Cover Image: Final Judgment

Final Judgment

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I took a little while to get into this, but in the end I do think it's quite well done. I'd never read anything by Marcia Clark, even though I was familiar with her as an attorney, and I applaud her.
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Attorney Samantha Brinkman has always steered clear of relationships until Niko, her current lover.  When Samantha learns something that makes her doubt Niko and her relationship her faith is shaken.   This is part of a series but could be read as a stand alone.  It has a good plot that kept me interested and turning the pages.  This is a fast paced suspense book with a few twists.  Thank you to net galley for an advanced readers copy.
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Sometimes justice needs a helping hand. Another day in paradise at Brinkman and Associates.

Samantha Brinkman attorney at law, has the tendency to help justice along. She is passionate and vulnerable. A contradictory of emotions. Now she is emotionally involved with Niko. An involvement she never thought she would have because of her dysfunctional mother. With each book of these series always plays to that dysfunction. When a financial deal goes bad and a murder of Niko's associate turns up, Samantha gives justice helping a hand. Without Niko's knowledge she turns up Niko's past and she begins to doubt the only relationship she had any peace in her topsy turvy world. Justice becomes a gray line when Samantha goes for the truth. Will the truth set her free or end her world.

The cast of characters include her associates that are thicker than blood and her clients that she serves. I always feel when I read the Samantha Brinkman series, I am reading into Marcia Clark's ego. I picture her as Samantha and it does not do well for the story for me. Other than that, I love the fast pace and get to the truth whatever it cost attitude. It is easy to cheer her on with the support she has in her father and co-workers. It is a great team.

A Special Thank you to Thomas Mercer and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review
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Samantha Brinkman, LA attorney, finds her vacation with new boyfriend Niko interrupted by the news that a risky investment has gone awry, and everyone has lost fortunes. The investment advisers, Bryan and Tanner, blame each other, but when they both disappear, it's time for Sam to investigate. Sam, who survived a childhood trapped with a pedophile stepfather, finds that the abuser from her past was one of the investors. Was the investment really bad, or did someone just run off with the money? This is an incredibly well-plotted page turner filled with fascinating characters and a satisfying ending--highly recommended! Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC
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Final Judgment by Marcia Clark is fourth in the Samantha Brinkman series. Sam is an attorney whose love interest Niko gets into legal trouble. The police believe he may be guilty of murdering a man who stole large sums of money from investors, including himself and his mother. Because I have not read the other books in the series, I may be missing something. The book is a DNF for me. I gave up after reading a third of the novel. I felt that the author stretched descriptions of text unnecessarily in order to add more sentences. There is also quite a bit of annoying product placement, so much so that it feels like a commercial. The story is haphazard and the characters are stiff. This was a disappointment for me because I had wanted to read a Marcia Clark legal novel. This is my opinion only and I'm sure most readers enjoyed the book. Thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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As I so clearly stated before, this series is very different than Marcia Clark's Rachel Knight sereis, and even several books in, I still have to remind myself that it is a totally different series! HOWEVER, I do appreciate such diversification and distinction between the two different series!

Samantha Brinkman is such a badass character! She dances to her own tune and that's absolutely what I love about her! She doesn't care who's watching or who doesn't like it, she will do what she want when she wants! It was so good to see her stepping out of her comfort zone in her relationship with Niko.

Marcia Clark is so good at telling stories! They always enthrall me! They keep me entertained and guessing from beginning to end! This was another great example of a book that kept me engrossed throughout the entire book!

I have to extend a huge thank you to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for gifting me a copy of this title in return for an honest and unbiased review.
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I started reading Marcia Clark's books based on her work as a prosecutor.  I thought she had the background that would be a good fit to become an author.  I was right!  She writes amazing legal thrillers that I love!  I somehow missed the 3rd in this series but will be certain to go back and read it soon.

In this installment, Samantha Brinkman, an attorney is put into a situation where her boyfriend Niko, has lost a lot of money investing in a scheme that was promised to bring big profits.  He invested and encouraged others, including his mother, to invest.  It fails.  And that's when this book takes off!  It's a roller coaster ride from that point on!

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book.
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Samantha Brinkman is an attorney and, secretly, a part-time vigilante.  In Marcia Clark’s latest book, Final Judgement, Samantha is first drawn into a financial scandal. It quickly turns into a murder investigation when her boyfriend, Niko, becomes a person of interest.  While this book is considered a legal thriller, much of the action takes place outside the courtroom and, in some cases, outside the law.

This is the first book I’ve read by Marcia Clark and, sadly, it will probably be the last one as well.  While the initial plot is adequate and would have been interesting, it quickly became convoluted and quite unbelievable.  I found the characters to be somewhat distasteful, especially Samantha, who has no problem with meting out her own form of justice.  There is constant reference to her favorite type of alcohol, when she takes showers (at least 32 pages mention this activity), and the amount of coffee she drinks. Every. Single. Day. It all became quite tedious and repetitive.  Just reducing this information would have moved the story along nicely. 

Finally, the plot is unbelievable at best.  The intertwining of Samantha’s personal life with cases she is involved with isn’t realistic and, furthermore, she doesn’t display the behavior of an ethical attorney. Ditto for her staff as well as her father (who just happens to be a police officer). To me that was very off-putting.  

I enjoy a well-written legal thriller and I so wanted to like this book.  However, it fell far short of my expectations.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.
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Sam Brinkman's in a grown up relationship, finally.  Then he becomes the number 1 suspect in a possible murder investigation. Can she clear him? Can she trust him? I enjoyed this book immensely. It kept me reading for more. Samantha  Brinkman isn't your typical heroine, she makes decisions that don't follow the patterns of your average characters.
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Do You Really Know Anyone?

Samantha Brinkman has just found out that her boyfriend Nico is now her client.   Nico had talked his mother to investing some money (but not her life savings) in the company Goldstrike.   Nico trusted the two owners of the company but they now have gone bankrupt and Nico's mother is getting very sick because of the loss and her son is furious as are many of the investors but he has more at stake because he recommended this company to many of his friends and acquaintances and now everyone has lost all their money.   The men involved promise Nick they will get all the money back. (How? And When?).   Suddenly one of the men is found dead and the other seems to be missing.   The police think Nico looks like the perfect suspect if the man was murdered.   The plot thickens and more mysteries arise while Sam takes on another case that she feels very strongly about involving a teenage girl.   Will she be able to help Nico when she discovers that he has kept many secrets from her that may damage the future of their relationship and his case.I

This was the fourth book in the Samantha Brinkman series.   Maybe if I had read the first couple books I would have enjoyed this a little more.   The storyline was interesting but the book was way too long.   I can see how many readers are attracted to the series because I did enjoy some of the characters.   There were too many puns and witty remarks for me and way too many details about what the characters ate and the scunci's that Michelle wore in her hair to match her outfit everyday.   I lost count on the times Nick said "I don't know what I would do without you, Sam".   Also, I don't ever want to hear about the drink "Patron Silver" in a book ever again!   I know what she drinks, she doesn't have to say it every time an has her drink at night.   Too much emphasis on unnecessary details that made the book not work for me.   I just couldn't connect with Sam's character, she didn't have enough emotion or feeling for everything she was struggling with (imo).   I did notice the first two books in the series received high recommendations so I might try those in the future to have a better understanding of Sam.   All in all, the story was not believable for me and very far fetched for some of the actions she had performed and the way she handles justice.

I want to thank the publisher "Thomas And Mercer" and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book and any thoughts and opinions expressed are unbiased and mine alone!

I do recommend this book to others because I may be in the minority with my feelings about this story.
I have given the book 3 Unbelievable 🌟🌟🌟 Stars!!
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Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. .
My review opinions are my own. I have read the prior books in series and enjoy this series for the author's smart well crafted plots and intense characterizations.  

 Samantha Brinkman and her boyfriend Niko have been together for a long time. and are finally putting their careers on hold for a long deserved romantic beach vacation. When his Mother is swindled out of her retirement in a crypto scheme she calls in a panic and they head home to help her find the suspects. She was not the only victim of the scheme. Samantha enlists the help of her savvy investigator Alex and her friend paralegal Michelle.  Devastated over his mother's loss, Niko  is determined to find the suspects with Samantha's help and get his Mother's money back. Meanwhile she has a devastating stroke from the stress.  Nico is furious . When one of the suspects turns up dead by skills only Nico knows, he is prime suspect number one. Samantha decides  to defend him while continuing their investigation. 

This was a thrilling read !  The charcters are well crafted to the plot, the excitement builds and the author has mastered the art of surprising her readers at the end. I enjoyed this next in series and look forward to the following adventures of Samantha.
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Samantha Brinkman is back in the latest installment of Marcia Clark's series about a defense lawyer with her own set of ethics and sense of justice.  

Final Judgment picks up the latest installment with Sam and her boyfriend Niko sunning themselves in a tropical paradise.  But, of course, in Samantha Brinkman's life, nothing ever stays quiet for long and their tropical vacation is interrupted with a call from Niko's friend that the investment Niko touted had gone belly up and all of his friends and family had been financially wiped out. 

When one investor turns up murdered and the other goes missing shortly after being confronted by Sam and Niko, Niko becomes the prime suspect. Now Sam and her team are investigating the murders to find out if Sam is dating a killer and they're digging into a past that Niko hasn't shared with Sam.  

I enjoyed Final Judgment and look forward to the next entry in the series. Marcia Clark knows her way around crime fiction and writes Brinkman as a tough, no nonsense lawyer with a talent for investigation and a thirst for revenge.  As this is the fourth in the series, I strongly encourage any reader to read the first three books of the series before diving into Final Judgment as they will provide additional context with Samantha's back story and the characters in the novel.
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"Maybe not truth. But justice for sure."

This is the 4th in this legal thriller series featuring lawyer and vigilante Samantha Brinkman. I've read the previous books and find them fast-paced and the stories typically have complex plots with a lot going on -- mostly outside of a courtroom. 

Samantha is a defense attorney and definitely bends the rules and the law most of the time. Unfortunately, Samantha is a total hypocrite and operates with a strange double-standard as the reader sees when her boyfriend, Niko Ferrell, looks to be guilty of murder. Now, keep in mind that Sam doesn't mind so much that he killed someone, what makes her angry is that he didn't tell her -- a lot, actually, and she can't stand that. The aggravation and irritation I felt with her is due to the fact that she has not shared her own past and truth with him. Hmmm.

For the most part, the characters are quite unbelievable and stereotypical. The bestie, Michy, is Samantha's Gal Friday and of course there is Alex, the expert hacker and investigator who operates without boundaries of any kind. So much illegal stuff going on here that it stretches credulity to the max. The trio spends a lot of time together and there is a great deal of detail and description about what they eat, wear, etc., and lots of banter. Samantha's endless angst over her personal relationship with Niko got old fast. I found it difficult to imagine how Samantha, as an attorney, spent more time investigating the cases and chasing leads than the police did. Her relationship and interaction with her father, Dale, a cop, is also quite weird. Samantha is definitely operating outside of moral and ethical codes in her quest to save Niko from himself and his conscience as well as to take care of someone who did her great harm in the past. If you like vigilantism, you will like Samantha and this series. Anyway, despite my reaction to her dubious behavior and the need to suspend disbelief at her antics, I do like the series and will most likely be reading the next installment. The author is well-known and is herself a practicing criminal lawyer in LA. She served as prosecutor for the OJ Simpson trial and is a legal correspondent and talk show commentator. So she knows the law and definitely uses that expertise when writing these legal novels. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for this e-book ARC to read and review.
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This is the fourth Samantha Brinkman book. She is a defense attorney and has a boy friend, Niko she is fairly serious about him but she is wondering if he has killed a man missing who was one of two men to take his mother's money and swindle her. Niko has a past he has not told Sam about and she is determined to find out all she can. 
Then up pops a man who is from her past. He seems to also have lost money from the same two men. Sam really would like to see the end of him, but first she has to see how involved Niko is. Alex and Michy are there to help. Then Dale can be of help too. 
An interesting story with many twists to it and who really did the deed, or did it even happen at all.
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Many thanks to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer, and Marcia Clark for the opportunity to read and review her latest chapter in her wonderful series - these books keep getting better!  4.5 stars for a suspenseful read and fun reconnecting with these characters.

This installment finds defense attorney Samantha Brickman representing her lover, Niko, who is a suspect in a murder of an investor that bilked millions from people and ruined Niko's life.  But Samantha, who has a hard time trusting anyone, is starting to have serious doubts about Niko's innocence.

I really enjoy the characters of Sam and her two partners at her firm and was glad to get back into their world again.  This is a fast-paced suspense book - you could certainly read it on its own but these characters are so good that you really need all the history!
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Having read the previous 3 books in this series, as well as all Marcia Clark's other novels, I was very much looking forward to this latest book about Samantha Brinkman, an LA-based defence attorney, and it didn't disappoint.  Having finally found herself in a happy relationship, her world is turned upside down when her boyfriend Niko is involved in an investment scandal which leads to him becoming a suspect in a murder.  As she attempts to prove his innocence she is forced to question how well she knows him as his secrets are uncovered.  The irony is that Samantha has her own secrets, both personally and professionally.

What Clark does well over the series is create a likeable but flawed individual in Samantha, as well as interesting supporting characters - Michy, her childhood friend who runs her office, Alex her investigator and Dale her police detective father. There were plenty of twists and turns which kept me guessing and ensured it was an engrossing enjoyable read to the end.

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Defense attorney Samantha Brinkman is back in Book 4 of the series with her three-person legal office. 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. 

Niko'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 when the second guy coordinating the scheme goes missing. Now she's really up a creek, positive one minute Niko did it and vowing to defend him. Did he kill one--or both of them? 
I had a few problems with this one. Sam is fighting nightmares of her step-dad from childhood and she's sleepless over Niko. She is 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/courtroom action, less romance. I received this digital download from the publisher and NetGalley and appreciated the opportunity to continue in the series.
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Samantha Brinkman is one of my favorite attorney characters in book form. She has been through so much in her life and she can rationalize doing some unsavory acts if the situation warrants it. Her co-workers, Michy and Alex, are the perfect compliment to her personality.

Sam has never been able to have a real intimate relationship with a man before Niko. She is unsure of her feelings and she is scared. When Niko is pulled into a murder and disappearance investigation, Sam is forced to re-examine her relationship and her trust.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series and this book did not fall short. It had me guessing to the very end.
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Samantha Brinkman, Attorney, is back again with a boyfriend in tow. Nico is a well-to-do entrepreneur. He is also Sam's client.

He's now become a person of interest in the murder of an investor who made off with a lit of money ... Nico's, the friends he recommended, his own mother, as well as many others. When another investor disappears, the cops start looking for the victims, and they're paying really close attention to Nico.

Nico has some secrets from the past ... secrets he's not shared with Sam.. at least until now. As Sam’s feverish search for another viable killer begins, the investigation only leads deeper into Niko’s past and its secrets.

This has been an excellent series ... I just wish the author could write as fast as I read. It's action-packed with surprises here and there. I like these characters and how they relate to each other. Samantha is suspicious of Nico ... is he lying? Could he have murdered for revenge? Nico may have his secrets, but so does Sam .... and she's not willing to share those. Sam also has a unique relationship with her father ... a man she only met recently...and who happens to be a detective.

Although 4th in the series, this one stands easily as a stand alone. There's just enough information about Sam's life that will whet your appetite for more. I highly recommend starting at the very beginning.

Many thanks to the author / Thomas & Mercer / Netgalley for the advance digital copy of this crime fiction. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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For most of the first half of the book, I thought this was going to be the first novel by Marcia Clark where I didn’t find issues that dragged down the star rating. By the time I was through, my feelings had turned in the opposite direction.

The plot introduction was intriguing. The heroine, lawyer Samantha Brickman, wades through the clues as she tries to determine exactly what happened. Unfortunately, her boyfriend Niko is a prime suspect, and Samantha uses every trick she can to find the evidence to prove him innocent. The book is almost like a police procedural, as the author has Samantha and her investigator Alex pounding the pavement following up on leads. This is Ms. Clark’s five-star element.

It is difficult to explain exactly the major issues I had with “Final Judgment.” I will try to be vague, but those concerned they may learn too much should skip this paragragh. Samantha has a character trait which permits her to follow through with vigilante justice. In short, she has no reason not to kill someone if it is a criminal and the only way she feels justice can be served. While I might accept that she is able to balance the moral aspect with her personal thoughts, it becomes harder to swallow when everyone close to her feels the same way. It was impossible to suspend disbelief and the story descends to a level of questionable fiction.

The book could have been a tighter read if Ms. Clark could have cut a meal out here and there and suspended some of the banter. While I realize this helps to establish characters, it doesn’t have to be carried to a point where I am with Samantha for every meal of the day and privy to what she and everyone with her ate. Cutting the banter down would not destroy the relationships. Eliminating some of these scenes (many that did not have any conversations about the plot) would have prevented the book from slowing to a crawl during many of these instances.

Bottom line: For me, although “Final Judgment” is the strongest effort I have read so far from Ms. Clark, I still found myself shaking my head at the end of the story. The contradictory character traits were dismaying, and I was frustrated as what could have been a good book slowly slid from the heights it could have achieved. Fans of the author will probably love this book. I found it to be a mix of good and not so good. Three stars.

My thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for a complimentary electronic copy of this book.
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