Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Robert Ellis: CITY OF FIRE, Chapter 15

Lena takes James Brant and his attorney, Buddy Paladino, to a polygraph room. She worries that ever since corporations started using polygraph tests, countermeasures have been turning up on the Internet. Antiperspirants sprayed on fingertips to prevent sweating, antihistamines or sedatives to raise or lower blood pressure, tacks placed in shoes and stepped on after every question to equalize the physiological response. Lena doesn’t trust Paladino, and still wonders how any defense attorney could ask for a polygraph test when his client stands accused of stabbing his wife to death.

Friday, October 26, 2018


They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but when I look at this one I wonder if I couldn’t squeeze out enough to make an entire book. I was rereading my notes from The Verdict the other day and ran across this moment from an earlier time. I will always regard Paul Newman as a national treasure. Not just because he was an incredibly gifted actor who played in some of my favorite films like Cool Hand Luke, The Hustler, The Color of Money (his first Oscar), and The Sting. But more because of the mark he made as a human being on strangers and friends alike.

Paul Newman. One of the very best.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Robert Ellis: CITY OF FIRE, Chapter 14

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Big-time defense attorney, Buddy Paladino, signs on to defend James Brant, who stands accused of his wife’s horrific murder. Lena worries because she knows Paladino is smart. No matter how good a case may seem on paper to the prosecution, Paladino is a genius at finding the loose end, unravelling it before a jury, and making everyone look like a fool. Paladino has spoken to Brant. All are shocked, if not suspicious, when they agree to a polygraph test. Lena and Novak guess that Brant thinks he can beat it, and rush to get it done before anyone changes their mind.