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The Final Judgment

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  4,282 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
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 m ...more
ebook, 640 pages
Published November 29th 2011 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1995)
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Asteropê I Googled and didn't see anything about an actual series. I did find this:

"One recent example is “The Final Judgment,” based on the Richard North…more
I Googled and didn't see anything about an actual series. I did find this:

"One recent example is “The Final Judgment,” based on the Richard North Patterson novel, acquired by Jaffe/Braunstein Films for an estimated high-six-figure sum against more than $1 million, to be produced as an NBC miniseries."

It sounds like they optioned it and/or bought the rights to it, but didn't actually make it?

It looks like Degree of Guilt and Silent Witness were make into TV-Movie/mini-series, though.

I didn't see a list for this book on his IMDB, where it if were made, he could have been credited.
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Community Reviews

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Oct 17, 2010 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I REALLY enjoyed this author! A very compelling story with intrigue from the start about a middle aged attorney on the cusp of receiving a Presidential nomination to a judgeship who is then thrust back unwittingly to her hometown and long estranged family. The writing is sharp, focused, not overly descriptive or bogged down with minutiae. The pace is very good flipping back to the past at just the right times to fill in pockets of history necessary to the murder mystery unfolding in the present. ...more
P.S. Winn
Apr 23, 2017 P.S. Winn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A twisted thriller that combines law, mystery and a look behind the scenes.
Jeff Dickison
Jun 23, 2013 Jeff Dickison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good tale by Mr. Patterson. Caroline Masters is called back to her hometown in New England to defend her neice who has been unjustly accused for a murder. Recommended!
Jun 13, 2017 Herman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rechtbankthrillers zijn niet mijn favoriet onder de spannende boeken, maar deze toch met veel plezier gelezen. Patterson heeft een goede plot bedacht waarbij het tot het laatst onduidelijk blijft hoe het nu precies zit. Goede karakters, die ook allemaal redelijk tot ontwikkeling komen. Scènes in de rechtbank zijn wat mij betreft het minst interessant.
Amy L. Campbell
Pretty standard murder mystery plus court room drama with some familial angst thrown in on top. Characterizations are decent, if a little dated. The twist ending was pretty predictable, although I didn't quite know who the murderer was until the reveal. The writing is a bit clunky in some areas, but is a vast improvement over some of the more current drivel I've forced myself to read recently. This is not my typical genre, but I would probably be willing to give Patterson another shot.

Caroline M
Nov 24, 2011 ~mad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booksiveread
"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 ul
Dec 15, 2012 Colin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read, the heroine Caroline Masters is about to be appointed as a court judge when she hears that her niece is suspected of the murder of her boyfriend. She travels to where her family, including Caroline's father, live which is on the North East Coast of America. There are a couple of flashbacks - one where we find that Caroline's mother died in a car crash after having an affair with a local lothario and the other tells us that Caroline had a fling with a man who was a Vietnam draft dodg ...more
Jul 27, 2010 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Protect and Defend, the book in which Caroline Masters is nominated for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, I wanted to read the book which supplies her back story and that of her daughter Brett. The plot is fast paced and compelling but, as with other Patterson books, the number of horrors one family inflicts on itself is incredible. Why Betty would tell her father about Caroline's illicit boyfriend, for example, is a little hard to swallow. Was her father supposed to be so gratef ...more
Dec 09, 2011 Karol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2013 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Caroline Masters is a lawyer. Her father is a retired judge & Caroline has high hopes of becoming a judge. She is being considered for an appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Just as everything she has worked so hard for & hoped for is about to happen, she receives a plea for help from a family member on the opposite coast where Caroline currently resides. There are several reasons for Caroline's decision to live as far away from her family as she could possibly get and yet she is d ...more
Oct 05, 2015 L rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not half bad as these books go, with a well thought out plot line. I guess the problem is that as I get older and older I've seen so many stories develop that from the start I knew immediately both who would be guilty and who would temporarily appear to be the villian. You know how you've seen so many actors that catching sight of a character actor on Law and Order immediately tips you off that he's the criminal as they wouldn't pay extra just for a witness. This book had the same effect on the ...more
Oct 19, 2015 Jak60 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the early books y R N Patterson, but it starts featuring a character that will play important roles in future novels, as well as the style we will find in his future books. Final Judgement is an intense thriller, where personal and family stories are nicely blended with the legal plot; we start seeing in this novel the author's ability of giving texture and depth to his key characters. I had read this book almost 20 years ago and I found it in my hands again in these days: I can s ...more
Apr 13, 2014 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book has two parallel stories that intersect at the end. Part of the book is a murder investigation / courtroom drama and the other part is a story about the young woman who is a defense lawyer in the court case. The book had me guessing until the end. There are multiple possibilities and I didn't have it figured out completely until I read the end - just the way I like it. The characters are convincing; they feel real. The family drama will probably be familiar in tone to many of us. All in ...more
Apr 15, 2016 Haris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A defense attorney, nominated for a federal judgeship, returns to her New Hampshire hometown to defend her niece accused of murdering her boyfriend. In the process has to deal with her estranged family and the secrets buried among them all.

A page-turner I worked my way through in the course of two flights. Cleverly plotted, with just enough description to give you a setting but not so much as to slow down the pacing. The only blemish is a long flash-back in the second half that should have been
Apr 15, 2014 lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Caroline Masters is awaiting appointment to judge on the Appeals Court, something for which she has aspired from a very young age. Then her niece is charged with the gruesome murder of her boyfriend and Caroline's father asks her to return home to defend her. This brings forth all kinds of memories as she has not been home on over 20 years. The flashbacks to her childhood and the nuances of a dysfunctional family make for an intriguing tale, not to mention all the emotions surrounding her prepar ...more
Jul 06, 2016 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A young man is murdered and the scarce evidence points to a young woman who seems innocent to the reader. The young man is not very likeable, but still the murder is a tragedy. But wait, it gets worse. This is a story full of mostly unlikeable characters with a plot that's rather heavy-handed. One of the main characters has a crisis of conscience, does a bad thing, then apparently suffers no consequences at all. Ugh.
May 10, 2013 Roxann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has some subplots within the main story. There are also lots of twists. The main story is about one of Patterson's recurring characters, Caroline Masters. Caroline's character is about to become a judge when she is called 'back home' because her niece is charged with murdering a boyfriend. This book does give a little more background into Caroline and who and why she is the way she is. Good book, but I could have done without as many subplots and twists.
Aug 28, 2013 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been looking for a new author and I think I found him with Richard North Patterson. The Final Judgment is excellent. I like that it takes place in New Hampshire. His description of New England is excellent and reminded me a lot of when we lived in Vermont. It is a most entertaining legal thriller with several twists and turns along the way. I struggled with putting it down. A must read.
Jun 01, 2013 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard North Patterson has written a book that I believe to be very Scott Turow-esque. The plot involved a murder, a who done it, and a trial but intermixed with all of that was the story of the family. This included a family dynamic that was far from healthy. It demonstrated that the choices made in the past could continue to reverberate into the future. I enjoyed the book and found the courtroom scenes particularly vivid and interesting.
Sep 30, 2015 ReBecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Slow read. An overall interesting story, especially because Caroline is in other books of Patterson's so it's nice to hear / learn the background of her life. There were a few twist and turns within the last 50 pages or so of the book that made you be like ooo snap! Overall, I gave this book a low score because it was such a slow read, nothing really exciting happened throughout the book that actually made me want to not put it down.
May 22, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Avvincente legal-thriller. La storia segue due filoni: uno è quello dell'assassinio di James Case e l'altro è la storia di Caroline Masters, brillante avvocato chiamata a proteggere sua nipote Brett da un'accusa di omicidio. La lettura è intervallata da vari flashback, che ci fanno capire il passato di Caroline, il perché del rapporto conflittuale con la sua famiglia. Ho trovato più interessante le vicende famigliari che il caso d'omicidio, anche se le due cose sono collegate.
Frederick Bingham
Jan 01, 2012 Frederick Bingham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A page turner. The story is about Caroline Masters, a California lawyer called back to her hometown in New Hampshire to defend her niece who is accused of murdering her boyfriend. The book is about family secrets and one's relationship to the past. It is a legal thriller partially set in a courtroom where Masters is trying to discredit the prosecution witnesses.
Aug 16, 2008 Min rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I like the plot, I wish the legalities of it weren't laughable. I realise that including every step of the legal process would be boring, but I wish the author would at least make the courtroom scenes more realistic and grounded in legal theory. And, dude, if you're going to write about an attorney, at least "judgment" the way the law does.
Oct 09, 2011 Gay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
good story but the author's annoying habit of using the same phrases and expressions over & over becomes comical and disyracting, all of his characters smile "faintly", speak "softly", & "fold their arms and/or hands" much too often. itds s good who done it story though. not my favorite book by a long shot.
Jennifer Morefield
I thought this was a very good who-dun-it with lots of twists and turns. This is an older book, but it is very good. I did not see the ending coming, but when it did, it made perfect sense. I will likely look into some of Richard North Patterson's other books. Don't know why the pages are listed as 0 because the book is over 500 pages long. Whatever... A worthy read!
Nov 01, 2011 Wanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read, perfect escapism fiction. Outstanding character development. You don't have to be a genius to figure out "who dun it" but the journey is satisfying. Caroline Masters is one of my favorite Patterson characters, nice to see her as fully human. Recommend for those times you just want to be entertained.
Andrea Schoellkopf
An absorbing book about strong women characters with a mystery tied in. However, there is a typical lack-of-depth in the female characters that is so often typical with male authors, unfortunately. The main character, Carolyn Masters, feels like she is making decisions from a male point of view. But otherwise, quite interesting in detail and plot.
Diane Wachter
The Final Judgment, Richard North Patterson, RDC-M V 1996 @ 1995, 4/13. A young judge is called home to help defend her niece who is accused of murdering her boyfriend while in a drunken, doped-up state. The niece swears she didn't do it, that someone killed him while she was swimming, and he lay on the picnic blanket asleep. Very good story.
Carrie Zagzebski
This is the 2nd book I've read by this author and am officially a big fan! This book moves at a good pace, keeping my interest. There is some back and fourth between time periods, but not in a way that made it confusing for me at all. By the end of the book, no question was left unanswered. I have more books by this author on my book shelf and I'll be reading them very soon.
Vicki Mollenauer
Loved the story and characters, but the ending was too predictable for my taste. So much went into the development of the characters, but the foreshadowing was too obvious in the plot line. When the moment of revelation came, it had been so obvious for 200 pages or so that I didn't get that wow moment I would have liked.
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Richard North Patterson is the author of fourteen previous bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, Patterson served as the SEC’s liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups dealing with gun violence, political reform, and women’s rights. He lives in San Francisco and on Martha’s Vineyard.
More about Richard North Patterson...

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“The rulings of the past do not always apply in the present.” 8 likes
“The only judgment that truly matters is the final judgment.” 5 likes
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