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By Reason of Insanity

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Sometimes the easiest cases are the hardest. The defendant absolutely, positively murdered her own mother. She is also absolutely, positively mentally ill. Homicide prosecutor David Brunelle is tasked with holding her responsible despite the best efforts of her defense team, which includes a psychologist who's convinced she's innocent. As the case proceeds, the pressures m Sometimes the easiest cases are the hardest. The defendant absolutely, positively murdered her own mother. She is also absolutely, positively mentally ill. Homicide prosecutor David Brunelle is tasked with holding her responsible despite the best efforts of her defense team, which includes a psychologist who's convinced she's innocent. As the case proceeds, the pressures mount and Brunelle begins to question his own sanity. Will Brunelle crack the case, or will the case crack him?


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Sometimes the easiest cases are the hardest. The defendant absolutely, positively murdered her own mother. She is also absolutely, positively mentally ill. Homicide prosecutor David Brunelle is tasked with holding her responsible despite the best efforts of her defense team, which includes a psychologist who's convinced she's innocent. As the case proceeds, the pressures m Sometimes the easiest cases are the hardest. The defendant absolutely, positively murdered her own mother. She is also absolutely, positively mentally ill. Homicide prosecutor David Brunelle is tasked with holding her responsible despite the best efforts of her defense team, which includes a psychologist who's convinced she's innocent. As the case proceeds, the pressures mount and Brunelle begins to question his own sanity. Will Brunelle crack the case, or will the case crack him?

30 review for By Reason of Insanity

  1. 5 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    Keesha Sawyer brutally murders her mother by hacking her face into oblivion. She even calls 911 to report it. She's calm, she's collected, she's a paranoid schizophrenic. According to Keesha, her mother murdered her in her dreams and made her into a zombie. That wasn't so bad, according to Keesha, but when her mother started murdering young children and turning them into zombies, is when Keesha decided her mother must die. Homicide Prosecutor, David Brunelle, has the unenviable job of proving tha Keesha Sawyer brutally murders her mother by hacking her face into oblivion. She even calls 911 to report it. She's calm, she's collected, she's a paranoid schizophrenic. According to Keesha, her mother murdered her in her dreams and made her into a zombie. That wasn't so bad, according to Keesha, but when her mother started murdering young children and turning them into zombies, is when Keesha decided her mother must die. Homicide Prosecutor, David Brunelle, has the unenviable job of proving that even though mentally ill, Keesha knew what she was doing, even planned it in advance. The defense attorney brings in a psychologist who's convinced she is innocent. So how does one differentiate between not guilty by reason of insanity .... and guilty, even though the person charged has a mental illness. Does mental illness equate with insanity? Because the author is also an attorney, the book does not lack realism. It takes the reader from when the suspect is charged, through dealings with the defense attorney, selecting a jury, and presenting the case. There is a giant twist in the story, however, the ending waffled, and left a lot to be desired. 5 stars overall, with -2 for the ending.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mguhin

    Legal Procedural Marred by Tired Sexist Nonsense and Sloppy Editing Although exposition of legal details and trial tactics are interesting, protagonist D.A. Dave Brunelle is a pretty flat character who spends too much time thinking with his little head.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Greg Perczak

    Speaking in absolutes is usually a mistake, particularly for trial lawyers. I'm confident, however, that this statement is correct: This is the absolutely worst, most juvenile, most undisciplined and unfocused novel I have ever read. The plot, with its heavily promoted "plot twist", is absurd. Even suspending disbelief for the sake of artistic license cannot justify the muddle of the book's last four chapters. The characters are limply drawn caricatures, particularly the protagonist Brunelle and Speaking in absolutes is usually a mistake, particularly for trial lawyers. I'm confident, however, that this statement is correct: This is the absolutely worst, most juvenile, most undisciplined and unfocused novel I have ever read. The plot, with its heavily promoted "plot twist", is absurd. Even suspending disbelief for the sake of artistic license cannot justify the muddle of the book's last four chapters. The characters are limply drawn caricatures, particularly the protagonist Brunelle and his apparent antagonist, a pop psychologist who lacks only two horns and a pitchfork to be trivialized further. The courtroom scenes are bewilderingly lacking in common sense: we are to believe that a supposedly tough trial judge will let the psychologist (who, by the way, cannot be properly qualified to even offer opinions on legal standards, their history or their interpretation) ramble on for minutes on opinions which are directly opposed to prevailing law? The author does not classify this book under "Fantasy", but that is where the writing takes us. I was completely disappointed in this book and this author. Hopefully this represents a low-water mark for his efforts, since I admire his efffort to put a story together, but this is simply not worth the time or cost of reading it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John

    This story like the last one shows a trial that is outside of the norm. In this one David is prosecuting a daughter who is responsible for the death of her mother. The defense tries a couple of mental excuses to prevent her from being put into mental hospital. The 1st item that they were going to use was thrown out by the judge. The 2nd item was what was ultimately decided and was the basis for the decision that a jury would make. To support this a couple of psychologist were employed one for the This story like the last one shows a trial that is outside of the norm. In this one David is prosecuting a daughter who is responsible for the death of her mother. The defense tries a couple of mental excuses to prevent her from being put into mental hospital. The 1st item that they were going to use was thrown out by the judge. The 2nd item was what was ultimately decided and was the basis for the decision that a jury would make. To support this a couple of psychologist were employed one for the defense and one for the prosecution. David has to make a trip for information which places him in danger. To discover what the outcome and why David gets into danger, then you must read this book. You won't be disappointed. The ending covers it all.

  5. 4 out of 5

    James Georger

    Spoiler alert: This was a compelling courtroom case for A while, but it never really resolved in the courtroom. A twist comes unexpectedly out of left field, and, rather than ending, the book sort of stops. The main character is annoyingly horny, with almost every conversation loaded with sexual innuendo. Secretary, defense attorney, girlfriend? makes no difference, his lust is ever present, even in the courtroom. Overall, it is probably difficult to cast a character who is, human and fallible, Spoiler alert: This was a compelling courtroom case for A while, but it never really resolved in the courtroom. A twist comes unexpectedly out of left field, and, rather than ending, the book sort of stops. The main character is annoyingly horny, with almost every conversation loaded with sexual innuendo. Secretary, defense attorney, girlfriend? makes no difference, his lust is ever present, even in the courtroom. Overall, it is probably difficult to cast a character who is, human and fallible, yet worthy of admiration. In these early books, Brunelle is out of balance. The legal content and exchanges are top notch, on a par with Scott Turow, but the experiencce is cheapened by the adolescent sexuality.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Liz Foss

    Awful. Awful. Gross. Never read anything as sexist as this. I would not recommend this series of books to anyone! Not anyone! No one! The prosecutors name is Brunelle and all inferences in every conversation he has are sexual. He talks to his co-counsel, or a defense attorney or a police officer and everyone he thinks about is oh “I’m looking at her tits” or “I want to butt fuck her” or “her ass looks great in that suit”. Disgusting. Gross. Awful. Don’t read!!!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    A younger woman was accused of a horrific murder of her mother. But was she capable of standing trial or was she mental incompetent . This was Brunelles new case he was fighting. Thru out the investigation he had to go to a mental institution to look at some video . He felt real uncomfortable there. the ending is exciting with lots of things popping up to surprise you. And of course the usually talk about judges , the laws and court case info to expand your knowledge.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Vaughan

    Lynnie Hmmm, what do i say. Enjoy the trail cases. A lot of detail in them. A lot of twist and turns.. Enjoy the characters. Not sure how to take the. Womanizering. Every lady he is looking her up and down. Not sure how to take that in Dave Brunelle. Jury out on this one. ??

  9. 5 out of 5

    bonnie kirchner

    By Reason of Insanity This was not as exciting as the other books in the seriethat I have This book was not as good as the other books in the series that I already read. It did not have the thrills that the others did. It was just ok.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Antoinette Trudell

    Kept me guessing Enjoyed the details of character development and story line. Especially enjoyed the background details of psychiatric disorders versus legal applications of same. Curious if this is the current lag in today s legal defense/ prosecutorial arena.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Glenn LaRue

    Excellent legal mystery Except for times the legal explanations got a little long (but undoubtedly necessary for understanding legal concepts) the book was a good read. Highly recommend

  12. 4 out of 5

    Don Hickey

    Lack of integrety Your character has no integrity, so even though so like your story lines, I can't believe a good prosecutor could be so devoid of character. I will not continue this seried Lack of integrety Your character has no integrity, so even though so like your story lines, I can't believe a good prosecutor could be so devoid of character. I will not continue this seried

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Yvonnica

    Pretty good, but flawed. The story was exciting and I read the book in a day. But the ending was too convenient. I loved the story, hated the way the book was ended.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leon

    What a joke. It would have gotten 3 or 4 stars until the cop out ending.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Radcliffe

    By Reason Of Insanity. This book was very easy to read and understand. Lots of courtroom excitement. A great lesson in being Criminally charged .

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rita Dempski

    Wow Read this book none stop. The ending was not expected, kept wondering where the author was taking me. Enjoyed the book, hope you do too.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathie Sandburg

    Interesting take on reason of insanity

  18. 4 out of 5

    Milissa

    Great Legal Thriller! A daughter murders her mother while she was sleeping. The daughter is a paranoid schizophrenic and hears voices. County Prosecutor David Brunelle is assigned the case. This is a great book about mental health issues and the law. Can David Brunelle convince the jury that the defendant is competent to stand trial? Will he be able to obtain a Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity verdict?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I started out hating this book. Too much dialogue and not enough content. I got really sick of David's internal sexual thoughts. By mid-book I was hooked. I started to really enjoy the characters and the plot. Then all of a sudden it was over. It just ended so abruptly. This story had a lot of potential but it wasn't developed nearly enough. I'm afraid this is probably Penner's style so I will not be reading him again. I started out hating this book. Too much dialogue and not enough content. I got really sick of David's internal sexual thoughts. By mid-book I was hooked. I started to really enjoy the characters and the plot. Then all of a sudden it was over. It just ended so abruptly. This story had a lot of potential but it wasn't developed nearly enough. I'm afraid this is probably Penner's style so I will not be reading him again.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Walt Mccluskey

    By reason of insanity Very unusual thriller mystery in that it was not a whodunit. The killer was known from the start and the mystery was how Penner's ending would tie it all up. A one chapter ending surprised me and left me feeling somewhat cheated. Still good and recommended. By reason of insanity Very unusual thriller mystery in that it was not a whodunit. The killer was known from the start and the mystery was how Penner's ending would tie it all up. A one chapter ending surprised me and left me feeling somewhat cheated. Still good and recommended.

  21. 5 out of 5

    John Thorn

    Kudos Now this book has a great plot twist, a twisted heroine I hope reappears in Robyn and actually took had my blood pumping the last chapter or two. Well done!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Raven

    Insanity everywhere A twist that was unexpected but worked well. Needed more legal definition at the end. Would like it if the judge was more engaged.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anne Hill

    Weaker than his first 2 Not as much drama, less intriguing, kinda knew how it was going to end 50 pages in. Thrilling it wasn't. Weaker than his first 2 Not as much drama, less intriguing, kinda knew how it was going to end 50 pages in. Thrilling it wasn't.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

    Good read Good read. I'm starting to like this author. He keeps you guessing what the outcome will be all the way to the emd Good read Good read. I'm starting to like this author. He keeps you guessing what the outcome will be all the way to the emd

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Ostrega

    Great this is the third book in the series and I highly recommend this book...it will keep you up at night and u will find yourself asking...what is justice?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cat

  27. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Graves

  28. 4 out of 5

    Harvey Dreyfus

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jana Johnson

  30. 5 out of 5

    LEA BALL

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