New York Times bestselling author Joseph Finder returns with an explosive new thriller about a female judge and the one personal misstep that could lead to her--and her family's--downfall.
It was nothing more than a one-night stand. Juliana Brody, a judge in the Superior Court of Massachusetts, is rumored to be in consideration for the federal circuit, maybe someday the highest court in the land. At a conference in a Chicago hotel, she meets a gentle, vulnerable man and has an unforgettable night with him—something she’d never done before. They part with an explicit understanding that this must never happen again.
But back home in Boston, Juliana realizes that this was no random encounter. The man from Chicago proves to have an integral role in a case she's presiding over--a sex-discrimination case that's received national attention. Juliana discovers that she's been entrapped, her night of infidelity captured on video. Strings are being pulled in high places, a terrifying unfolding conspiracy that will turn her life upside down. But soon it becomes clear that personal humiliation, even the possible destruction of her career, are the least of her concerns, as her own life and the lives of her family are put in mortal jeopardy.
In the end, turning the tables on her adversaries will require her to be as ruthless as they are.
Judgment starts out a little slow for my taste, but it gradually builds in momentum until I felt like I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. If you're looking for realism in your thriller, this probably isn't it with its convoluted and high reaching conspiracy. In fact, I lost track of the number of times I caught myself rolling my eyes at the many ways Juliana finds to get into more and more danger, not to mention the number of laws she breaks in the process. Nevertheless, the pacing and writing style kept me turning those pages. I wanted that next bit of crazy that had become this woman's life, and I had to see how the author was going to get her out of this corner he had painted her into. So, convoluted, yes. Over the top, definitely. But it's also full of terrific characters, good and bad, and held my interest til the very last page.
❃❃ARC provided by NetGalley and Dutton