Terry Flynt is a struggling legal clerk, desperately trying to get promoted. And then he is given the biggest opportunity of his career: to help defend a millionaire accused of murdering a woman in his hotel suite. The only problem is that the accused man, Vernon James, turns out to be not only someone he knows, but someone he loathes.
This case could potentially make Terry's career, but how can he defend a former friend who betrayed him so badly? With the trial date looming, Terry delves deeper into Vernon's life and is forced to confront secrets from their shared past that could have devastating consequences for them both. For years he has wanted to witness Vernon's downfall, but with so much at stake, how can Terry be sure that he is guilty? And what choices must he make to ensure that justice is done?
Packed with twists, turns, and an unforgettable trial scene, The Verdict is the most page-turning British legal thriller in many years.
"London now has its own John Grisham." (Mark Billingham)
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The Verdict by Nick Stone
Even though it is only January, I think I’ve probably read what is going to be one of my favourite books of the year. This is the first book by Nick Stone I’ve read and it is absolutely brilliant. I was wary because of all the glowing praise from other authors/press quotes. You often see these ‘rent a quote’ comments plastered on the book description and often, I am left feeling disappointed after reading the book as they don’t live up to the hype. This intelligent and complex legal thriller did though!
The premise is intriguing, Terry Flynt, a struggling law clerk helping to defend a childhood friend who he fell out with and who is now accused of murder.
This is a long book but the pace is perfect and, if anything, I wish it could have been longer. Stone’s characterisation is spot on. Terry Flynt is wonderfully complex and human. He is flawed and makes mistakes but still comes across in a sympathetic way and you are drawn in to his world. The other main characters are well-drawn also, from a cynical investigator with secrets of his own to a dying barrister for whom the trial of Vernon James will be her final case. The writing is excellent and the book flows beautifully and the court room scenes in particular are gripping. The conclusion feels well thought out and is very satisfying.
I must admit that I usually find that the American authors have the market cornered when it comes to exciting legal thrillers—I’ve never come across a British one before with the excitement of a Connelly or Grisham… until now. I hope terry Flint may become a recurring character in future Nick Stone books or, at the very least, that he writes more legal thrillers.
David Thorpe’s narration was great as usual, although his attempted Manchester accent did make me laugh!
Very highly recommended.
Gets better and better as the story builds