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The Verdict: A Novel by Nick Stone
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The Verdict: A Novel

by Nick Stone

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Average. Unusual for being a British courtroom drama but it was too long. I got really bored in the middle and nearly gave up. I did finish it but was underwhelmed. ( )
  infjsarah | Aug 12, 2016 |
Terry Flynt is a law clerk at a firm employed to defend Vernon James against a murder charge, after a woman is found strangled in Vernon's hotel suite. Terry and Vernon were at school and (briefly) at university together, but Terry considers that Vernon betrayed him and ruined his life. Terry has not been entirely honest with his employers (or indeed with his wife) about his past, and is afraid Vernon will inadvertently (or purposely) say something that will cost him his job and his future once again. Terry assumes (hopes?) Vernon is guilty, but finds it hard to hold to this as he investigates Vernon's story.

The prologue gives us Vernon's version of events and then we see the police case, which (quite apart from the fantastical nature of Vernon's story) seems overwhelming. Terry teams up with the firm's investigator to do some detecting and the book ends with Vernon's trial. This was my favourite part of the book - I do love it when people fall apart on cross-examination.

Things I liked:

1 It was a page turner.

2. The twists and turns as we learn more and more about Vernon.

Things I liked less:

SPOILERS

1. Ambiguity - so did Vernon kill his father?

2. It was a long book, and I found it hard to keep on top of, for example, David Stratten's involvement. The revelation that Evelyn was stalking Richard Ellis was a great thread that went nowhere.

3. The whole scenario was a bit over the top: ex-Israeli special forces, ex-South African secret service assassins, the high death count, Sid the evil lawyer.

4. Was Karen the best thing that had ever happened to Terry or was Melissa the love of his life? I thought Karen's character was very well done, but what did she see in Terry?

5. Did Terry have a head injury, mental health issues or an alcohol addiction? Is he going to manage as a lawyer?

6. The whole diary thing was a bit off somehow. Surely men don't keep diaries like that and saying that he did would have been social suicide for Vernon? I know Vernon was meant to be an unlikeable character, but the idea that he would do something so petty to some one who had provided an alibi for him seems poor judgment.

Overall very enjoyable. ( )
  pgchuis | Jul 16, 2016 |
Vernon James is a respected but controversial millionaire who has recently won the Ethical Businessman of the Year Award. He's not really a very nice man but insists he's innocent when he suddenly finds himself arrested for killing a woman in his hotel suite. Terry Flynt works as a clerk in the defense law firm Vernon hires. Vernon was Terry's best friend when they were growing up, but a terrible fight tore them apart and they haven't seen each other in years. Terry is worried that his employers will find out about their history and remove him from the case, probably even firing him. The countless legal details and secondary characters' back stories are at times overwhelming but, as the story progresses, it becomes obvious that everything is headed toward a dramatic ending. Terry hates Vernon and wants him to be guilty. As he and the firm's detective investigate the suspects and witnesses, he comes to believe Terry might be innocent, even though the evidence against him is pretty compelling. The author does a great job of weaving together all these threads and making the story believable. I thought the book was interesting but it was just too long. The story dragged and the author could easily have cut at least a hundred pages out with no loss to the story. I did think it was a complex legal thriller where none of the characters were all bad or all good. It was interesting for me to read a legal thriller set in the British system instead of the American system of justice." ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jun 16, 2016 |
This book is NOT in the Max Mingus series, even though there is a series note to that effect. I enjoyed listening to this court procedural by the "British John Grisham." It's a bit long, but quite interesting with a lot of character development and interesting twists. ( )
  terran | May 15, 2016 |
0.57
  johnrid11 | Feb 14, 2016 |
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Taking a high-profile murder case that may make his career, Terry Flynt is forced to confront secrets from the past when he discovers that his millionaire client, who is a former friend, brutally betrayed him years earlier.

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