A stirring legal drama made more thrilling by sharp, journalistic prose.



The harrowing account of one man’s persecution by a justice system indifferent to law and morality.

Debut author Woltz begins this memoir of judicial tyranny somewhat benignly: His financial firm, fulfilling a legal obligation, filed a suspicious activity report with the Central Bank of the Bahamas regarding a trust account an American attorney had opened there. He all but forgot the incident until, two years later, he was contacted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI looking to discuss the matter. He quickly obliged but was taken into custody on his way to the scheduled meeting in Charlotte; his terrified wife was taken into custody, too. What ensued was a long train of prosecutorial misconduct that will rattle readers’ complacent confidence in the U.S. judicial system. Woltz describes a “bizarre Kafkaesque world” in which both he and his wife were systematically stripped of their legal rights. They were denied the power to choose their own attorney, and the one they were saddled with worked in collusion with the prosecutors. In violation of their Sixth Amendment rights, they were arraigned in one judicial district and sentenced in another. They were charged with a litany of trumped-up accusations so absurd that the Middle District Office of the U.S. attorney called it a “sham prosecution.” Woltz and his wife were also subject to degrading treatment, intimidation and outright physical abuse, all in order to compel them to provide false testimony against the federal government’s real quarry. Woltz deftly catalogs his disillusionment: “More or less everything I believed about our judicial system was being challenged through personal experience. I was locked in a filthy mad house, though innocent, un-convicted, and pleading not guilty to the charges.” Woltz served 87 months in federal prison; when released, he saw both his financial assets and marriage disappear. A foreword written by a former magistrate judge provides legal context helpful to understanding the full extent of Woltz’s travails.

A stirring legal drama made more thrilling by sharp, journalistic prose. 

Pub Date: July 12, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-615-83599-0

Page Count: 276

Publisher: Woltz Media

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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