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The Defendants

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Rookie attorney Thaddeus Murfee is hired to defend Ermeline Ransom, accused of murdering the man who carved his name in her chest. Ermeline's persecutors are not only the District Attorney but also the Chicago Mob and Illinois governor in this legal thriller. Set in small-town Illinois, the Governor is in the business of accepting payoffs from state contractors on construc Rookie attorney Thaddeus Murfee is hired to defend Ermeline Ransom, accused of murdering the man who carved his name in her chest. Ermeline's persecutors are not only the District Attorney but also the Chicago Mob and Illinois governor in this legal thriller. Set in small-town Illinois, the Governor is in the business of accepting payoffs from state contractors on construction jobs. In the end he is at the bottom of the plot to send Ermeline to the execution chamber for the murder she didn't commit. You never win against the Mob, Thaddeus is warned. Now the FBI has the lowdown on the players and Thaddeus needs their help but is afraid they will come after his client too. For Ermeline to walk away from the murder charges Thaddeus Murfee must not only prove her innocence but must also outwit the Mob and the Governor and stay alive himself. A murder trial ensues, which is followed by a show-down between the Mob's hitman and Thaddeus while the surprise ending leaves the reader breathless in this courtroom thriller.


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Rookie attorney Thaddeus Murfee is hired to defend Ermeline Ransom, accused of murdering the man who carved his name in her chest. Ermeline's persecutors are not only the District Attorney but also the Chicago Mob and Illinois governor in this legal thriller. Set in small-town Illinois, the Governor is in the business of accepting payoffs from state contractors on construc Rookie attorney Thaddeus Murfee is hired to defend Ermeline Ransom, accused of murdering the man who carved his name in her chest. Ermeline's persecutors are not only the District Attorney but also the Chicago Mob and Illinois governor in this legal thriller. Set in small-town Illinois, the Governor is in the business of accepting payoffs from state contractors on construction jobs. In the end he is at the bottom of the plot to send Ermeline to the execution chamber for the murder she didn't commit. You never win against the Mob, Thaddeus is warned. Now the FBI has the lowdown on the players and Thaddeus needs their help but is afraid they will come after his client too. For Ermeline to walk away from the murder charges Thaddeus Murfee must not only prove her innocence but must also outwit the Mob and the Governor and stay alive himself. A murder trial ensues, which is followed by a show-down between the Mob's hitman and Thaddeus while the surprise ending leaves the reader breathless in this courtroom thriller.

30 review for The Defendants

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cathy DuPont

    As my rating shows, this book was an ok read. I took it with me everywhere I went for five days. More editing would be helpful since when I'm reading and see a typo, it just throws me off kilter. I hope that writers make sure their novels are clean and there are no typos whatsoever. It's make all the difference in the world and shows that the writer cares about his/her product from beginning to end. Also, some pages just droned on and on unnecessarily in my opinion. I think authors have a number As my rating shows, this book was an ok read. I took it with me everywhere I went for five days. More editing would be helpful since when I'm reading and see a typo, it just throws me off kilter. I hope that writers make sure their novels are clean and there are no typos whatsoever. It's make all the difference in the world and shows that the writer cares about his/her product from beginning to end. Also, some pages just droned on and on unnecessarily in my opinion. I think authors have a number of words to reach for whatever reason, the publisher's requirements? Nevertheless, it's silly and unnecessary to write a description or something on page 20 and then say the same thing on page 32. (Of course with Kindle this would be location.) It was pretty good reading but glad I'm finished.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Hamon

    Good story, horrendous editing! I was definitely caught up in the storyline so I pushed my way through the myriad of errors that had me screaming,"where's the EDITOR?!" Mistakes in grammar, spelling and punctuation should not exist in books; however it seems that with the advent of ebooks, editing has nearly disappeared. I would recommend this story, but realize that if you get hung up on writing errors, you will be frustrated. The author even made errors in his storyline. For example, in one cha Good story, horrendous editing! I was definitely caught up in the storyline so I pushed my way through the myriad of errors that had me screaming,"where's the EDITOR?!" Mistakes in grammar, spelling and punctuation should not exist in books; however it seems that with the advent of ebooks, editing has nearly disappeared. I would recommend this story, but realize that if you get hung up on writing errors, you will be frustrated. The author even made errors in his storyline. For example, in one chapter he has the sheriff telling Ernie that he is at her house with a search warrant because of a murder and she is a suspect. A couple chapters later he again writes about that incident but Ermeline seems clueless and thinks it's all about her ex-husband. The sheriff tells her they will talk in private in the car on the way to the police station. I mean at least remember what you name a store and use that name (changes the name of the office supply store) I want to list all the mistakes I highlighted, but I'm tired of tapping out this review on my Kindle! I would give the story three stars but due to all the writing mistakes I dropped to a two.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chaplain Stanley Chapin

    A new series worth following The story line is good, a little over the top on characterization, decent intrigue and intensity. There appeared to be little editing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    VickiMNE

    This was a freebie and I'm glad that is all I paid for it. The writing, plotting, characterization, is uneven and thus plodding..... I ended up skipping 5 chapters at a time and got the gist of the story; thus the two stars. If I had just quit completely, it would have been one star. This was a freebie and I'm glad that is all I paid for it. The writing, plotting, characterization, is uneven and thus plodding..... I ended up skipping 5 chapters at a time and got the gist of the story; thus the two stars. If I had just quit completely, it would have been one star.

  5. 4 out of 5

    HBalikov

    Take these elements: A small town where everybody knows everybody and everything going on; a young enterprising lawyer; a poor waitress; a back from Afghanistan paralegal. Mix in: the Chicago mob; an ugly personal assault; a murder; a corrupt governor; Illinois politics as usual; the FBI and a charming widow. What have you got? A lame mess in this case. "The girl - woman? - sat a horse very nicely. And she seemed to have a damn finge figure too, he imagined, although he'd only had a glance at the Take these elements: A small town where everybody knows everybody and everything going on; a young enterprising lawyer; a poor waitress; a back from Afghanistan paralegal. Mix in: the Chicago mob; an ugly personal assault; a murder; a corrupt governor; Illinois politics as usual; the FBI and a charming widow. What have you got? A lame mess in this case. "The girl - woman? - sat a horse very nicely. And she seemed to have a damn finge figure too, he imagined, although he'd only had a glance at the pretty, trim legs and the loose denim work shirt, which was amply filled out." "...this was Illinois, where corrupt governors and corrupt government officials were a way of life. They're expected to be out there, plotting and stealing and covering up and even murdering. The job of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois --- the first duty at the top...---was to investigate the sitting governor and his party ties and mob ties." We are promised "a legal thriller with courtroom drama" and some of that is delivered, but with undisciplined writing that includes the above and too many casual leaps of credulity. These include: our hero being up against not one, but two experienced trial attorneys who have never lost a case; his own sense of having to quit the profession if he loses the case; his ability to go from someone who hasn't handled a gun to expert marksman in a couple of hours; the graphic novel version of conversation between criminals; the intimidation that persuades the thug to give up the truth. Aw man, you can do much better. But I am not going to chance reading any more of your series.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jan Mcclung-short

    This author is really good. I really enjoy reading a novel about lawyers and the intricacies of defending a client. I had saw his post on Facebook and I decided to give him a try. Anyone who has put thirty years in his profession should be able to tell a story about their work. Lawyers minds are quick witted to argue either side of a case. Thaddeus Murder had only been practicing law for eighteen months. He had never had a case where he was defending someone for murder. Still very wet behind the This author is really good. I really enjoy reading a novel about lawyers and the intricacies of defending a client. I had saw his post on Facebook and I decided to give him a try. Anyone who has put thirty years in his profession should be able to tell a story about their work. Lawyers minds are quick witted to argue either side of a case. Thaddeus Murder had only been practicing law for eighteen months. He had never had a case where he was defending someone for murder. Still very wet behind the ears. Ermeline Ransom walks into his office to hire him. She had been brutally disfigured by someone carving the name Victor in her breasts and inking it where it can't be erased. Thaddeus was shocked he had never seen anything as ugly. He really thought it was a shame to ruin such beautiful breasts where they couldn't be displayed any longer. It ruined her career as a cocktail waitress. Ermeline only wanted to raise her son as best as she could. Ermeline was arrested Christmas morning for killing Victor Barrow supposedly the man who disfigured her. All the circumstantial evidence pointed at her. Thaddeus had no idea that filing a suit against Ermeline's employers would lead to fighting the top crime in Illinois...the mob syndicate that involved the governor, the Attorney General, the FBI, and a very evil Johnny the Blade. He knew he was in over his head but he promised Ermeline that he would get her free.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Charles Ray

    If you’re a fan of the courtroom drama of legal thrillers, you’ll love The Defendants by lawyer turned thriller writer John Ellsworth. Thaddeus Murfee, a rookie lawyer with 18 months of trial experience, runs a one-man firm in the little Illinois town of Orbit. When a local woman, Ermeline Ransom, claims that she has been molested by a local businessman, Victor Harrow, she asks Thad to represent her in a civil suit. But, when Harrow turns up dead, and Ermeline’s fingerprints are on the weapon, Th If you’re a fan of the courtroom drama of legal thrillers, you’ll love The Defendants by lawyer turned thriller writer John Ellsworth. Thaddeus Murfee, a rookie lawyer with 18 months of trial experience, runs a one-man firm in the little Illinois town of Orbit. When a local woman, Ermeline Ransom, claims that she has been molested by a local businessman, Victor Harrow, she asks Thad to represent her in a civil suit. But, when Harrow turns up dead, and Ermeline’s fingerprints are on the weapon, Thad finds himself having to defend her against a possible death penalty. Despite a few typos here and there, this is legal drama at its best. Ellsworth pens the courtroom scenes with a degree of authenticity and veracity that just feels real. Moreover, he totally nails the small town scene, and the often quirky characters that inhabit small-town middle America. In addition, he shows the seamy side of big city politics and corruption. The surprise ending will leave you gasping – no joke.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Apollo Hesiod

    very entertaining read, fast paced & action packed...

  9. 4 out of 5

    J

    Remember, one man's flippant summary may be another man's dastardly spoiler. Operation Spandex - what a great name for the FBI corruption investigation into an Illinois governor who supposedly wears gym wear below his clothes to smooth away his midruff bulge. Operation Spandex becomes visible after lawyer Thaddeus Murfee takes on the defense of a small-town Miss Congeniality waitress who's charged with murdering a married man in the same small town. Specifically, Chicago mob players who go by nick Remember, one man's flippant summary may be another man's dastardly spoiler. Operation Spandex - what a great name for the FBI corruption investigation into an Illinois governor who supposedly wears gym wear below his clothes to smooth away his midruff bulge. Operation Spandex becomes visible after lawyer Thaddeus Murfee takes on the defense of a small-town Miss Congeniality waitress who's charged with murdering a married man in the same small town. Specifically, Chicago mob players who go by nicknames "Bang Bang" and "Blade" try to deflect the corruption link of said dead man by framing Miss Congeniality for his murder. At first, Thadd has not much of a legal defense, because the waitress' fingerprints are found on the murder weapons. But the truth starts to unspool as the greenhorn lawyer benefits from the savvy of the paralegal he's hired, who knows the law quite well from her having served in the Army's arm of military justice. Story starts out with a grotesque incident - a man's name amateurishly tattooed across a woman's breasts - that is the talk of the small town, because police and the city attorney's office have seen the tattoo and the high-magnitude breasts (or evidence photos of them). Ellsworth plays this section off as male humor. I couldn't have stood the book if it had remained in this male chatty tone throughout. The tone does evolve beyond that. I was surprised that Ellsworth chose not to give any back story on how Murfee ended up in the small town of Orbit, Ill. (as detailed at the end of A Young Lawyer's Story). But it did mean the story didn't have to unload old baggage. I had to get used to Ellsworth's practice (several times) of going backward in time, in sections that start off with phrasing like "the night before ..." or "earlier that morning ..." It seemed clunky to me, but I guess he did so to be able to bluntly shock or surprise, and then give the reasons or lead-up to the shock/surprise. This is a "coming of age" story of a young solo-practice lawyer who starts with an open-shut civil case of person injury (really, a large tattoo done with a ballpoint pen in such a fraught location?) that morphs into a capital offense. He encounters a topnotch seasoned state prosecutor, a vicious deadbeat dad and several deadly serious mafioso entwined with sleazy top Illinois state officials -- on his way from filing the civil suit to criminal charging, through a trial with witnesses who emerge late, to his client's exoneration. And yes, he does find a way to obtain civil damages for Miss Congeniality's defacement (or should that be de-torso-ment?) Also, there's a bit of romance - understated, the way I like it in a crime mystery. (I also feared the book would degenerate into a simple lawyer romance, but it did not.)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tere Fredericks

    Everything a Thriller Should Be After finishing the first book in this series (Thaddeus Murfee A Young Lawyer) I simply had to continue to read about his further exploits in the second star to the right. Thaddeus is struggling in his new home of Orbit, IL. All the lawyers there are, because the uptick from The Great Recession has not yet hit this very small town in a very small county in Illinois. Thaddeus, however, has made trustworthy friends. And when a well-known and liked young woman suffers Everything a Thriller Should Be After finishing the first book in this series (Thaddeus Murfee A Young Lawyer) I simply had to continue to read about his further exploits in the second star to the right. Thaddeus is struggling in his new home of Orbit, IL. All the lawyers there are, because the uptick from The Great Recession has not yet hit this very small town in a very small county in Illinois. Thaddeus, however, has made trustworthy friends. And when a well-known and liked young woman suffers a horrible injury, one of those good friends sends her to Thaddeus. And the book is off to the races. His experience as an Assistant United States District Attorney (see book one) stands him in no better shape than any other wet behind the ears lawyer. Thaddeus does have one secret weapon - his paralegal, Christine. She had served in the United States Army. Two tours in Iraq, one in Germany. The first two as an MP, the third and last as a paralegal - trained by her time in the JAG Corps. Between the two of them, this is an exciting legal thriller, shaking up lives across the the state. There's even a FISA Warrant involved, which is incredibly interesting in today's political environment. This is another unputdownable book by Mr. Ellsworth. The characters are fully shaped, without a single extra word, the narrative is taut and exciting. There nothing superfluous, but time is given for Thaddeus to have a life outside of the practice of law. Enjoyable to the last word. One side note: the joke herein has the incorrect punchline. "Your Honor."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donadee's Corner

    The Defendants Thad Murfee bk 2 by John Ellsworth Review Courtroom drama, Rookie lawyer’s big break, can he do it? Young Thaddeus Murfee is a trial lawyer with less than 18 months of courtroom experience. He is completely unprepared for the complicated murder case that he is asked to defend. While Ermeline was passed out, her date carved his name on her breasts. Later, he is found murdered. Ermeline is arrested based on circumstantial evidence because she had motive and opportunity. She hires Thad The Defendants Thad Murfee bk 2 by John Ellsworth Review Courtroom drama, Rookie lawyer’s big break, can he do it? Young Thaddeus Murfee is a trial lawyer with less than 18 months of courtroom experience. He is completely unprepared for the complicated murder case that he is asked to defend. While Ermeline was passed out, her date carved his name on her breasts. Later, he is found murdered. Ermeline is arrested based on circumstantial evidence because she had motive and opportunity. She hires Thaddeus, who makes his criminal lawyer debut defending his first murder case in this intense courtroom drama. What did I like? This was an extremely fast paced, action packed, romantic, front row seat to all the messy and gory details. I was hooked on the first page and before I knew it I was done. What are you going to like? Criminal law, courtroom thriller, political and mob ruling corruption from the top to the bottom and how they handle someone that ignores their warnings. Then out of the weirdest place, a little romance is thrown in just for a break in all the gore and corruption. This is fast paced, heart pounding, breathtaking and only split-second decisions to save Thaddeus from certain death.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Judith Wong

    David vs Goliath, can a lowly waitress prevail against the Governor and the Mob? Small town waitress, Ermaline Ransom, goes to Victor Harris's temporary office in a purple bus for a drink. While there mobster, Johnny Bladanni, shoes up and drugs her and Victor then carves VIC on one breast and TOR on the other one. All to get Victor to pay his bribe money for the last six months, $100,000! When Victor could only come up with $25,000, Johnny goes back to the Governor with it and is told to get Vic David vs Goliath, can a lowly waitress prevail against the Governor and the Mob? Small town waitress, Ermaline Ransom, goes to Victor Harris's temporary office in a purple bus for a drink. While there mobster, Johnny Bladanni, shoes up and drugs her and Victor then carves VIC on one breast and TOR on the other one. All to get Victor to pay his bribe money for the last six months, $100,000! When Victor could only come up with $25,000, Johnny goes back to the Governor with it and is told to get Victor's tax and bank records to see if there was anything with any equity. When the Governor discovers that Victor has liens on everything he owns, he tells Johnny to make an example of him. The Governor also tells him to set Ermaline up to take the fall. Johnny gets in touch with Ermaline's ex-husband, Hector, to help with the job by planting the murder weapons in her home. He links Ermaline to the murder by carving ERM on Victor's forehead. Can Thaddeus Murfee, her young and inexperienced lawyer help to set her free? Many good friends help him along the way but it takes one big mouth to accomplish the seemingly impossible!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Don

    Ellsworth writes a good story keeping me interested with all sorts of characters and some mob interaction. Most of the story takes place in Orbit Illinois where they must be dumb. Thaddeus and everyone else knows she didn’t do it but no one investigates ? Come on, how dumb? Where is the PI? What a lawyer, didn’t even inventory her belongings, belongs in a zoo. Then Ellsworth lies through his teeth instead of making the story true to real life. Can’t he use google to give him some good informatio Ellsworth writes a good story keeping me interested with all sorts of characters and some mob interaction. Most of the story takes place in Orbit Illinois where they must be dumb. Thaddeus and everyone else knows she didn’t do it but no one investigates ? Come on, how dumb? Where is the PI? What a lawyer, didn’t even inventory her belongings, belongs in a zoo. Then Ellsworth lies through his teeth instead of making the story true to real life. Can’t he use google to give him some good information? Novels closer to reality are better received, look at Clancy! Weeks have gone by and now we go back to the mob and Johnny’s mess up, with the bangman telling him to get it done, it doesn’t line up???? He could have taken the “Blade” out earlier and it would have held together, seems he wanted a dramatic ending. All this criticism and I still liked the story.5

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sunny

    Good but frustrating! Thaddeus leaves DC and settles in Orbit. He is nearly destitute from lack of cases. He has made friends, but lacks trial experience. Suddenly he has a civil case, which then turns into 1st degree murder! This is where it gets frustrating. Why didn’t he look at her purse and notice her wallet was missing? Why didn’t he ask if they found her prints on the trigger? Why didn’t they check her house for fingerprints other than hers and her family’s. Why didn’t he show Hector’s pho Good but frustrating! Thaddeus leaves DC and settles in Orbit. He is nearly destitute from lack of cases. He has made friends, but lacks trial experience. Suddenly he has a civil case, which then turns into 1st degree murder! This is where it gets frustrating. Why didn’t he look at her purse and notice her wallet was missing? Why didn’t he ask if they found her prints on the trigger? Why didn’t they check her house for fingerprints other than hers and her family’s. Why didn’t he show Hector’s photo at the bar to see if anyone had seen him in town? Same with Johnny the Blade? Victor’s office girl would have recognized him. Why didn’t the FBI notify him of what they knew? It makes the FBI look very bad. The story goes in a different direction. Exciting, frightening, but ...I’ve already said too much. You will have to read the book to find out.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Barbara B. Wood

    So Glad the Story Continues I am glad to have spent a few .More hours with Thaddeus. .He continues to grow as a lawyer and as a man and I enjoyed this book almost as much as the other . I'm this book he has set up a practice in a small town just as he wanted to it's filled with Characters who have equal interest to those in his earlier book If I have a Criticism of this book,It would be that he fails to develop the relationships as thoroughly as he did in his earlier book I would like to see more So Glad the Story Continues I am glad to have spent a few .More hours with Thaddeus. .He continues to grow as a lawyer and as a man and I enjoyed this book almost as much as the other . I'm this book he has set up a practice in a small town just as he wanted to it's filled with Characters who have equal interest to those in his earlier book If I have a Criticism of this book,It would be that he fails to develop the relationships as thoroughly as he did in his earlier book I would like to see more about his lady love and how that developed and all I know is that he went to a party and then all of a sudden she's visiting him in this hospital room and they're becoming an item she's. She sounds like a very interesting women.I'm very glad that there are many more in the series and I intend to read book #3 immediately.

  16. 4 out of 5

    John Birk

    This is the dumbest book I have ever read. The murder occurred before 9:30 pm at which time the defendant was serving 200 people in a bar. The time of death was never raised which would have created a perfect defence. The defence cannot afford to hire an investigator yet the defendant has 6,700$ in her purse and an American Express credit card with no limit. Dumbest book I have ever read. Time of death never established. Defendant has a perfect alibi defence which is never raised. Defence can not This is the dumbest book I have ever read. The murder occurred before 9:30 pm at which time the defendant was serving 200 people in a bar. The time of death was never raised which would have created a perfect defence. The defence cannot afford to hire an investigator yet the defendant has 6,700$ in her purse and an American Express credit card with no limit. Dumbest book I have ever read. Time of death never established. Defendant has a perfect alibi defence which is never raised. Defence can not afford an investigator while the defendant has 6,700$ in her purse and a no limit American Express credit card. If atty. had known the card was missing, then the ex would have been located earlier. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  17. 4 out of 5

    joel

    Bingo! A Winner. I was fortunate to have seen the prequel advertised at the end of a Jesse Williams western by Robert J. Thomas. It was a free offer and who can turn that down. Excellent read! Fun book! I knew when I finished I had found another excellent author to follow and immediately ordered The Defendents. The story line will not let you put it down. Believable characters, detail story from several angles working together, more switchbacks than a West Virginia highway. You can tell that John Bingo! A Winner. I was fortunate to have seen the prequel advertised at the end of a Jesse Williams western by Robert J. Thomas. It was a free offer and who can turn that down. Excellent read! Fun book! I knew when I finished I had found another excellent author to follow and immediately ordered The Defendents. The story line will not let you put it down. Believable characters, detail story from several angles working together, more switchbacks than a West Virginia highway. You can tell that John Ellsworth has 'walked the walk'. The Defendents is a fun read. Get it, you won't be sorry. You'll be hooked instead. - ole Joe. 😎

  18. 5 out of 5

    Maryjane

    The Defendants Thaddeus Murfee, although not well known as a lawyer, takes a chance on defending Ermeline Randsom in the case of the murder of Victor Harrow. After she was defiled by Victor Harrow in his office/business after being drugged. All she wanted to do was sue Victor Harrow for damages. However, it would go well beyond that, it would go all the way to being a pasty for the mob and the Attorney General. What a great story. I loved it. It was very well written and has great characters. I c The Defendants Thaddeus Murfee, although not well known as a lawyer, takes a chance on defending Ermeline Randsom in the case of the murder of Victor Harrow. After she was defiled by Victor Harrow in his office/business after being drugged. All she wanted to do was sue Victor Harrow for damages. However, it would go well beyond that, it would go all the way to being a pasty for the mob and the Attorney General. What a great story. I loved it. It was very well written and has great characters. I can't wait to read the prequel. Five stars from me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Herman Morgan III

    I'm a Fan of All of John Ellsworth's Characters ! I just reread the first Thaddeus Murder Book, and noticed that I evidently hadn't reviewed it the First time. That's not my usual modus operandi, but, it sometimes happens when I'm anxious to get to the Next book in a Series. I have read All the Michael Gresham series, and All the Thaddeus Murfree so far. To say I enjoy John Ellsworth's Work would be a massive Understatement. He stands with Grishom, and his peers in Legal Fiction, and I strongly r I'm a Fan of All of John Ellsworth's Characters ! I just reread the first Thaddeus Murder Book, and noticed that I evidently hadn't reviewed it the First time. That's not my usual modus operandi, but, it sometimes happens when I'm anxious to get to the Next book in a Series. I have read All the Michael Gresham series, and All the Thaddeus Murfree so far. To say I enjoy John Ellsworth's Work would be a massive Understatement. He stands with Grishom, and his peers in Legal Fiction, and I strongly recommend All of Mr Ellsworth's books.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tonya Lucas

    Wow!! The Defendants by John Ellsworth was exhilarating, nail-biting, and very dramatic. Thaddeus Murfee is becoming one of my favorite Defense attorney’s, I’ve met. Charged for a murder she was set up to take the fall for, Ermeline Ransom was left with little hope and a tattoo that would forever mark her permanently. Attorney Murfee Ransom needs a miracle to get her off. Can he find the needle in the haystack to save her or will this trial end his career before it even gets started. Phenomenal lega Wow!! The Defendants by John Ellsworth was exhilarating, nail-biting, and very dramatic. Thaddeus Murfee is becoming one of my favorite Defense attorney’s, I’ve met. Charged for a murder she was set up to take the fall for, Ermeline Ransom was left with little hope and a tattoo that would forever mark her permanently. Attorney Murfee Ransom needs a miracle to get her off. Can he find the needle in the haystack to save her or will this trial end his career before it even gets started. Phenomenal legal thriller with an astonishing ending!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Silk

    "Wow! When The Mob Controls Government" This is a fast-paced courtroom drama featuring the young trial lawyer Thaddeus Murfee. He's only had 18 months of courtroom experience and is not totally prepared to take on a complicated murder case which is also pressured by a mob boss. One mob bad man in this captivating story is named Bang Bang Moltinari. This legal thriller has an exciting climax. The story is intense and mind blowing. You'll not want to put it down for long! Highly recommend. "Wow! When The Mob Controls Government" This is a fast-paced courtroom drama featuring the young trial lawyer Thaddeus Murfee. He's only had 18 months of courtroom experience and is not totally prepared to take on a complicated murder case which is also pressured by a mob boss. One mob bad man in this captivating story is named Bang Bang Moltinari. This legal thriller has an exciting climax. The story is intense and mind blowing. You'll not want to put it down for long! Highly recommend.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Thomas R.

    First time reading this author, and I really like his style of writing, The Main Character Thaddeus Murfee is very interesting and complex and the author ( John Ellsworth ) really goes into the details of being a small town lawyer. The details about a small town in Illinois and the city of Chicago show a realistic contrast. Also the problems the State of Illinois has with the mob and political influence is well written and very authentic . I enjoyed this story so much , I am starting to read the First time reading this author, and I really like his style of writing, The Main Character Thaddeus Murfee is very interesting and complex and the author ( John Ellsworth ) really goes into the details of being a small town lawyer. The details about a small town in Illinois and the city of Chicago show a realistic contrast. Also the problems the State of Illinois has with the mob and political influence is well written and very authentic . I enjoyed this story so much , I am starting to read the 2and legal thriller about Thaddeus Murfee.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Burnett

    Inconsistencies Abound For a first book, not terrible. But I found some issues with inconsistent character traits. Sometimes the author seemed to expound on irrelevant topics. I also had some issues with timing. Murphy isn't very likable. He comes across as a misogynist at times and a weakling at others. The plot was pretty good but the outcome was predictable. The suspense didn't build much and there were no real surprises. It is going to be fun reading the rest of the series to see how the auth Inconsistencies Abound For a first book, not terrible. But I found some issues with inconsistent character traits. Sometimes the author seemed to expound on irrelevant topics. I also had some issues with timing. Murphy isn't very likable. He comes across as a misogynist at times and a weakling at others. The plot was pretty good but the outcome was predictable. The suspense didn't build much and there were no real surprises. It is going to be fun reading the rest of the series to see how the author progresses.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jane Fadgen

    Another Great Read A few weeks ago I honestly thought I had just read too many books in this genre and had become too “full “ and jaded to get any real pleasure from more reading. I would find authors whose books I enjoyed, but by their third or fourth books, I was bored out of my mind by their predictable plots and repetitive characters. Then I found John Ellsworth! I’ve now read three of his Thaddeus Murffee novels. Yes, some of the characters carry through, but they are ever evolving. The plot Another Great Read A few weeks ago I honestly thought I had just read too many books in this genre and had become too “full “ and jaded to get any real pleasure from more reading. I would find authors whose books I enjoyed, but by their third or fourth books, I was bored out of my mind by their predictable plots and repetitive characters. Then I found John Ellsworth! I’ve now read three of his Thaddeus Murffee novels. Yes, some of the characters carry through, but they are ever evolving. The plots are fresh. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Philip A. Guercio

    Corruption, conspiracies, and murder all make for an enjoyable read This was the first book I read by Jon Ellsworth. He weaves a good tale and it is obvious that his legal background makes the courtroom scenes more realistic. I always find characters like Thaddeus Murfee tend to be like Perry Mason, willing to stretch the law to fit their agenda however, not do far as to get in trouble. Had the ending not been so obvious and easy to reach this book would have earned another star.

  26. 4 out of 5

    D. E.

    A JE. Legal Mystery Thriller (TMLTS - 1)/The Mob/A Murder/Defend The Accusef JE. has. penned a legal thriller that matches or exceeds some of the other published legal thrillers. In TMLTS -1 he introduced a new young attorney that is untried in a big case. The attorney represents a young woman who accessed a Mob Boss of a sexual nature with an attached threat. The Mob Boss is murdered and things begin to look bleak. This is an excellent read for the genre.....DEHS

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Vonhof

    I like the Murfee legal series. Having served as a jury foreperson, I find the jury system, and the legal system in general, very interesting. Thaddeus is a believable character, wet behind the ears as a lawyer, but a quick learner. The book contained mystery, intrigue, murder, lots of corruption, the start of a friendship for Thaddeus, and good old cat and mouse detective and lawyer work. I'll continue to the next book. Well worth reading. I like the Murfee legal series. Having served as a jury foreperson, I find the jury system, and the legal system in general, very interesting. Thaddeus is a believable character, wet behind the ears as a lawyer, but a quick learner. The book contained mystery, intrigue, murder, lots of corruption, the start of a friendship for Thaddeus, and good old cat and mouse detective and lawyer work. I'll continue to the next book. Well worth reading.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Scott Chapman

    A delicious read! I'm learning so much about court proceedings and criminal law. This story has so much going on. I cheered Thaddeus on through his insecurity. It was fun for me, because I believe this book introduce Christine Sussman. I've already read all the Christine books, so this felt like looking at an old photo album. I'm eager to get started on the next Thaddeus Murfee book. A delicious read! I'm learning so much about court proceedings and criminal law. This story has so much going on. I cheered Thaddeus on through his insecurity. It was fun for me, because I believe this book introduce Christine Sussman. I've already read all the Christine books, so this felt like looking at an old photo album. I'm eager to get started on the next Thaddeus Murfee book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maria Costantino

    If you’re a fan of the courtroom drama of legal thrillers, you’ll love The Defendants by lawyer turned thriller writer John Ellsworth. Thaddeus Murfee, a rookie lawyer with 18 months of trial experience, runs a one-man firm in the little Illinois town of Orbit. When a local woman, Ermeline Ransom, claims that she has been molested by a local businessman, Victor Harrow, she asks Thad to represent her in a civil suit.

  30. 4 out of 5

    D. Colwell

    Enjoyable but .... Interesting story line but sloppy work. Did no one wonder why her husband left in the middle of the night? Did anyone question how her fingerprints got on the gun? No one noticed her credit cards being used? She didn’t think to ask for the $65,000 in her purse? Did she wonder why no one asked about the money? These and other issues were simply ignored. Very sloppy work.

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