Cover image for The trials of Nikki Hill
The trials of Nikki Hill
Darden, Christopher A.
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Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
viii, 434 pages ; 24 cm
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When TV presenter Maddie Gray's body is found dumped in gangland LA, the police arrest a young black man found at the scene with Maddie's ring in his pocket. For Nikki Hill, an ambitious Afro-American attorney, it is a make-or-break case.

Author Notes

Christopher Darden lives in Los Angeles, California.

(Bowker Author Biography) Christopher Darden won international recognition as an assistant prosecutor on the O. J. Simpson criminal trial. His memoir In Contempt was a #1 New York Times bestseller and will become a major motion picture.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Former O. J. prosecutor Darden's first book, the autobiographical In Contempt (1996), revealed little of the literary quality evident in this compelling legal thriller. Has Darden's prose improved, or does coauthor and mystery veteran Lochte deserve top billing? Whichever, readers will be pleasantly surprised by the fast-paced tale, which introduces Nikki Hill, a sexy black prosecutor who gets what seems to be a big break when she is named special assistant to the D.A. in a high-profile murder case. Nasty, nymphomaniacal tabloid reporter Maddie Gray is found dead in a dumpster, and a young black man is picked up nearby with her ring in his pocket. Nikki soon questions the young man's guilt, especially when a number of other possible suspects turn up. Forget the obligatory (but fortunately unobtrusive) O. J. references; this is a genuinely suspenseful crime novel with a charismatic heroine and a cast of well-drawn supporting characters, especially two flesh-and-blood homicide detectives. The verdict: highly recommended for fans of Grisham, Turow, and Court TV. --Jenny McLarin

Publisher's Weekly Review

Not surprisingly, this solid collaboration between ex-prosecutor Darden (In Contempt) and mystery novelist Lochte (Neon Smile, etc.) is about a high-profile murder case as seen by the Los Angeles D.A.'s office‘but it's not about that high-profile murder case. Young, brilliant black prosecutor Nikki Hill, exiled to Compton after her 15 minutes of legal fame, is recalled to L.A. to become special assistant to District Attorney Joe Walden when the naked body of TV gossipmonger Maddie Gray is found in an alley dumpster and street punk Jamal Deschamps is caught stealing a diamond ring from the corpse. Case closed, or so it seems. But it turns out that Jamal, the obvious suspect, was chased into that alley by a gang called the Crazy Eights, and that the dead woman was blackmailing celebrities‘including one who was last seen with her the day she died. As if taking cues from the TV series Law and Order, the plot unfolds both in the DA's office and through the murder investigation, the latter hampered by disappearing evidence and a leak inside the police department. Nikki also has a suspicious new boyfriend, whose advent into her life coincides with anonymous telephone reminders of a guilty secret. This is a sturdily built crime novel, written in a sharp, cinema-friendly style in which the good news (every scene reveals another kink in the complex plot) is balanced by the bad (the puzzle-pieces are often far-flung and less than revelatory). The ending strains credulity, but for the most part Darden and Lochte lead a stimulating investigation into the intersections, and racial tensions, among the dispossessed, the wealthy and a legal system that purports to dispense justice to both in equal measure. Agent, Mel Berger at William Morris. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Yes, that's O.J. Simpson prosecutor Darden. He joins forces with mystery writer Lochte to craft the story of an African American district attorney named Nikki Hill, who discovers that an open-and-shut case of murder involving gorgeous TV star Maddy Gray is not so open and shut. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.