by Debbie Babitt
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Pub Date 14 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 31 May 2022
Penzler Publishers, Scarlet
The line between justice and revenge blurs when a judge takes the law into her own hands.
The Honorable Alice D. McKerrity is no stranger to violence. From the bench at Manhattan Supreme, she has seen the most hardened killers pass through her courtroom. But there’s something about this trial—a defendant charged with the murder of a pregnant woman—that affects her as no other case ever has. Her chaotic, stressful home life only adds to her mounting feelings of panic and fear. She’s also harboring a secret that if exposed could have far-reaching ramifications both personally and professionally. And now, unbeknownst to Alice, her daughter has begun a search for her biological father.
As the trial progresses, Alice’s life starts to unravel. Nightmares she suffered as a girl return with a vengeance. Phantom sightings torment her. Is she being paranoid? Or are the specters real? Almost at the breaking point, she begins to doubt her own sanity. Then she makes a shocking discovery that sends her on a collision course with her past and a terror-filled night in the woods in Upstate New York. Confronted with the unspeakable, she must face a decades-buried truth as she fights for her survival against a cunning adversary that forces her to question everything she ever believed about herself . . . and tests her limits as a woman, a judge, and a mother.
Narrated from the perspectives of three women—Alice, her daughter, and Alice’s girlhood friend—First Victim is a suspenseful tale of guilt, justice, and long-awaited retribution.
About the Author:
Debbie Babitt was Copy Director for two major Manhattan publishing companies. She has worked as an actress, a playwright, and a drama critic. Her debut novel, Saving Grace, was published in 2021. Debbie is the daughter of a former federal judge and is married to a criminal defense attorney.
"Setting the standard for top-notch thrillers, First Victim is smart, compelling and filled with utterly real characters. Author Babitt brings formidable storytelling talent to the game, and is quite the stylist. Once you start this novel, you won’t put it down!" - Jeffery Deaver, author of The Bone Collector and The Midnight Lock
"A taut, visceral thriller. From the first page to the last, FIRST VICTIM grabs you by the throat and hurtles you forward in a breathless need for answers, as the twists and turns keep coming. Buckle up for a wild ride." - Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before She Disappeared
"First Victim is a powerhouse—smart, suspenseful, sensational, and full of surprises. Debbie Babitt is a born stylist. I can't wait to see what she writes next." - William Bernhardt, bestselling author of The Last Chance Lawyer
"The life of a judge presiding over a brutal murder trial begins to unravel as the case unearths ghosts from her dark past – one she’s kept secret from everyone, including her grown daughter. Propulsive writing and a gripping story make First Victim one hell of a thriller!" - Wendy Walker, bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten
"An intriguing legal thriller with twists you never see coming. Take a deep breath and enjoy this one." - Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Omega Factor
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 33 members
As the Honorable Judge Alice D. McKerrit, she hears some of the worst crimes pass through her courtroom.
She is dealing with a lot personally as her daughter who has graduated college, has lost her way and Alice’s husband is dealing with a life altering disease. It is hard keeping it all together, and her stress level is bringing back painful memories from her past.
On trial is a ruthless man who is convicted of brutal rape and murder, and Alice feels like somehow she is connected with the defendant, who has decided to be defend himself. The banter between them is frightening. Alice begins to have nightmares, as the case runs too close to home.
I love the book is narrated by three women. Alice, her daughter and Alice’s childhood friend Connie, and they are all connected with a tragic event. This trial has Alice questioning her decisions about everything. Her daughter is acting out. Alice’s daughter has never known her biological dad and is searching for answers, and she knows her mother is not being forthcoming. A twist of fate brings them all together.
This book is due out June 14, 2022. Thank you NetGalley, Scarlet publishing and Debbie Babitt for this advanced copy. Cannot wait to read more by this author.
The premise to this book was right up my street. A legal, courtroom based drama with a thrilling backstory.
Judge Alice McKerrity is presiding over a murder trial where the defendant is accused of the brutal rape and murder of a young woman, pregnant at the time.
Whilst presiding over the trial, Alice's personal life is falling apart and she starts to slowly unravel. It is clear that a past trauma is having a significant impact upon her life. Without spoilers I can't say much more other than read this book if you like thrilling legal, courtroom based dramas.
The book is told in multiple perspectives as well as different time periods which I know some people struggle with however that is a story telling mechanism which I really enjoy.
Thanks to the author, Penzler Publishers and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review
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