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The Final Judgment [Kindle Edition]

Richard North Patterson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99
Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

<p>A young man has been murdered. His girlfriend, twenty-two-year-old Brett Allen, is found at the scene of the crime. She claims she is innocent—even though she's dripping in blood, the murder weapon covered with her fingerprints. Enter attorney Caroline Masters, Brett's estranged aunt. She's been summoned back to her affluent New England hometown to help Brett out of this mess…and revisit the troubled family she left behind.</p><p>
Caroline learned a long time ago that the ties that bind can also be broken. Now that she's back home, she can't help but doubt her family's motives—and Brett's innocence. As the trial heats up, Caroline finds herself up against those who would kill to keep dark secrets hidden…and the state prosecutor, who happens to be her former lover and will do anything to expose the truth. Now, with her family's fate—and her own reputation—hanging in the balance, Caroline must assume the role of a lifetime as she fights to save her niece. Or destroy them both…</p><p>

Editorial Reviews Review

Richard North Patterson frequently rejects the label "legal thriller" for his novels, and The Final Judgement works hard to transcend this limiting category. A cleverly assembled murder mystery told with rich prose ("Moonlight refracted on the still, obsidian waters of the lake and traced the pines and birches and elms surrounding it. The only sound Brett heard was the rise and fall of James's breathing.") and filled with a cast of quirky small-town New Englanders, the novel ultimately succeeds through Patterson's talents as a writer, not just as a plotter.

As in many of Patterson's best novels, The Final Judgement draws on flashback sequences to ground the story and establish key characters. Forty-five-year-old Caroline Masters, a minor figure in Degree of Guilt and Eyes of a Child is the narrative center, and much of the suspense in the novel derives from the slow unwrapping of her past--the death of her mother and estrangement from her father. In the opening of the novel, Caroline is waiting for a message from the White House appointing her to the U.S. Court of Appeals, when, instead, her long-distant father gives her a call. Her niece has just been named the primary suspect in the murder of her boyfriend. The college-age Brett Allen was found naked, passed out from drugs and alcohol, with a knife in her hand, and covered in her boyfriend's blood. The family wants Caroline to return to New Hampshire to defend the girl.

The perils that face Caroline multiply quickly. By taking the case, Caroline clearly jeopardizes her chances for the Court of Appeals appointment. And by returning home, she must inevitably face the accumulated memories and resentments of the New Hampshire crowd, including Caroline's high-school boyfriend who is the prosecuting attorney. But her niece's life is at stake. Ultimately, The Final Judgement is a tale of the deep and twisted history of a New England family, but it is told in a captivating style that is--despite Patterson's reservations about the rubric--"thrilling." --Patrick O'Kelley

From Publishers Weekly

Patterson's legal thriller of a lawyer defending her niece against a murder charge was a PW bestseller for seven weeks.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1075 KB
  • Print Length: 636 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; Reissue edition (November 29, 2011)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005N8ZH16
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,611 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY FINAL JUDGMENT -- IT'S A "10" February 27, 2001
When I give a book a five star rating, it means on a scale of 1-10, I have rated it an 8, 9 or 10. Believe me, very few books reach the "10" level but this one did. It's a case where Richard North Patterson's writing prowess is clearly evident.
If you've followed any of his earlier books, you'll know that he likes to bring back characters that he's already introduced you to in previous novels. The Final Judgment centers around one of my personal favorites, Caroline Masters, a character who put herself through law school and spent 15 years as a public defender before being appointed to a minor judgeship in the San Francisco Municipal Court. This appointment leads to a judge's dream. A high profile televised case is thrown in her lap where a well-known journalist is accused of killing an equally famous novelist. By the end of this trial, which occurs in Patterson's Degree of Guilt, Masters is a celebrity. Many offers pour in and Caroline chooses the one that would serve her ambitions and accepts a partnership in San Francisco's largest law firm. With the strength of this law firm behind her, in Eyes of the Child she ends up defending another high profile defense attorney who is accused of murder, once again putting her in the public eye.
As Final Judgment opens, we meet Caroline once again as she is waiting for the phone call that could change her life -- an appointment to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which would put her one step away from her true goal in life -- a Supreme Court nomination. Just when it seems that Caroline's life is finally on track, she is summoned back home to New Hampshire to defend her niece who is accused of murdering her boyfriend. She hasn't been back there in over twenty years. Prior to this book, Caroline's private life has been an enigma.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Among Hist Best January 16, 2000
While not the "standard fare" for Richard North Patterson, this was among his best novels. The characterization he brought to Caroline Masters and Sandy Stern was eloquent. In prior novels, Caroline was a supremely distant character whose history is now revealed and helps explain her behavior and mien in earlier novels. Sandy Stern continues to be something of an enigma, but he comes out being more "human" by the end of the tale.
As for the plot, I daresay there are a few flaws, most of which seem to come out during the lake scene. Beyond that, this novel is an extremely good read for those who enjoy not only plot, but character development as well. If character development is NOT something the reader enjoys, this is probably not the book for them.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is the third book of Patterson's I've read, and by coincidence, the character Caroline Masters was in all of them ... this time as the main character (the others were Degree of Guilt and Eyes of a Child). Although I had a hard time getting into the first half of the book, once I did I was hooked. Lots of flashbacks provided great background that made the characters come to life. The author kept me hanging on as he slowly doled out the pieces of information that brought the story all together to a very good ending.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read September 16, 1999
By A Customer
Just wanted to say how much I loved Patterson's The Final Judgement. This has to be the best book I've ever read - one I couldn't put down. The character development here was tops! Yes, this was a courtroom drama, but more it showed how lives and destinies can be influenced by outside sources, like one's parents. Carolyn Masters was wonderful, dear compassionate, intelligent. I also fell in love with Brett. In fact, I want to read more about those two. I almost sense Patterson has left me hanging. Right now I'm going through withdrawls, and find I'm still thinking about this book weeks after I finished it. I will search out his other books for sure.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is tightly written with most subplots fleshed out and resolved (which means Patterson has a good editor!). My only negative comment is the number of "twists" in this book. To me incredulity is strained to the point that the characters no longer matter and the reader is reduced to appreciating the writing style. That is what happened to me in this book. I love the writing, but so much "other stuff" was going on, that I lost touch with the main story line.

Bottom line - Mr. Patterson sold a book... I got to meet one of his recurring characters (Caroline Masters) and learned a little about how life runs in different social circles (I think he describes Martha's Vineyard incredibly well). It's not going on the shelf as a keeper, but I will pass this book on with a recommendation to read it. Good luck to all!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather annoying dialog September 26, 2001
I read "Degree of Guilt" a couple of years ago, and enjoyed it. I picked up this book a few days ago, and have to say I'm very disappointed. The story, while at first intriguing, soon gets lost with flashbacks that really add little to the central theme. The worst part is Mr. Patterson's writing style. He belongs to the adverb/adjective-every-other-word-school, so much that every conversation is loaded with glances and movements pregnant with hidden and not so hidden meanings, many of which are redundent or a given. Worse, he contradicts the character's thoughts within one or two paragraphs. The only clean, strong writing is during the courtroom scenes. I suggest Mr. Patterson read "The Elements of Style" and learn to edit; his books will only improve.
To sum up, I'll say this: if you like books produced by writers such as Elizabeth George, then you'll like Patterson. If you prefer the clean, startling style of Grafton, Melissa Banks, Hemingway, Sherman Alexie or Eudora Welty, then stay away from this author's books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Unpredictable Thriller
Probably Patterson's best thriller and unpredictable. I read it some 15 or 20 years ago and wanted to give this to my husband, because todays thriller authors all do their formula... Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. Mathieu
5.0 out of 5 stars great condition, love Richard North Patterson's books ~ better ...
Arrived on time, great condition, love Richard North Patterson's books ~ better writer than the other Patterson.
Published 1 month ago by Joyce Kent
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Emotional
While the answer to the mystery could be seen early, the real surprise was not. A few scenes seemed a bit too graphic, but it became an exciting page turner as the plot developed. Read more
Published 1 month ago by David Witt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love Richard North Patterson's books
Published 1 month ago by Rayda Vega
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great from beginning to end
Published 2 months ago by gary mauro
5.0 out of 5 stars great plot, great read
Well-built characters, great plot, great read!
Published 2 months ago by P. Colaci
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not his best - very slow but hotted up a little after three quarters of the way.
Published 3 months ago by rose
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a fine writer whose work I can enjoy once again.
Had not read any of his books lately - am thrilled that his writing has improved a great deal since some of his earlier work.
Published 5 months ago by Audrey Moss
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great novel by Richard North Patterson
Another Great novel by Richard North Patterson. Enjoy because it reads really fast and holds your attention to the end. You can;'t go wrong with any Ric Patterson novel!
Published 5 months ago by Edward F. Whipps
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best by the author
Could not put this book down. Read it in three days. One of the best by the author.
Published 5 months ago by Dorothy Tabron
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More About the Author

RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON is the author of The Spire, Eclipse and fourteen other bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, he was the SEC liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups. He lives in San Francisco and on Martha's Vineyard with his wife, Dr. Nancy Clair.

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