Monday, April 20, 2020
Books: "Final Judgment" By Marcia Clark
Final Judgment: Samantha Brinkman - Book 4
By Marcia Clark
Thomas & Mercer; hardcover, $24.95; paperback, $15.95; ebook, $4.99; available Tuesday, April 21
Marcia Clark has been a practicing criminal lawyer since 1979 and joined the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office in 1981, where she served as prosecutor for the trials of O.J. Simpson - which people associate her most with - and Robert Bardo, who was convicted of killing actress Rebecca Schaeffer.
The author of numerous novels, including Blood Defense and Moral Defense, is back with the fourth book in the Samantha Brinkman series, Final Judgment.
A murder investigation draws Brinkman, a firebrand attorney, into her boyfriend's past in this novel of high-risk suspense. Samantha has always been cut and run when it comes to relationships and self-preservation, but it's different with her new lover, Niko. He is an ambitious and globally famous entrepreneur, and Sam is putting her faith in him.
Niko is now Sam's client, as he is the suspect in the murder of an investor whose shady dealings turned Niko's good life upside down. His motive was revenge, as it is for many others who banked a fortune on the wrong man. That point is in Nico's favor, as is his alibi for the day of the slaying.
That alibi mysteriously disappears, and Sam begins her search for another viable killer. That investigation leads deeper into Niko's past and his secrets.
Sam's job is fighting for Niko from the darkest suspicions to final judgment, and to do that, she must risk everything on a man who could make all her worst fears come true.
Clark writes Final Judgment in Samantha's voice, and she writes of when Niko tells her his investment is wiped out while they were having dinner: "His features were drawn, his voice tight. 'My mother...all my friends...they've been wiped out.'
I stared up at him. 'What do you mean?'
'Gold Strike Enterprises. The company I invested in last year. The one I told everyone was a sure thing.'
Then I remembered. It was a high-flying investment firm that promised - and, from what I'd seen, delivered - big dividends with a short turnaround. Niko had met one of the owners when he was in London teaching a master class. He'd persuaded Niko to invest in Gold Strike, and in the past six months, Niko had made more than half a million with them.
And now, suddenly, they'd gone belly-up. It was a shocker, to say the least. 'Are you wiped out>'
Niko gripped the back of his chair. 'No. I've probably lost a lot, but I sold off a bunch of my shares a few weeks ago. And I have other income streams. I'll be okay. But my mother...she invested everything she had, her whole life savings.' He shook his head, his face a frozen mask of shock. 'Tom just came from her house. He said she looked bad. Really bad.' Niko swallowed. 'She's had such a hard life. Her health has never been great. And now this. I don't know how she'll...' He stopped and pressed his lips together for a moment. 'She refused to let me support her. That's why I told her to invest in Gold Strike. I thought she'd finally got enough money to live the good life she deserved.' Niko looked at me with tears in his eyes. 'Instead, I've ruined her.'
I grabbed his arm. 'Stop. You couldn't have known this would happen.'
But Niko wasn't listening. He went on as though I hadn't spoken. 'I'll take care of her, of course. Now she'll have to let me. But this was the last thing she wanted. She's got to be devastated.' Niko finally looked at me. 'I'm sorry, Sam.'
I dropped my napkin on the table. 'Don't be silly. Let's get going.
Like I said. I'd been living the dream for five whole days.
I should've known it had to end in disaster."