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With it came the absurd responsibility of making crucial, split-second decisions on zero sleep—plea bargains and bail applications in cases as serious as murder and rape. But this one? Why was a farebeat in the system at four in the morning? This time the defendant snapped alert, suddenly aware that the name, spoken with a New York clip, was meant to be his.

Bleary eyes searched the room and fell upon the uniformed court officer striding into his face, coaxing him up with a twitching finger.

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Rios straightened his legs, uncertainly finding his balance. Nothing restrained him. His normal state of irritability grew with lack of sleep, along with his habit of blaming everyone in sight—particularly the defendants—for his inability to avoid a temporary assignment to night court. The judge, behind his obelisk of gouged, dark wood, swiveled his chair to the side and beckoned the court clerk, who came up to receive an instruction. Seth understood her meaning and grinned, pushing a friendly set of quote marks into his cheeks.

Thursday's List (A Dana Hargrove Legal Mystery)

Anyone held in the pens longer than six hours was entitled to bologna and American cheese on white, followed by a smoke. His grin and lively blue eyes always tugged out a response, and his regular features made a welcome contrast to the grim vision of endless unsavory characters in the night. The shuffle of hard-soled shoes and scrape of a wooden chair floated in the cavernous space. The judge, now turning to face them, ran a palm over the half-dozen gray hairs on his head and dropped the hand to his desk. His fingers drummed the wood, sending audible vibrations into the unacceptable emptiness.

Call the next one. Street people, three prostitutes and two disheveled, grimy men. Rios was a small cut above them with his clean, discount store clothing and a decent haircut. A sense of neatness. She wondered at this. Instead, they issued a ticket directing the accused to appear in court on a future date to answer a charge of theft of services, a low-level misdemeanor.


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On the books, the maximum sentence was six months, but standard practice was to impose a fine. Two court officers stood ready to escort the red-wigged woman as she slithered upward, giving Rios the extra space he needed on the bench to maintain some distance from the others. The officers exchanged amused looks and took up positions behind her at the defense table to prevent the possibility of an escape through the empty audience section and out the door.

Thursday's List

Assistant DA Hargrove had no need to examine the thick stack of carbon paper on this one. A raid early yesterday morning had sent more than two dozen prostitutes through the system in the last few hours. Either way, the punishment was unprofitable for their pimps, who took it out on them when they returned to the street. Most judges would offer time served, anywhere from twelve to thirty-six hours between arrest and arraignment. Neither did the defendants. At about a. For now, there was nothing Ms. You have fifteen seconds to give me your plea. Dana flipped up the Rios complaint and examined his yellow sheet underneath.

Here was the answer. The transit cops must have recognized him. Rios had a recent conviction for theft of services and another for petit larceny. He was a small-time thief. He also used different aliases for each arrest. Seth pumped his hands up and down and whispered hoarsely, hoping to stem the overflow. Get out of the business. Dana looked up.

Desire wishes to enter a plea of guilty to the charge. Stifling a grin, Judge Chomsky flew into the necessary litany to assure the legality of the plea.

Dana shut her ears to the proceedings and concentrated on the Rios police report. The court officers stood at the ready. He stood, and with a look of disgust, swiped the air with his hand to erase the sight. Court stands in recess. Ten minutes.


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  • Court officers removed a kicking Velvet Desire while the defense and prosecution exchanged looks. With Velvet gone, a moment of dead silence fell. Dana looked down at the table, now a morass of disorganized papers. Of course, it was impossible to predict the exact moment when a particular defendant would be arraigned. There were too many variables. Eyeing the jumble, Dana smoothed her crown back down to the nape of her neck where a gold barrette neatly gathered her shoulder-length dark hair, shiny and thick as mink.

    She sat and quickly reorganized the papers, assuring herself in the process that nothing had been missed. Then she rose onto her low heels, the comfortable shoes she reserved for night court. Otherwise, her manner of dress was the same as daytime office wear—a gray, business skirt suit.

    Dana pulled together the lapels of her jacket, buttoned it, and turned to go. You know me, Seth. I just love to hear myself talk. I mean, where else can I be such an effective advocate? Seth grinned. Says he dropped his token, it was rolling away, and he had to jump the turnstile to get it. Dana raised her shapely eyebrows. Without the interpreter? He had spoken with Rios.

    She had not. Now she was more inclined to stick to the record and form her beliefs about an individual based on his past habits instead of the words out of his mouth. Why do you think he was arrested? The cops recognized him. Dana halted and swung around to face him. As the judge took his seat, a small, middle-aged woman entered the courtroom, scurried through the rows of empty pews and pushed through the swinging gate into the section reserved for the participants.

    Out of breath, she panted in a Spanish accent and glanced up at the judge but said nothing to explain her disappearance twenty minutes ago.

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    This time Rios jumped to his feet when the name was called. Before he could reach the defense table, Kaplan spoke. Ten days, take it or leave it. Rios, or whatever your name is. Clean up your act! He always delivered one or two during his eight-hour shift, although Dana never knew when they were coming or which defendants would inspire them. Oddly, Chomsky more often unleashed his fury against the small-time thieves and street dealers than the kidnappers, rapists and murderers, for whom he clothed his tongue in solemnity. The serious criminals were beyond his help and therefore unworthy of his pearls of wisdom.

    His figure was so still, the air around him seemed to vibrate. Who was Bernardo Rios? Decidedly not a New Yorker. Behind that mask lay any number of possibilities within: acceptance, worry, fear, indifference, or seething rage. An inmate, serving state time for felony murder, says the D.

    Thursday's List by V.S. Kemanis (Dana Hargrove Legal Mystery #1) - Mystery Sequels

    A professional con man, the mastermind of a reverse mortgage scam, is blamed for leading a younger man into a life of crime. As the mysteries in these cases unfold, a common, unsavory design comes to light--Dana is the victim of a personal attack. A scurrilous media campaign can be endured, but when a criminal scheme touches Dana's family, she must strike back. Confronting the greatest challenge yet to her professional integrity, Dana fights to protect her good name and the sanctity of her family life. Once again, Dana Hargrove is caught at the intersection of family and career, a career that happens to involve criminal suspects, judges, attorneys, and officers of the law.

    The thematic core to these novels picks up the internal conflict familiar to any career woman with a family: the incessant tug between the professional and the personal. In my career, both in and out of the courtroom, I have felt that tug very keenly.

    Over the past few years, in writing these novels, I've become very attached to Dana, her family, her colleagues, and her adversaries, and that is my wish for you, the reader. Pick them up in any order. Kemanis is a California native and currently resides in New York. As an attorney, she has been a criminal prosecutor for county and state agencies, argued criminal appeals for the prosecution and defense, conducted complex civil litigation, and worked for appellate courts. Kemanis is also an accomplished dancer and has performed, taught and choreographed in California, Colorado, and New York.

    Short fiction by Ms. Her stories are currently available in three award-winning collections. She is the author of the Dana Hargrove legal mystery novels, which draw on her personal experience in criminal law. Kemanis is a member of the Mystery Writers of America. Convert currency. Add to Basket. Compare all 8 new copies. Paperback or Softback. Condition: New.

    Forsaken Oath. Seller Inventory BBS More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Opus Nine Books, Never used! This item is printed on demand. Seller Inventory X. Language: English. Brand new Book.