Final Judgment (Samantha Brinkman Book 4) by Marcia Clark – a #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Shared review with the Vicarious Blogger

Book Blurb:

Final Judgment by Marcia ClarkA murder investigation draws firebrand attorney Samantha Brinkman into her boyfriend’s past in this novel of high-risk suspense by bestselling author Marcia Clark.

When it comes to relationships and self-preservation, defense attorney Samantha Brinkman has always been cut and run. But it’s different with her new lover, Niko, an ambitious and globally famous entrepreneur. Sam is putting her faith in him. She has to. He’s also her new client—a suspect in the murder of an investor whose shady dealings turned Niko’s good life upside down.

He had the motive: revenge. As did many others who banked a fortune on the wrong man. That’s a point in Niko’s favor. So is his alibi for the day of the slaying. Until that alibi mysteriously disappears. As Sam’s feverish search for another viable killer begins, the investigation only leads deeper into Niko’s past and its secrets.

From the darkest suspicions to final judgment, fighting for Niko is Sam’s job. To do it, she must risk everything on a man who could make all her worst fears come true.

My Thoughts

I’m not quite sure whether this is supposed to be a legal thriller or not. True, defense attorney Samantha Brinkman is back with her three-person legal office. Besides herself, there is Alex her tech guru and investigator and Michelle her BFF and paralegal, bookkeeper, office manager. And there are other files to work, cases to manage, court appearances and meetings with two clients. But in the meantime, she has apparently become majorly involved with Niko. He is gorgeous and well-to-do. Unfortunately, he is also the person who advised his mother to invest in a money scheme too good to be true and she’s lost everything.

Final Judgment by Marcia ClarkNiko’s financial contact is just the tip of the iceberg and this multi-plot gets complex real fast. Niko has a couple holes in his alibis and Sam begins to detect lies and sins of omission. She is getting serious about him, but is now torn between his possible guilt or innocence when the second guy coordinating the scheme goes missing. Now she’s really up a creek, positive one minute Niko did it, but vowing to defend him with everything she has. She has the feeling regardless that she must find the one who did it–if he didn’t. She must know the truth. Did he kill one–or both of them?

I did have a few problems with this one. Sam is still fighting demons from her childhood and he is still giving her nightmares. Niko is giving her nightmares. She is taking showers morning and night, drinking a lot of tequila, and discussing things with both her assistant/associates that would be considered not only very personal, but privileged and discussing illegal activity–theirs. There is little time devoted to any courtroom appearances–most is running down leads, contacts, other investors, and the well-plotted mystery gets more complicated. More a whodunit than legal thriller.

I enjoyed descriptions of the area and legendary traffic jambs, travel into insanely rich neighborhoods of the LA basin. There were twists and the conclusion came as a surprise. Sam, still acting more PI than attorney, managed to pull a fast one and gain some long-desired resolution. Certainly a win-win. There is profane language as well as frank deviant behaviors. My second book with the author having read Snap Judgment, I really prefer more legal/courtoom action, less romance. I received this uncorrected proof from the publisher and NetGalley and appreciated the opportunity to continue in the series. 4 stars

His Thoughts

I found the defensive attorney, Samantha Brinkman, a little too needy in her relationship with her lover. The chapters were structured around the same tenet; how could she save her client/lover? But this boyfriend/client was a bit of a reach for me. I could understand her need for strong male bonding but she seemed to swing cold and then hot.

Her stepfather was a very wicked man as were the other villains in this story. Despite her shortcomings, Samantha weaves a very intriguing tale of justice and recompense. The storyline is built around the seedy side of investing and the male depravity is eye-opening. Two of the villains are portrayed as sociopaths. Interesting legal maneuvering while trying to keep a killer out of prison makes for a far-fetched tale. Her childhood was abysmal and therefore the conclusion was gratifying.  CE WilliamsI asked myself if there are actually attorneys who would do such a thing. Knowing Marcia Clark’s background, I wonder if she actually works at that game. I rather feel that this is a mental alter ego that wishes some of this was actual methodology.

This is an entertaining book with a satisfying ending. Marcia, thanks for the literary ride and adventure. 4 stars – CE Williams

Book Details:

Genre: Legal Thrillers, Vigilante Justice
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
ASIN: B07TMN6WR8
Print Length: 416 pages
Publication Date: April 21, 2020
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Final Judgment (Amazon)
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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars 4-stars

Marcia Clark - authorThe Author: California native Marcia Clark is the author of Guilt by Association, Guilt by Degrees, Killer Ambition, and The Competition, all part of the Rachel Knight series. A practicing criminal lawyer since 1979, she joined the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office in 1981, where she served as prosecutor for the trials of Robert Bardo, convicted of killing actress Rebecca Schaeffer, and, most notably, O. J. Simpson. The bestselling Without a Doubt, which she cowrote, chronicles her work on the Simpson trial. Clark has been a frequent commentator on a variety of shows and networks, including Today, Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, and MSNBC, as well as a legal correspondent for Entertainment Tonight.

Follow Marcia on Twitter at @thatmarciaclark – Connect with Ms. Clark on her website.

©2020 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Snap Judgment – a Book Review

Snap JudgmentTitle: Snap Judgment by Marcia Clark

Genre: Currently #3710 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Murder

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: To be released August 29, 2017

Source: Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Snap Judgment – Cover covers it all

If you thought a novel by an attorney would be stale, dry, and unappealing, then look again. Yes, Snap Judgment is by “that” Marcia Clark and she has a winning title in this third of the Samantha Brinkman series.

In this novel, Samantha, better known as Sam, must come to the aid of her colleague, civil litigator Graham Hutchins. His USC freshman daughter, Alicia Hutchins, has been found with her throat slashed shortly after she tried to end a disastrous affair with a college companion, Roan Sutton. When it appears Roan retaliated by posting “revenge porn,” and is found in a suspicious suicide shortly after, the law naturally looks to Alicia’s father as a person of interest.

Sam is an independent criminal defense attorney in a very small, private office, and would like nothing better than to take on the case of the well-to-do lawyer–she could really use the bucks! I really like her scenario. The staff is composed of Michy, an old childhood chum and office manager, and Alex, an ex-client but brilliant computer hacker. His services, as well as his character is well fleshed out and enormously charismatic.

Sam has been around the block; she is a complex character and not new to the game. She has tread on some pretty thin ice between legal and maybe not so much and tends to push her luck. She’s street smart and edgy, a tireless worker, but she gets what she wants; definitely knows how to play poker.

A crime boss’s knowledge of her maneuvers leads to a sub-plot intended to force her to find a murder witness in a case involving his nephew. The witness against his nephew has disappeared and assumed taken into police protection. Involved in the sub-plot is her police detective formerly estranged father, Dale Pearson, with whom she also has managed a major coup–and far reaching reputation.

Sam manages to devote serious amounts of shoe leather talking to witnesses, gleaning facts and names, alternately managing the murder of Alicia and the syndicate boss’s nephew along with her lesser cases and court appearances.

Clark‘s years in the legal system are obvious in the way her knowledge and terminology seeps into decisions and directions of either major case. Dialogue with her office assistants is down home and real, and stays on a personal and lateral level rather than attorney to personnel. She never talks “down” to them, but seems to genuinely love and appreciate her staff. She is aware she cannot put Alex at legal risk with his recent history. Really, he’s a good guy and excellent computer nerd. Michy is just trying to keep her boss afloat and keeps on her about her “billable hours,” an assignment Sam would rather avoid.

A rather lengthy investigation follows both cases, unraveling more details but only creating more questions. You won’t see the end coming until it hits hard. Talk about twists–they are all at the end!

I’m not a huge fan of the character Sam as much as the premise itself, the thriller outside the courtroom, and the character fit. (Being a lawyer is obviously NOT glamorous.) Language, language, language, hard drinking, and many, many showers. The trend to damaged female protagonists with abuse in their histories seem to be a theme in many of the books I’ve read lately. However, I definitely enjoyed this book and would be interested in reading another in the series. (Don’t stop now, Marcia, they’re getting good!) Sam hasn’t been weakened because of her past–she’s probably wickedly stronger–in spite of it.

Ms. Clark has a wicked sense of humor–and peppers her narrative with little ditties, such as “About as much as I’d like to go skinny-dipping in a swamp” or “…this time he’d been sober as a stopwatch at a swim meet…” And yes, it’s that Marcia Clark; note her twitter addy: @thatmarciaclark. (Told you she had a sense of humor.)

I received this book in exchange for a review by Ms. Clark, Thomas & Mercer, and NetGalley, and I really enjoyed! Recommended for anyone who enjoys an intelligent mystery, thriller.

Bullseye!Rosepoint Publishing:  4.5 of Five Stars

Marcia ClarkThe Author: Marcia Clark is a California native and the author of a number of books, including the Rachel Knight series. She joined the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office in 181 and served as prosecutor for such high-profile cases as Robert Bardo and, of course, O. J. Simpson. She co-wrote a book out of that trial titled Without a Doubt. She is a frequent commentator in shows such as Good Morning America and Oprah Winfrey. She is a legal correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. Divorced from her second husband, Gordon Clark in 1995 with whom she bore two sons, Clark now resides in Calabasas, California. Connect with Ms. Clark on her website. ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!