The Final Judgment

by Richard North Patterson

Hardcover, 1995



A woman lawyer returns to her family she has not seen for 20 years. She is Caroline Masters, the daughter of a New Hampshire judge, who agrees to defend her niece, accused of murder. All the ghosts from her past rise up, including the memory of the death of her mother and a man with whom she had an affair. A family drama by the author of Eyes of a Child.

User reviews

LibraryThing member amacmillen
A Caroline Masters novel. Where Caroline goes back to roots in New Hampshire where a young girl is accused of the murder of a boy friend. The novel addresses Caroline's youth and a love affair. The girl Greta is in reality her daughter. The plot involves the father and Caroline's sister (now Bret's parent). In the end the Caroline's father is the killer trying to protest his granddaughter from the person being murder. Grandpa kills him self.… (more)
LibraryThing member rocketjk
This murder mystery is a combination mystery and family drama. The mystery is pretty good, but the family drama component, while well conceived, caused the narrative to drag at crucial moments, I found.

Also, Patterson has, at least in this book, two narrative tics that I found increasingly distracting. First, the adverb "utterly," which should probably never be used, is used here too frequently. Characters stand "utterly still," or the night is "utterly quiet." Once during a novel, OK. Twice, perhaps. More than that is utterly too much. But worse, many, many times during the novel, at least two dozen, the protagonist realizes things, or impressions come to her, "all at once." As in, "All at once, Caroline realized that this girl was looking at life in a new way." "All at once, it came to Caroline that the prosecutor knew no more than she did about . . . " That sort of stuff drives me nuts and drains away my ability to enjoy a book.

The mystery and even the characters were interesting, although I must say I had the ending pegged pretty early on. Overall, for me, an OK murder myster. For my taste, Patterson needed to tighten up the flashbacks and tidy up those cliches. Hard core mystery genre buffs may be more forgiving than I of these flaws, though.
… (more)
LibraryThing member christinejoseph
good @ Caroline Masters + judge — goes back to family in N.H. — case for her daughter

A young man is brutally murdered. His distraught girlfriend is the prime suspect. Her aunt, Caroline Masters, about to take up a top job in the US Court of Appeals, decides to defend the young woman in the murder trial. But this will be Caroline's first contact with her family in almost twenty years, and as she prepares the case and goes through the trial, long forgotten secrets re-surface, pitting Caroline against not only the police and prosecution, but also against her father (a retired judge), her sister and the memory of her young self when she, too, lost a boyfriend in suspicious circumstances.… (more)
LibraryThing member sunnydrk
An emotional "who done it", once again RNP presents us with a story so realistic and so captivating that it is hard to put down. I liked how he interweaved the past with the happenings of the future. Not overdone but, enough that it kept things interesting.


Knopf (1995), Edition: 1st, 437 pages


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

437 p.; 1.5 inches


0679429891 / 9780679429890
Page: 0.3763 seconds