My recent blog interview:
I'm really excited about Clarion's Review.
CLARION REVIEW THRILLER
Powell keeps the excitement in tune with a pitch-perfect delivery.
The Judge by Farin Powell expertly weaves a thrilling kidnapping plot, a love story, and courtroom drama into a page-turning tale that explores the unexpected chain of events set off by everyday decisions and actions.
Mourning the death of his wife and the mysterious disappearance of his daughter, Judge Walter McNeil is burdened by the secrets he has carried for years. Known for his strict sentencing, McNeil’s lack of mercy comes back to haunt him when he is kidnapped by three ex-convicts who feel he is to blame for their wrecked lives. Unlikely allies criminal defense attorney Amanda Perkins and detective Aristo Manfredi must team up to save the judge from a death sentence. When the captors’ plan goes awry, turning deadly, and the judge’s secrets threaten to jeopardize his sanity, Perkins and Manfredi must solve the clues and unravel a complex web of intrigue in order to save more than one life.
The unique voices of Powell’s well-developed characters add to the intriguing complexity of the story line. The characters are sympathetic and believably complicated. As in life, there are no “bad guys” and “good guys,” only realistic people who commit bad and good acts based on their reactions to events out of their control. These actions and reactions create a domino effect that drives the narrative and provides almost nonstop, unpredictable action during the story. The judge’s character, in particular, undergoes a satisfying (somewhat Ebenezer Scrooge-like) transformation through the book as he begins to see himself through the eyes of those around him.
The plot, though complex and intricate, is not overcomplicated. The author clearly illustrates each character and spends enough time cultivating individual personalities without bogging down the plot with superfluous exposition. The scenes shift easily and flow quickly into the next, which keeps the action moving smoothly without becoming jolting. Much of the plot centers around legal procedures, and Powell carefully elucidates any esoteric terms or technicalities through characters’ dialogue without sacrificing narrative nimbleness.
From the courtroom to the kidnappers’ lair, Powell keeps the excitement in tune with a pitch-perfect delivery of realistically motivated characters and a nonstop series of powerfully tense situations. There is no lag in the book, from the opening pages depicting the kidnapping to the thrilling conclusion.
Recommended for fans of courtroom and police dramas, suspense, and detective fiction, this well-balanced story will satisfy the need for drama and intrigue.
My recent radio interview.
Author: Farin Powell
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In Powell's (Roxana's Revolution, 2013, etc.) legal thriller, a judge known for administering harsh sentences suffers a punishment of his own.
Shortly after kidnappers grab Judge Walter McNeil in Washington, D.C., he wakes up in a small, windowless room. He suspects that the three men who took him want retribution for his judgments in past trials. Sure enough, they tell him at gunpoint that he must rule favorably on a defense attorney’s motions in an ongoing triple-murder case. The story then introduces the kidnappers—Leroy, Darnell, and Melvin—who all feel that the judge has somehow ruined their lives. They feed him drugs and repeatedly threaten his life and also imply that they have his teenage daughter Daphne, who disappeared four years ago. Before the ordeal is over, one of the kidnappers will die, and McNeil will go on trial for his murder. Attorney Amanda Perkins, formerly of D.C., now works in Colorado, where she finds herself in a unique position to help McNeil, even though the tyrannical judge earned her animosity in the past. Powell opens her novel with a bang, depicting the abduction almost as soon as the narrative begins. The story is impressive in the way it shifts readers’ sympathies; some may empathize with Leroy, for instance, because his mother died while he was incarcerated. However, Leroy’s progressively crueler treatment of the judge eventually reveals McNeil as another kind of victim. The trial, which takes up a large part of the novel, is thoroughly riveting. Powell depicts the examinations and cross-examinations of witnesses almost exclusively in dialogue; as a result, the lawyers’ rapid-fire questions and objections seem like a verbal gunfight. For the most part, Powell treats her characters as McNeil does defendants in his courtroom: those who are guilty of crimes or transgressions eventually get their comeuppance. A gem of a legal thriller, full of plot twists and juicy secrets.
The Judge, Press Release
Three ex-convicts, whose lives have been ruined by harsh sentences of Judge Walter McNeil, conspire to seek revenge. Out for retribution, they kidnap, and then torture the Judge. The lead kidnapper who was involved in the disappearance of the judge’s daughter four years earlier, also has another plan—to remove the Judge from presiding over the triple murder case where his nephew is a co-defendant. He constructs a plan hoping to get the judge convicted and sent to jail for a long time. This creates a twisted web that connects the lives of both the criminals and the judge himself. Amanda Perkins, a savvy criminal defense attorney and Aristo Manfredi, a crafty detective who has a crush on her team up to unravel the clues and free the Judge.
“Powell opens her novel with a bang, depicting the abduction almost as soon as the narrative begins. The story is impressive in the way it shifts readers’ sympathies…a gem of a legal thriller, full of plot twists and juicy secrets.”
"Powell" third novel, a legal thriller, reveals the complexities and tragedies of our criminal justice system. It shows how a series of unexpected events can force a law abiding individual to choose a criminal path. The story in this fast-paced novel will stay with the reader forever.”
Focus On Women Magazine