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Winner Take All [Mass Market Paperback]

T Bunn
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 25 2003
Following a surprising courtroom victory, attorney Marcus Glenwood takes on an equally surprising new client-Dale Steadman, the CEO of the very company Marcus prosecuted. His job is to find Steadman's dangerously unstable ex-wife, Erin Brandt, who kidnapped their baby daughter. It plunges Marcus into a media circus-and raises troubling questions about Steadman's true motives. Because Erin has a story of her own...

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A damaged and vicious international opera diva absconds to Europe with her baby daughter in this latest legal thriller from Bunn (Drummer in the Dark). North Carolina legal eagle Marcus Glenwood, the hero of Bunn's earlier thriller The Great Divide, is surprised when high-powered CEO Dale Steadman approaches him for help on a case, since Glenwood recently dealt Steadman's company a courtroom thrashing. But the lawyer takes pity on Steadman when he learns that the CEO's ex-wife, gorgeous opera star Erin Brandt, has kidnapped the one-year-old daughter she had virtually abandoned a year earlier in order to pursue her glamorous career. Glenwood finds his initial effort to make his case stymied by a rival lawyer as well as a shield of celebrity that makes it difficult to get Brandt into court. He finally succeeds by sending his fiancee and research assistant Kirsten Stansted off to Europe to locate Brandt and the child. Stansted makes progress, but the situation deteriorates considerably when she is attacked by a mysterious stranger. Brandt soon turns up murdered in New York, and Steadman finds himself arrested after a coincidental trip to Manhattan as the crime is being committed. Bunn's depiction of family and romantic relationships is soaked in melodrama. Brandt is a particularly lurid, cartoonish figure who seems part witchy prima donna and-incongruously-part militant feminist, spouting such gems as "We are sisters, you and I. Molded by the same harsh flame." The courtroom scenes are long on loud arguments but short on tension and suspense, and the plotting is surprisingly sloppy. Bunn's fans can only hope he rebounds the next time around.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Marcus Glenwood, the attorney who took on the nasty multinational New Horizons in The Great Divide (2000), accepts a case from the company's new CEO, Dale Steadman. It seems that Steadman's ex-wife, a young opera diva named Erin Brandt, has kidnapped their infant daughter, Celeste, and taken her to Germany. The question is why, since Erin is cold to the touch, regarded her husband as a country bumpkin, and never showed any love for Celeste. Germany, as Bunn is at pains to show, resists court attempts to win back even abducted children, because of the chauvinistic notion that anything German is by definition more peaceful and wholesome, particularly if the alternative is the violent U.S. Threading his way through the complications of international law, Marcus dispatches his assistant--and girlfriend--Kirsten to Europe to slap a subpoena on Erin. Erin, always the temptress, confronts Kirsten with her old life in the fast lane, a life not dissimilar to Erin's, and of which Marcus knows nothing. Meanwhile, back in the States, another plotline develops at Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera. Bunn convincingly portrays the world of opera from the Met to Dusseldorf, and though he is not a lawyer, he has a gift for courtroom dialogue. This is a novel about mature romantic love, and how we behave when we cannot find it. It is a thoughtful, moral story, although Bunn's many evangelical readers will find little in it that is overtly Christian. John Mort
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Glenwood is back! Dec 2 2003
Marcus Glenwood is back! But as much as I hate to admit it, this does not hold a candle to The Great Divide. I learned about opera a little bit... YUCK! I was about ready at one point and time to give up until I was about 2/3 of the way done with it and I stuck it out. I enjoyed the ending, but this book could have been so much more promising. Believe it or not, I thought this book was maybe 3 3/4 stars, but not four. In my opinion, Bunn fell short because I really didn't see much of a witness all in all for Jesus. When Bunn puts Jesus in light of everything, then he scores a 5, but this time, AH, not quite. I still enjoy Bunn's work. I'm looking forward to the chance to read The Warning or The Ultimatum.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Continues April 13 2004
By A Customer
I have enjoyed every one of T. Davis Bunn's books. I've bought his books from the beginning. I continue to enjoy his books, and this one is great as usual. Without getting into details, Winner Take All continues to give me a very interesting, fast paced story with great characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mr. D I get a bonus Jan. 14 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Winner Take all is an awesome example of courage and boldness. The beginning for me was a little slow to get me interested but about half to three quarters of the way through it got more intense and exciting. Since Bunn is a christain author I do think that he could of added a bit more of Jesus, But to an extent he did show how much evil is in the world and how good always prevails. Even in the hard times. I would read another of Bunns novels.Definately
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fast moving Aug. 12 2003
This is a fast-moving story all right, and a nice, entertaining
one, but, unhappily, the complex aspects of the story line
fail to connect all the time.
The story is, basically, that of a lawyer who is hired to help a
troubled businessman get back his young daughter who was
kidnapped by the non-custodial mother and spirited back to a
Germany that refuses to honor the custodial judgments of other
The mother is a strange, ego-driven opera diva who never seemed
interested in this child, so the mystery deepens as the lawyer,
and his own troubled female assistant, search for the child,
and then who has to also search for the reasons for all the
trouble they encounter along the way.
We, as readers, travel from N. Carolina to New York, to several
regions of Germany, then to London, and we are plunged into
the nether regions of opera and its managers and practitioners,
as well as those areas of medicine affecting several of the
As said, a very complex story that moves ahead with a nice
speed that is only interrupted by some lapses in logic as the
main "good" characters frequently seem to lose all reason to
plunge into extremely dangerous situations with no regard for
their safety. These nice, smart, capable people suddenly race
into obvious physical danger, disregarding all normal caution,
and our own logic is challenged by their abrupt, impetuous
Even "love" is in for some strange bumps along the way, as
these characters engage and disengage with each other as
the story progresses.
An odd mixture of a story, but one that moves along with speed
and interest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Prose that sparkles! May 17 2003
Despite the fact that I had to go to work in the morning, I stayed up a tad too late in the hopes of getting to a "slow spot" where I could set the book down and drift peacefully off to sleep.
Regrettably, the book contains the ongoing, irritating flaw of ending each chapter in such a manner that it essentially compels the reader to continue on -- even if it is three o'clock in the morning and the reader truly does have a day job and the reader's spouse keeps mumbling, "Just go to BED!"
To make matters even WORSE, the plot took an explosive, unexpected turn at the absurd hour of 4:00 a.m. This left me literally no choice but to shake my wife vigorously and shout, "You will not BELIEVE what he just did!"
She immediately became airborne and shrieked, "WHO? WHAT?"
"I can't tell you or it will ruin the book," I replied.
The novel completely ruined her sleep. The poor woman had to drag herself into the living room and sleep on the sofa.
Bunn should be ashamed of himself.
In the future, he needs to make his books more dull. My wife will appreciate it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Legal Thrills May 12 2003
The saddest thing in the world is a mother who neglects her child. That sort of mother shares much in common with the animal kingdom - and female animals who eat their young.
In "Winner Take All," Erin Brandt has her own agenda. She's an opera star who kidnaps her daughter after having never bonded with her.
After seeing exceptionally talented lawyer Marcus Glenwood in action, Brandt's ex-husband, Dale Steadman, hires the legal eagle to help locate his baby daughter, Celeste. The lawyer begins to feel sorry for Steadman along the way, seeing through the exterior to his sad core.
The story details Glenwood's efforts to drag Brandt into court. He even sends his fiancée and his legal assistant to Germany to locate Brandt.
When Erin is found dead, all eyes look to Steadman, a man with ample motive for the killing. The story heats up with courtroom drama and cat and mouse play that will keep the reader entranced.
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