Item description for A Grave Breach by James Macomber...
John Cann could never defend a war criminal - especially one he's seen engaged in horrendous acts. But when Arthur Matsen, a trusted friend, mentor and colleague needs his help, Cann must make an impossible choice.
Forced to find the blurred boundaries between blind trust and what is seen, Cann is haunted by thoughts of Janie Reston, a young college girl savagely brutalized and left for dead all because of her connection to him.
As Cann is consumed with complex legal and ethical issues, Janie is in grave danger. Will she fall prey to an unscrupulous psychiatrist intent on exploiting her horrific ordeal to further his own misguided theories of repressed memory?
In the dark places where past, present and future collide, memory has both the power to transform - and destroy.
Deeply textured, remarkably intense and resplendent with rich historical detail, A Grave Breach brims with raw emotion. With exquisite characters and a plot that moves deftly through time and place, A Grave Breach shines in its powerful portrayal of heroism, memory, loyalty and sacrifice.
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More About James Macomber
Born and raised in New England and now living in Florida with his wife Sandy, James Macomber is a former serviceman, college student, bartender, waiter, salesman, tennis instructor, actor, photographer and practicing attorney. He is the author of international legal thrillers featuring former Special Forces/NSA/CIA operator, now lawyer, John Cann - whom Booklist described as a "strong, multi-layered protagonist with the star power to keep this series going for a very long time." But Macomber's novels are about more than just Cann. They feature an ensemble cast of memorable characters centering on the 'players' at a Washington DC international law firm with very close ties to the intelligence community. Notable among them is Katherine Price, also a lawyer with a past, hers in counter-terror at the Department of Justice and the State Department. In novels that reflect and often predict actual events, "Bargained for Exchange" dealt with terrorists in academia, "Art & Part," assassinations in the Netherlands during the trial of the Pan Am 103 Lockerbie bombers, and "A Grave Breach," with atrocities, international organized crime and human trafficking against the backdrop of the Bosnian war crimes trials. It was in "A Grave Breach," that the character of Katherine Price was introduced and she became, in fact, the hero of the novel. By popular demand, she and John got together in the fourth Macomber novel, "Sovereign Order" where they attend the Monaco Grand Prix and risk losing everything to a horrifying WMD attack on the "crown jewel of formula Grand Prix racing." And soon to come is "Extraordinary Rendition" which introduces former Air Force para-rescue Jake Priestly who must battle enemies foreign and domestic, human and otherwise to save a judge whose disappearance threatens the balance of the United States Supreme Court, and: "A Walk with the Sun," a thriller set in Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands where John and Katherine travel to attend the wedding of a young woman very close to Katherine. But the past, both personal and national, rears its ugly head and threatens the impending wedding, the long-held values of the parties, and, indeed, their very lives.
James Macomber currently resides in Bradenton, in the state of Florida.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Grave Breach?
A compelling, superbly crafted, totally engaging read from beginning to end Jan 7, 2008
Studded with a cast of memorable characters, "A Grave Breach" is an international legal thriller by James Macomber, a true master of this popular action/adventure/suspense genre. John Cann is asked to defend someone charged with war crimes by his trusted friend, mentor and colleague Arthur Matsen. Then there is Janie Reston, a young American college girl savagely brutalized left for dead because of her connection to Cann. The girl is under threat by Nathan Fredrich, an unscrupulous psychiatrist intent on exploiting her horrendous ordeal to capitalize on his questionable theories concerning repressed memories. With a complex and engaging plot involving diverse post-war legal, moral, and ethical dilemmas in Europe, compounded by strong emotional ties and vulnerabilities among the principle characters, "A Grave Breach" is a compelling, superbly crafted, totally engaging read from beginning to end that can be wholeheartedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library fiction collections.
Macomber is a great story- teller and he has concocted an interesting plot effectively negotiating the past and present. Jan 2, 2008
Author James Macomber has set himself a tricky task in creating another thriller with two unrelated plots as part of his John Cann series of international legal thrillers with his recent tome, A Grave Breach.
Set against the backdrop of "ethnic cleansing" that transpired in the Balkans, Macomber has authored a poised and polished novel that unfolds when John Cann, a senior associate in the Washington law firm of Loring, Matsen and Gould is asked by the senior partner, Arthur Matsen to defend a war criminal, Dubran Mribic, after he watches a horrendous video tape that had been sent to Matsen.
It seems that the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has now indicted Mribic for a variety of hideous war crimes committed against Muslims and he has now requested Arthur Matsen to represent him in any and all legal proceedings. We also learn in the opening pages that the law firm of Loring, Matsen and Gould are more than just attorneys as they are connected to the CIA, having developed a deep and lasting connection to the intelligence community since the creation of the firm. Why would the USA or for that matter Matsen be interested in defending a repugnant and repulsive war criminal who is now being held in Germany?
In addition to the main plot, Macomber includes a secondary plot involving a young woman, Janie Reston, who is now residing in a rehabilitation center as a result of a brutal crime committed against her by several terrorists. Apparently, two years prior to the happening of this atrocious crime, Cann had taken a sabbatical from his law firm and was a visiting lecturer at Charleston University Law School where he was the faculty adviser to Janie. Unfortunately, a connection between Cann and Janie was established in some minds-including the members of a terrorist cell within the Middle East Studies Department of the University, which in fact there had been no connection, however the terrorists didn't know that and they considered him and whomever was connected to him the enemy. The terrorists kidnapped Janie and what they did to her was beyond comprehension leaving her looking like a broken doll. The beastly criminals never stood trial as Cann made sure they were eradicated.
Cann and Matsen had taken it upon themselves to ensure that Janie received the best of treatment at the Whispering Marsh Rehabilitation Center, where, unfortunately, she nevertheless had fallen under the care of an unscrupulous staff psychiatrist, Dr. Nathan Frederich, who wanted to use her as a guinea pig in testing some of his far-fetched theories.
When Cann eventually meets up with Mribic and listens to the latter's side of the story, nothing seems to be as cut and dry as he anticipated. Moreover, when the legal proceedings commence before the tribunal, it appears that all cards are stacked up against his client. Cann also learns of some very interesting details concerning Matsen and his connection to Mribic, who turns out to be quite a devious fellow and who really wanted Matsen to show up and not Cann as he had some unfinished business to settle with him. If this is not enough to keep you turning the pages, various attempts at Cann's life are made by one group of thugs while there exists another group, who unknown to Cann, are his protectors.
Macomber is a great story- teller and he has concocted an interesting plot effectively negotiating the past and the present, east and west, young and old. Right up to the end he teases his readers with red herrings and unresolved questions such as why did he incorporate two distinct plots with very little links between them? It would have been nice if there were more of a connection rather than leaving this up in the air? I also found the complexity of the principal story quite confusing as I tried to keep track of the cast of characters and their past and present activities. Nonetheless, A Grave Breach did keep me reading well into the night and if you can endure some of the hideous scenes, it is still a great read.
Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures
A true thrilled that keeps you on the edge of the seat Nov 12, 2007
Reviewed by AJ Cooper for Reader Views (11/07)
John Cann, a senior associate for the law office of Loring, Matsen, and Gould, has just witnessed a horrific video of humiliation, torture and finally execution. His good friend, mentor and boss has asked him defend a man who was possibly responsible for the torture and killing of these Muslim people from the Balkans. The hearing for extradition will be held at an international tribunal in Germany. Other countries also have an interest in this man and they want him extradited to their country to stand before a court and answer for his crimes.
Of course John will follow the instructions of his boss and head to Germany to defend Dubran Mribic. His only request is to visit his friend Janie at her rehabilitation center in Georgia. Janie is recovering from almost life-threatening torture that she had received a couple of years ago because of her relationship with Cann. Cann and Matsen took it upon themselves to ensure Janie had the best care and also had themselves assigned as co-guardians with the approval of her family. Janie had come far as had been recovering fairly well considering she had been left for dead. The torture affected every aspect of her life and being able to function.
John hesitantly flies to Germany to defend someone he may not even be able to tolerate. When he arrives and starts to deal with the tribunal and Mribic, everything is not as it seems. Numerous attempts are made on John's life, yet there is another group that follows him and protects him. He discovers the nature of crimes committed by his defendant as well as crimes that had been committed against Mribic's people. No one seems innocent and nothing rings true. Then the unthinkable happens and Mribic is allowed to escape.
Back at home things go from good to bad for Janie at the rehabilitation center. She has a new doctor that has some unique and unusual forms of treatment. Matsen does not want to let on to John what has happened with Janie. He has his firm investigate the doctor and what they find is very disturbing. The law firm must now try and get Janie out of the rehabilitation center. Their only means is to kidnap her from the center and then fight the doctor through the courts. This takes all of Matsen's resolve and determination. Before Matsen is able to tell John about the troubles he has been facing with Janie, John is kidnapped.
Everything comes to a head in Europe and Matsen is forced to travel to Germany to rescue John. Old memories and horrors are brought to the forefront when Matsen returns to Europe. He served as an intelligence officer and became involved in the Balkans. Mribic really wanted Matsen, and not John, so he had to find a way to trick Matsen into returning to Europe.
I truly enjoyed the intertwining of both stories. I did not expect or figure out what could possibly happen next. I could not put the book down. This is a true thriller from the start that keeps you on the edge of your seat. This brief view into the atrocities of war and the hope for justice for the victims was very interesting. The good side of people can really shine through even in the direst of situations. I would recommend "A Grave Breach" to anyone.
Couldn't put it down! Nov 8, 2007
Absorbing and horrifying, James Macomber's novel A GRAVE BREACH sets a story of revenge against the backdrop of the fierce ethnic conflicts in the Balkans. A Washington law firm is tasked with defending a soldier charged with war crimes, and even within the defense team, secret motivations exist, spanning decades. A videotape depicting the crime is the bait in the mousetrap, set by a brutal villain with a grudge against one of the lawyers. Soon, the lawyers, all of whom have ties to the intelligence community, are forced to use every weapon in their considerable arsenal to foil the plot and stay alive. This was a solid read for fans of real-world thrillers.
The third John Cann book is a super suspense Nov 8, 2007
Reviewed by Maria Elmvang
What is the gravest breach? Is it a breach of national security? A breach of peace? A breach of contract? Or a breach of confidentiality, of trust?
That is one of the things that James Macomber explores in his third John Cann book and newest novel, A Grave Breach.
John Cann would never have agreed to defend a war criminal in a court of law, especially not after seeing the atrocities he performed during the Balkan war, if it hadn't been for one thing: Arthur Matsen - his boss and a man whom he respects and loves as his own father - asked him to. Forced to find the blurred boundaries between his trust in Matsen and his own impression of his client, Cann travels to Europe and tries to get to the bottom of things and find out why Matsen asked him to take on this case.
Meanwhile, back in the USA Cann's colleague Katherine Price discovers that all is not as it ought to be at the facilities where Cann's ward, Janie is staying. When it is discovered that Janie is subjected to dangerous psychiatric experiments, only a desperate action will protect her.
Giving away any more of the plot would be a shame for others. James Macomber managed to keep me at the edge of my seat through the various twists and turns of the book until its final conclusion. Unfortunately by combining two unrelated plotlines, Macomber sometimes neglects one in favour of the other, and not all threads are properly tied up, leaving me with unresolved issues and burning questions.
It is an advantage, but not a necessity, to have read the two first John Cann books before reading A Grave Breach. I hadn't, but as all references to earlier books are well explained, it allows it to stand on its own without any problems.
Armchair Interviews says: An excellent suspense novel that definitely will leave you wanting to read more of Macomber's work.