2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 0 books toward her goal of 200 books.

Book Review: Judgment by Joseph Finder

Finder’s books, like those of Simon Lelic, are always easy to read and engaging but difficult for me to review afterwards, because when I stop to think about the plot I realize how many times I had to suspend disbelief just to keep reading. This leads me to the concomitant realization that, while they are engaging and generally quick reads, they have a lot more holes in the final analysis than one notices whilst in the midst of the reading… That isn’t to say the read itself isn’t an enjoyable one. They usually are, and this one was no exception. But there are so many times that these characters pull off amazing feats that would be utterly beyond believability if someone were to try to explain them outside of the pages of the story, that they become more difficult to defend once one tries to explain them to others…

Judge Juliana makes one epic mistake. The rest of the book is about the aftermath, which of course is much more convoluted than it first seemed. I can accept that, we all make mistakes all the time and life has a habit of throwing curveballs. What I can’t quite wrap my mind around is the way she ultimately extricates herself so seamlessly with very few lasting consequences, after pulling off Herculean Feats and mind-bending acts of deception that it seems like the people she was up against would have seen through every step of the way. I rolled my eyes quite a bit, even while continuing to turn pages to see what magic rabbit she’d pull out of her hat next.

Ultimately, I suppose it boils down to the fact that I did continue to turn the pages and I did want to see what would happen next. I would not consider this one of my favorites by Finder though. It felt a little more forced and formulaic then, for example, The Switch, which I more thoroughly enjoyed even though it too had some eye rolling moments. Still, I suppose the “average Joe wins the day” trope is a trope for a reason – there is an undeniable bit of glee to be found when a regular person defeats The Machine in whatever form it appears, and that’s likely what keeps readers coming back for more – even if that more is starting to lose some of its shine for me…

Thanks to the Penguin First to Read program for my review copy.

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