The Final Judgment

Richard North Patterson

St. Martin's Paperbacks

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 mess…and revisit the troubled family she left behind.

Caroline learned a long time ago that the ties that bind can also be broken. Now that she’s back home, she can’t help but doubt her family’s motives—and Brett’s innocence. As the trial heats up, Caroline finds herself up against those who would kill to keep dark secrets hidden…and the state prosecutor, who happens to be her former lover and will do anything to expose the truth.  Now, with her family’s fate—and her own reputation—hanging in the balance, Caroline must assume the role of a lifetime as she fights to save her niece. Or destroy them both…


Read an Excerpt

THE ALLOY OF LAW (Chapter 1)

Five months later, Wax walked through the decorated rooms of a large, lively party, passing men in dark suits with tailcoats and women in colorful dresses with narrow waists and lots of folds through long pleated skirts. They called him “Lord Waxillium” or “Lord Ladrian” when they spoke to him.

He nodded to each, but avoided being drawn into conversation. He deliberately made his way to one of the back rooms of the party, where dazzling electric lights—the talk of the city—produced a steady, too-even light to ward off the



Praise for The Final Judgment

Praise for RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON and his bestselling novels…


“Intense courtroom drama...As startling as the bang of a gavel.” —People

“This generation’s best writer of legal thrillers...his strongest fiction to date.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Patterson hits the first line at a dead run....He never slows down....Everything is marvelously plotted.” —Philadelphia Inquirer

“Enthralling...the denouement is powerful.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Chilling.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Hypnotic...[Patterson] is at his finest when he gives the emotions of [his] characters, who are connected by a lifetime of love and resentment, full reign in the courtroom. These are the scenes that his fans will anticipate most eagerly, and they are as explosive and revealing as anyone could wish.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“An absorbing read.” —New York Daily News


“Gripping…the intelligent reader’s John Grisham.”—Chicago Sun-Times

 “Masterful. Eyes of a Child dazzles…right up to the very end.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“A taut nail-biter…[that] provides the thrill of a legal hunt.”—USA Today


“Patterson grabs the reader by the scruff of the neck and holds him until the very last page…The Spire might just be his best to date.”—Tucson Citizen

“Intriguing…we can’t read fast enough to reach the finale.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Gripping…A page turner with multiple twists and a well-earned conclusion at once shocking and inevitable.”—Richmond Times Dispatch


“A page-turner.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Compulsively readable.”—People

“One intense courtroom clash after another...An intelligent and gripping thriller.”—The Washington Post

“Flamboyant and entertaining.”—The Boston Globe

“Electrifying.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“One of the year’s best thrillers…Superb characterizations and intense dialogue make this utterly compelling reading.”—Library Journal

“Absorbing.”—Publishers Weekly


“Passionate…exciting [and] eye-opening, page by page.”Washington Post

“Compelling and credible…guaranteed to rouse you to thought.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“This stellar legal thriller both informs and entertains… Patterson has exerted all his considerable skill in creating a nightmare atmosphere that will cling to readers long after the last page is turned.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A satisfying fable that pits a hero who deeply believes in the rule of law against a violent, lawless regime that holds all the cards.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Nearly flawless—by the time you realize how well Patterson is writing, you are already caught up in this novel.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Suspenseful—pervasive danger as real as the actual reality.”—New York Daily News

“A terrific legal thriller populated by rich, well drawn characters [Patterson] magnificently brings to life. Not to be missed.”—Providence Sunday Journal


“[A] compelling legal thriller, reminiscent of Exile. Patterson once again brings a timely, controversial subject—America’s dependence on foreign oil—to the forefront in this…engrossing read.” —Library Journal


“An electrifying page-turner.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Patterson has redefined himself as a writer willing to take risks.”—USA Today

“Absorbing and suspenseful.”—Publishers Weekly

“Required reading.”—New York Post

“With verve, intelligence, passion and humanity, Patterson tells an important story—and one that may find a place with Advise and Consent and Seven Days in May on the shelf of honored political thrillers.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Absorbing…timely…a gripping read.”—Booklist      

“Will get your blood boiling…”—Grand Rapid Press

“A timely, fast-paced political yarn....Highly recommended.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“A slick new entertainment…Frank Capra idealism meets Karl Rove reality.”—Entertainment Weekly


“Torn from the headlines…Exile delivers.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Artful…compelling.”—USA Today

“Astonishing, hugely entertaining.”—Bill Clinton

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Richard North Patterson

  • RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON is the author of Silent Witness, Eyes of a Child, The Spire, Degree of Guilt, Eclipse, The Race, Exile, and more than a dozen other bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, he was the SEC liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups. He lives on Martha’s Vineyard and in San Francisco and Cabo San Lucas with his wife, Dr. Nancy Clair.

  • Richard North Patterson Peter Simon
    Richard North Patterson


Available Formats and Book Details

The Final Judgment

Richard North Patterson



St. Martin's Paperbacks