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After a drug cartel abducts his sister, a Kansas judge puts everything on the line to find her. "A rich blend of dark family history, brutal violence, and wit, Verdict Denied transcends the legal thriller genre with a story as disturbing and complex as its hero, Judge Benjamin Joel." Amazon Reviewer Kansas judge Ben Joel catches a death penalty case involving a local drug dealer with ties to a Mexican cartel. When his sister is abducted three days before the trial, Judge Joel is told what he must do to save her—cut the defendant loose utilizing a seldom-used judicial tool known as a judgment of acquittal. A call to law enforcement would expose a conflict of interest that would disqualify him from the case and get his sister killed, so Ben plunges into the trial of his life by day, and the dark underworld of the drug trade by night, with the aid of only a few trusted allies. What readers are saying: ★★★★★ "[Ruhl's] writing is gritty and authentic." ★★★★★ "Best book of the year . . . Unique story line. Never slows down." ★★★★★ "Ruhl writes with the emotion of Burke, the legal precision of Turow, and the wit of Chandler." ★★★★★ "If you like Jack Reacher, Travis McGee, or gritty violence ala the early Mike Hammer—make this book your next read." ★★★★★ "If John D. MacDonald wrote a Jack Reacher novel, this would be it." ★★★★★ "Ruhl's character has Jack Reacher's savvy, and joins it with Travis McGee's depth and soul searching conversations." ★★★★★ " . . . an incredible first book by a new author." ★★★★★ "Ever since Turow wrote Presumed Innocent I have been fascinated with legal thrillers. Mr. Ruhl does not disappoint."