NO DEADLY DRUG by John D. MacDonald

NO DEADLY DRUG

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here we go again. In reporting Holmes' The Trials of Dr. Coppolino (p. 84) we made the safe bet that there would be others soon. This covers only the New Jersey trial, which cleared Coppolino of the charge of murdering his aging ex-paramour's husband. So, Holmes' is the better book in that it covers not only the New Jersey case but Coppolino's later conviction in Florida for the murder of his wife. (In each trial the barely detectable drug succinylcholine was considered a main agent of death and evidence given about it was central to the creation in New Jersey and the suppression in Florida of reasonable doubt.) The level of writing in both books is about the same. Both are the stuff of subjective feature writing and, while MacDonald is not quite so taken by Coppolino as Holmes, he's even more puffingly praiseful of F. Lee Bailey, Coppolino's attorney in both actions. MacDonald's Foreword explains that he's attempting to give readers a front row courtroom seat. To that end, he's abstracted the highpoints from the records of the preliminary hearing in Florida, the jury selection in New Jersey, and the trial, then stitched them together with commentary on witnesses' behavior or reactions and courtroom procedures. Trial trivia moves briskly in and out of libraries, but this promises to see its greatest sale from paperback racks.
Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1968
ISBN: 0449448584
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1968




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