. The defendant is too much of a hater, he inflicts too much damage and he is too unrepentant in the face of the death penalty. The court (trial) openings are well prepared.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Neil Mudde

    A powerful story, with all the twists and turns a good mystery ought to have, the content is so apropo, and a bit in the vein of the Mathew Shephard murder which was a display of cowardice and blatant homophobia Bernard writes a wonderful in interesting book, with many relevant details.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lanelle Duke

    I used to really like this series. I was happy to see a Ben Kincaid book I hadn't ready. However, the topic of the book was unsettling and gruesome. And, the banter between the characters grew tiresome very quickly. Definitely not my favorite in the series. I used to really like this series. I was happy to see a Ben Kincaid book I hadn't ready. However, the topic of the book was unsettling and gruesome. And, the banter between the characters grew tiresome very quickly. Definitely not my favorite in the series.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Interesting plot and cast nearly overwhelmed by the graphic descriptions of street & child prostitution. Took a lot to hang in to the end though it's compellingly written and succeeds, sadly, in educating. Well narrated. Interesting plot and cast nearly overwhelmed by the graphic descriptions of street & child prostitution. Took a lot to hang in to the end though it's compellingly written and succeeds, sadly, in educating. Well narrated.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    The person who read this book did an excellent job.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Incredibly moving book depicting a gay man who is beaten and murdered by two vengeful anti-gay men...or was he murdered or just left to die? A powerful read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Heron

    this was not a good book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lucille

    a little hard to follow. thin plot

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ricardo

    My favourite book by Bernhardt so far. I think he overdid some of the plot twists and instead of adding, they detracted from it, but overall a very good read

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