Review: Author gives 'Judgment' a unique spin

This cover image released by Dutton shows "Judgement," by Joseph Finder. 

“Judgment” (Dutton), by Joseph Finder

A one-night stand becomes a bigger mistake than she bargains for when judge Juliana Brody hooks up with a man at a conference in Chicago. The next morning they go their separate ways, never to speak of what happened: at least that’s what he promises. She arrives back home to Boston and her loving family with tons of guilt. She presides over a case that involves a worker accusing her boss of sex discrimination. Brody prides herself on being fair as a judge, but that is about to change when a new defense attorney arrives and it’s the man from the conference.

In closed chambers, he informs her that their liaison was taped, and if she doesn’t rule in favor of the company, their video will be released and her career will be ruined. When she demands the tape, he tells her that his superiors have it and are pulling the strings, not him. He, too, is a pawn in this blackmail scheme.

Whoever is responsible for this entrapment doesn’t know Brody well at all. She decides to take the fight to the source responsible for setting her up. She might have had a moment of stupidity and weakness, but is now literally trying to save her family and her reputation.

Affairs causing marital discord and havoc are a frequent theme in thrillers. Finder takes these common story elements and makes them appear to be fresh and new. Brody’s plight may seem hopeless, but her strength and faith carry the day.

Author Joseph Finder proves that what appears to be a simple idea can be elevated with great writing and powerful characters.

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