cover image Final Judgment: A Samantha Brinkman Legal Thriller

Final Judgment: A Samantha Brinkman Legal Thriller

Marcia Clark. Thomas & Mercer, $24.95 (454p) ISBN 978-1-5420-9117-6

In Clark’s excellent fourth thriller featuring L.A. defense attorney Samantha “Sam” Brinkman (after 2017’s Snap Judgment), Sam has found her dream man in Niko Ferrell, a funny, smart hunk who’s achieved global fame and fortune with a business empire centered on his martial arts skills. Her cynical belief that her happiness is too good to last is validated when their vacation on Bora Bora is interrupted by news that Gold Strike Enterprises, a company Niko invested in, has gone under. While the significant financial loss is one Niko can afford, the same isn’t true for others to whom he recommended the investment, including his mother, who’s wiped out and suffers a debilitating stroke from the resultant stress. That tragedy gives Niko a powerful motive for murder. When Niko and Sam discover the dead body of one of the men who ran Gold Strike, Niko becomes the prime suspect in what turns into a homicide case. Sam’s need to believe her boyfriend’s innocence is tested when she learns secrets about his past he withheld from her. The plot twists are both plausible and shocking in this intelligent page-turner. Fans of whodunits featuring ethical dilemmas will be pleased. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (Apr.)