Final Judgment (Samantha Brinkman #4), by Marcia Clark

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Marcia Clark, and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

After a hiatus, Marcia Clark is back with another strong Samantha Brinkman legal thriller that hits home more than the other books in the series. While on vacation with her boyfriend, Niko, Samantha is rushed back to LA to deal with an investment issue. It would seem that Niko’s mother was taken in by a cryptocurrency scam that saw her lose a great deal of money. While they two men heading up the investment are apologetic, they are not confident about being able to reimburse their clients. Niko takes this less than calmly and Samantha soon sees a darker and more intense side. When one of the investors turns up dead in his home, all eyes turn to Niko, as the cause of death is internal decapitation, skill Niko knows well. All the same, Niko proclaims that he is innocent, though admits he is trained to kill when needed. Samantha agrees to represent him and the search for the truth begins. While Samantha handles some of her other legal work, the office team begins digging a little deeper, only to discover that Niko has a past in Chicago that he likely did not want discovered. As Samantha must digest this, things begin looking worse for her client as the court date approaches. Lies and deceit are nothing a defence attorney likes in their client, but when it’s a boyfriend, it is exponentially worse. Samantha will have to make a few choices as Niko’s guilt looks more likely. Will she choose wisely for all involved? A wonderful story that keeps the reader guessing. Recommended to those who have enjoyed this series (and all of Clark’s work), as well as the reader who needs a legal thriller that can be digested with ease.

I have long enjoyed Marcia Clark’s work, as she reinvent herself after the infamous trial that made her a household name. She works hard to create relatable characters and stories that can be easily enjoyed, even if they touch on some controversial subjects. Samantha Brinkman has been a wonderfully complex character, as the four novels in the series have come to show her. She is strong-willed, but also vulnerable when it suits her. She is gritty and determined without being cold. This story pushes her into a realm she might not have known before and requires that she make choices that will clash with her emotional well-being. Other characters help to push the story forward, while complementing Brinkman in a variety of ways, which enriches the overall experience. The story is strong and kept me pushing forward. Perhaps it is that there has not been a novel in a few years, but I was hungering for as much as I could get in short order. A mix of chapters kept me wanting to push ahead and I was impressed with all Clark had to offer. I hope there is more to come soon, as this is one fan who is not as patient as some.

Kudos, Madam Clark, for another winner. I cannot wait to see what’s next for Samantha or your other projects.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: