Fatal Judgment (Guardians of Justice, Book 1)

by Irene Hannon

Paperback, 2011



Call number



Revell (2011), 330 pages

Original publication date



U.S. Marshal Jake Taylor has seen plenty of action during his years in law enforcement. But he'd rather go back to Iraq than face his next assignment: protection detail for federal judge Liz Michaels. His feelings toward Liz haven't warmed in the five years since she lost her husband--and Jake's best friend--to possible suicide. How can Jake be expected to care for the coldhearted workaholic who drove his friend to despair? As the danger mounts and Jake gets to know Liz better, his feelings slowly start to change. When it becomes clear that an unknown enemy may want her dead, the stakes are raised. Because now both her life--and his heart--are in mortal danger.


Original language


Physical description

330 p.; 8.4 inches


0800734564 / 9780800734565

User reviews

LibraryThing member ReviewsbyMolly
Warning! This book is fatally hazardous to ones sleep! True to the description on the back of the book, the book keeps the reader turning the pages long, long, long into the night. Each turn of the page brings fast paced suspenseful crime blended with tender romance. It lasts through out the book
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(starting immediately from the first sentence!) until the very last page. Thus, the fatal hazard to the readers sleep. You will NOT be able to, or even want to, put it down. And, the good thing is, this is book 1 in Hannon's newest series, Guardians of Justice, so we will get more of this awesome crime drama!

The characters in this book are all unique in their own way, each with their own struggles, and I fell in love with each one of them. This book, and it's wonderfully molded characters, absolutely gripped me and pulled me directly into the plot. I felt on many occasions that I, myself, was Judge Michaels, and it was I whom the killer was intent on killing! My heart pounded with all the action and each new twist in the case of fatal judgement was definitely edge-of-seat, breath gasping material!

While I connected with Liz, it was Jake Taylor that really stood out and pulled me in. His devotion to his cases, his love for those around him, really stood out. His meaningful character was the depth of this awesome story, especially as he learned to rely on God wholly once again!

I definitely, hands down, recommend this better-than-TV-crime-dramas book. Five stars and then some, you'll fall in love with Hannon's faith-filled, romantic, action packed novels. And, if you're already a Hannon fan, this is a MUST, MUST, MUST read to add to your shelves!
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LibraryThing member reading_crystal
I will admit I am a fan of Irene Hannon since I first read Against All Odds last year, but I have to say that Fatal Judgment just blew me away. Tight suspense, great romance and strong characters made this book shine and made it hard to put down. I'm not even sure I can do this book justice, it was
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really amazing.

First I'll start with the plot. Diving right into the action, the book starts with Liz's sister being shot in Liz's home. What looks like a domestic dispute gone wrong turns into something much more sinister. Because Liz is a judge, the U.S. Marshal service steps in to protect Liz until the threat is determined. This brings Jake Taylor back into Liz's life. This does not make Jake too happy, but he will do his job no matter what. Liz was Jake's best friend's wife and he always thought of her as a cold fish of sorts, but as Jake gets to know Liz he finds she's not who he thought she was. The plot continues to thrill right up until the last page as the Marshals and the local police try to figure out exactly who the threat is.

Second is the characters. Ms. Hannon is a natural with developing characters. I love how the layers of Liz and Jake are slowly peeled away and we learn about them little by little, their past, their brief history and how they start to interact with each other. I also enjoyed the look into Jake's family who will be featured in the later books in the series I believe. I love seeing how families interact and the Taylor family is very interesting.

If you are looking for a great romantic suspense, I can't recommend this book enough. I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment in the Guardians of Justice series and I am sure that Fatal Judgment will go down as one of my favorite books of the year. It definitely reminds me of all the reasons I really enjoy romantic suspense. All the elements are there and it's amazing to read and hard to put down.
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LibraryThing member iluvf14
Irene Hannon, author of the Heroes of Quantico series, has done it again! She has taken the mystery & romance together to make the start of another excellent series—Guardians of Justice. The story dives right in at the beginning to get the reader hooked.

Federal Judge Liz Michaels’ sister is
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shot in the judge’s home and it soon becomes apparent that bullet was meant for the judge. In walks, US Marshal Jake Taylor, straight from another case. He had no clue that the Judge was actually the widow of his best friend. With all the unflattering stories Jake had heard about the Judge from his embittered best friend, how was he going to protect her with unbiased professionalism?

Hannon develops the characters a little at a time to keep the reader’s interest in their developing friendship. Both the Judge and Marshal Taylor have their demons they have to work through. But it’s those demons that have made them who they are and gotten them to this point in their lives. They each have preconceived notions of each other and, as they spend time together, they realize those notions are wrong.

This is one of those books you just “need” to keep reading---that you “need” to know what’s going to happen next. The characters draw you in so you have a hard time putting the book down. There is a faith-based undertone, but you know both characters rely on God to guide their way. I really liked this book and would highly recommend it! Hannon does it again!
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LibraryThing member ashleywintters
Federal Judge Elizabeth Michaels’ world is turned upside down the day she comes home and finds her pregnant sister shot in her home. U.S. Marshal Jake Taylor has had a roller coaster of a year with a tour in Afghanistan to his sister’s debilitating accident. The one thing he hadn’t expected
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was to be thrown into a security detail for a woman he would rather never see again, a woman he was positive caused his best friend’s death, Judge Liz Michaels!
Liz has never understood the coolness Jake has shown her, but knows him to be a professional who would keep her safe in spite of his personal opinion of her. As Jake gets to know Liz better, he begins to doubt the stories his best friend and the picture he’d painted in his mind of Liz began to disintegrate and is replaced by a surprisingly alluring woman he would like to know better. While his professional code doesn’t allow him to start a romantic relationship with Liz, it seems frustratingly obvious to everyone else that the two of them have developed a closer relationship than expected.
As the danger gets closer, Jake is more determined than ever to keep Liz safe at all costs. The problem is, her fate isn’t in his hands and he isn’t sure he can trust God to keep the woman who has become precious to him safe.
Best selling author, Irene Hannon, weaves a wonderful story full of suspense and romance. She captures your attention at page one and doesn’t let it go until long after you’ve finished the book!

Reviewed by Ashley Wintters for Suspense Magazine
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LibraryThing member abcarroll
A US Marshall is assigned to protect a judge with whom he has a brief history. As he spends time with her he realizes that his first impression of her may be wrong. A very good read, a tad predictable but enjoyable nontheless.
LibraryThing member Chris_Bulin
Ugh, formulaic, trite and preachy.
LibraryThing member eswaim
Enjoyable book, first in a series. Christian fiction author. In my opinion, not so much to be a turn off if you don't like to read that type of book.
LibraryThing member lcarter11
One of Ms. Hannon's more overt books, we know whodunit and why in the first third of the book. The mystery shifts then to how he's going to finish what he started...and if he can get past the Federal Marshals and FBI agents running the federal judge's protection detail.
Liz and Jake are pro's.
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That's all that keeps one or the other of them from asking that Jake be reassigned when they realize he's on her protection detail. But, as we often see in stories if not in real life, as they spend more time together, they begin to actually communicate. The fact that they find each other attractive is abundantly clear, to the point that they verbally agree to maintain a professional distance until the danger's over.
I was appalled at the "how" of the above-mentioned mystery. I've read enough of Ms. Hannon's work to know that the antagonist is typically unbalanced, not motivated by simply greed or lust, etc. However, I shared Liz's horror at his, um, plans.
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LibraryThing member judyg54
This was as one reviewer stated, a "fast-paced crime drama". Both the suspense and the romantic tension kept me turning the pages until I finished the story.

U.S. Marshal Jake Taylor has been in law enforcement for years and has faced many tough assignments. But he wasn't prepared to be assigned as
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part of a protection detail for federal judge Liz Michaels. He considered her a coldhearted workaholic who drove her husband (who was Jake's best friend) to despair and possible suicide. But as they work together he will be forced to revise his opinion of her and realize that he truly didn't know all the facts. In the meantime, someone is out to do the judge harm and keeping her safe and unharmed will not be easy. As the back cover of the book states,"now both her life - and his heart - are in danger".

This was a book that never got boring. I had a hard time putting it down and by the end I had to stay up late to finish it. Looking forward to the other two books in this series next, "Deadly Pursuit" and "Lethal Legacy".
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LibraryThing member SarahGraceGrzy
I haven't read many of Hannon's works, but I very much enjoyed this one! The characters were realistic and relatable, and the suspense kept me turning pages. The villain and his motive were well thought out and believable. Hannon's writing style is engaging and enjoyable and definitely left me
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wanting to read more.

The romance had me docking a star. A little overboard, for my personal tastes, but the story was intriguing enough that I just skimmed over the overly-descriptive parts.

Overall, another very engaging novel from Irene Hannon!

CONTENT NOTE: Recommended for ages 17 for romance and violence. The MC is kidnapped and beaten, and almost burned to death. Also, lots of physical attraction, noticing her body, wanting to kiss, etc.
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LibraryThing member Chris.Bulin
Ugh, formulaic, trite and preachy.
LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
I've read other books by this author in the past. I like her writing enough to seek out other books that she's written.

This one is a bit dated in technology (blackberrys for communication). The romance is a bit predictable. Both have been married before. Both lost their spouses to accidents. Both
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have feelings of guilt about the accidents that killed their respective spouses.

The suspense/action part is decent.

The Christian aspects of the story were a bit disappointing. They took a back seat to the suspense/action part of the story. Does Jake repair his relationship with God? We're told he goes to church with his sister and that he prays after Liz is abducted--but I'm not sure that's indication that he's seeking a renewed relationship with God.

The cat was cute--but gets lost in the story. We don't know if Patricia took him back to Africa with her (doubtful since there might be animal quarantine issues), if the Morettis took him in, if one of the agents took him in, if Molly's family took him in, or if Liz and/or Jake took him in. Poor kitty.
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LibraryThing member lbrychic
Enjoyable book, first in a series. Christian fiction author. In my opinion, not so much to be a turn off if you don't like to read that type of book.

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