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Publisher's Summary

When Leon Walker calls the husband-and-wife legal team of Mike Daley and Rosie Fernandez, this is not good news. Walker was the man who ruined their marriage years ago. When Mike defended Walker against murder charges arising out of a stickup-gone-bad, Rosie fought about it with Mike so much that it drove a wedge between them. Now, Walker has returned, and he's got a new murder pinned to his back.

A Silicon Valley venture capitalist has been found dead in a dumpster on San Francisco's Skid Row. Walker swears he didn't do it, and prevails on Mike to represent him. Dogged investigation, courtroom nimbleness, and a healthy dose of luck have helped Mike before, but time is running out, both on his client...and his marriage.

©2003 Sheldon Seigel; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc

Critic Reviews

"[A] pleasantly compelling read....The verdict is clear; another win for Siegel." (Publishers Weekly)
"Outstanding entry in an always reliable series....An ending that's full of surprises, both professional and personal, provides the perfect finale to a supremely entertaining legal thriller." (Booklist)
"A page-turner of the finger-burning kind." (San Francisco Chronicle)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Characters andPlot

Good writers develop the characters first, and the plot falls into place. This book is written by a good writer who knows how to do that. I wish his other books were not abridged.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

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One of the best in the series...

I thought this book was probably one of the best books in the Daly/Fernandez series. There are enough reviews and the synopsis that I won't restate the plot. I will say the ending left me feeling a little melancholy and it stayed with me long after I finished the book.
Stephen Hoye does an excellent job narrating.
This is an excellent book, the characters are fleshed out and the plot is interesting and kept my attention throughout with no lulls or fillers.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Good story but unrealistic courtroom scenes.

This is an intricate, suspenseful mystery, with more or less believeable characters. One weakness-I don't think there were enough clues or sufficient character development to enable the reader to guess the villain.

Although this is the fourth book in the series about attorneys Daley and Fernandez, it was my first. [Warning: the books not available on Audible are listed here as having author "Mike Daley". I wonder why Audible hasn't obtained the first two, which were available from Recorded Books on cassette tapes, narrated by the incomparable Frank Muller.]

The other thing I found disappointing was the "trial" that takes place in the context of the preliminary hearing. The author is an experienced attorney who, as an author is entitled to a modicum of poetic license. Nevertheless, the amount of testimony and evidence admissible into a preliminary hearing is restricted to its purpose, which, the author does explain, is to determine whether the prosecution has sufficient evidence against the defendant to move the case to trial. Then he completely ignores this as Daley pursues the issue of guilt or innocence. Secondly, there is a limit to how hostile attorneys can treat one of their own witnesses, at least, not without permission from the judge to treat the witness as "hostile." Third, admissible evidence, such as bank records, must pass legal safeguards, such as being procured via a warrant. Fourth, a witness can always "take the Fifth Amendment" if responding to a question might place him in criminal jeopardy. So, as much as the plot held promise the telling of it lacked a degree of legal realism that I hope to find. Still, I enjoyed the first 90% of the book.

The narrator, Stephen Hoye, does an excellent job giving voices to the various characters, including the women.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 01-03-16

A wonderful listening experience!

I enjoyed this legal thriller novel. Character development is outstanding. The plot line maintained my interest and the surprise in the last chapter added hope for the future of the protagonists. Narration was not over acted as we sometimes experience in more recent audiobooks.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

great listen

Good listen from start to end. The narrator is great and the plot keeps moving. I also wish his other books were not abridged. Would definetely recommend this book to others.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Steven
  • Delaware, OH, USA
  • 03-05-06

Great Listen

Stephen Hoye is the best reader I have ever listened to. Handles voices for each character very well, including women. Story was very good also.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Court room drama at its best.

Intriguing story.. unexpected ending. solid narration. Keeps you engaged. A good listen. I recommend it.

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Sheldon Siegel

These books are attention grabbing and well done. He knows how to keep a story going and well narrated

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I'm Falling in Love with this Series

What did you love best about The Final Verdict?

The story is awesome! I'm falling in love with Michael "Mic" Daley and Rosita Hernandez. But I don't know how they're ever going to make any money doing all of this pro-bono work...LOL. On another note, the ending will definitely surprise you,,,it did me.

What other book might you compare The Final Verdict to and why?

I don't do comparisons because everyone has their style of writing.

What does Stephen Hoye bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Nothing, because if the book doesn't make me feel as though I'm engaging with them, whether it's narrated or I'm reading it, I'm done with it and I discard the book.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was basically on the edge of my seat from the beginning, anticipating the ending....which I was wrong about of course.

  • Overall
  • Earl
  • Idaho Falls, ID, USA
  • 03-11-10

Just terrible

I'd rather be doing something else right now. I don't enjoy writing reviews (and I'm sure I have no knack for it), but this book is so bad, I feel I have a duty to warn others. (I struggled through the first three hours, but finally had to quit.)

The plot: our hero (the defense lawyer) reluctantly agrees to defend a terminally ill man accused of murder. Siegel tells us that simple story then spends page after painful page having each character re-tell the same story. (John Grisham uses the same technique, but at least Grisham creates characters we can care about.)

To make matters worse, if Siegel knows anything about the American legal system, he does an excellent job hiding it. In his world, the defense lawyer seeks a dismissal at the arraignment because his client is sick, and he is worried that the newspaper will criticize him for not fully disclosing his client's case to the press.

Trite, silly, boring and wholly lacking in authenticity, "The Final Verdict" is very likely the worst book you will ever start but not finish.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful