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Summary

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.

©2014 Nick Stone (P)2014 Isis Publishing Ltd

Critic reviews

"London now has its own John Grisham." (Mark Billingham)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Verdict by Nick Stone

Any additional comments?

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.

35 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 12-02-14

Unstoppable who dun it/legal/personal tale

This is an absolutely great A star download. I was in a hurry to download a new book and chose this as it was book of the week. I had no previous experience of author or reader and i really did just have to make an immediate choice as I had nothing to listen to.

Have to say thought was going to be a bit naff.
How wrong I was and what a great choice I made.

I hate giving reviews that tell you too much about the plot - so all I will say is that our narrator is a very lowly legal clerk who finds himself on the legal team defending a murder charge of a man who he knew as a child - and who put a very big blip into his own life.

This tale does span the who dun it sector, possibly a bit of spooks, and personal stuff too. It took me 3 chapters to appreciate the reader but once I got into his rhythm I rate him as highly as the author. And indeed am now going to see what else he has read.

This is a really good story suitable for men and woman I would have thought.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gets better and better as the story builds

Nick Stone is a new author for me and I am impressed by this book worthy of John Grisham at his best, but based in the British legal system. One knows from the start the truth about the crime that is subsequently heard in court, but the story is seen from both sides as the defense and prosecution try to prove their case.

At first I thought I wasn't going to enjoy the book mistakingly believing it was going to be unpleasantly misogynistic. However, I was wrong, Vernon James' attitude to women is important to the story. Terry Flynt, a legal clerk, is the main character. He's a flawed man with a past but basically a good guy who does stupid things but gets results. A bit of a cliche but par for the course in this kind of book.There's a bit too much description of his physiological reactions to stress, but I'm being picky it is a very good listen.

The story gets better and better as one is drawn into the complex web of intrigues and red herrings. A tense court battle takes many hours of listening but I was engrossed by the process.

The narrator brings the characters alive with his range of accents so that I felt I was hearing the action as it happened.

26 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story if a bit long-winded

What did you like most about The Verdict?

A court room drama worthy of Grisham but set in the UK - love it!

What did you like best about this story?

The theme of justice being applicable even to unpleasant people

Have you listened to any of David Thorpe’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No. At first I found the main character's voice irritating but warmed to it.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laugh more than cry

Any additional comments?

Would love to see more of the same from this author

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good UK legal thriller

Made a nice change from the Grisham style US legal thrillers. Nick Stone is a good UK writer and he presented a very credible setting for his novel. I was very impressed with the narration by David Thorpe who handled a wide range of voices with some style. I will look out for other books he narrates. The end was slightly convoluted but it didn't lose the plot and I was interested in what happened to the characters up until the last page.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent story.

What did you like most about The Verdict?

The ending. All loose ends were tied up.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Verdict?

Court room dialogue.

Have you listened to any of David Thorpe’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No but the narration was excellent.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Too long but I did put my weekend on hold until I finished it.

Any additional comments?

Didn't disappoint.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very good

What did you like most about The Verdict?

I liked the main character's journey in this book. He lacks confidence at the start and gradually gains some self respect although he is likeable from the start.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Verdict?

Finding out what happened to the diary - can't say more than that or it will spoil the story.

Have you listened to any of David Thorpe’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to any other of David Thorpe's performances. At the beginning of the story I thought I wasn't going to like listening to him because the way he made every sentence sound like a question was so cynical and hard to listen to for long. However I figured it must be relevant to the story and it was. I found the performance was appropriate to each of the characters and the story all the way through. I would definitely listen to a book read by David Thorpe again.

Any additional comments?

It was a gripping story from start to finish - sometimes going where I expected but it wasn't predictable. I usually listen to audiobooks on the bus journey to and from work but I found myself putting it on to do the housework and potter in the garden as well. Recommended.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • joanne
  • Tywyn, United Kingdom
  • 26-02-14

Brilliant..more please and very soon

Would you listen to The Verdict again? Why?

This book is a fantastic listen all the way through. Great storyline and very informative. I loved it!!

What does David Thorpe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The accents of the characters was very effective

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent.

Brilliant story & narration - will look forward to the next book from this author.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

very enjoyable

Would you listen to The Verdict again? Why?

no wouldn't listen again I know what happens !! silly question really !

What did you like best about this story?

interesting and quite involved

What about David Thorpe’s performance did you like?

good at all those voices ! and clear and expressive

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

no

Any additional comments?

a good novel, long and complicated, please write some more !

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin
  • 17-04-14

Now and again, a gem appears

If you could sum up The Verdict in three words, what would they be?

It's only infrequently that a newly discovered author produces a novel with a genuinely intricate plot woven into language that is balanced and evocative. And what's more, the narrator doesn't intrude into the story as some do (Scot Brick is the worst offender in this regard).

Any additional comments?

This is the first time that I've given any novel five stars in all categories. That says it all. Anybody who likes a mix of the private eye / legal thriller genre will love this novel.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carly
  • 05-06-14

Totally brilliant legal thriller - enthralling

So glad I went by the reviews not the publishers summary (which didn't sound overly exciting) because this is easily the best book I've listened to this year. Firstly it's so nice to have courtroom drama from the UK perspective, having worked as a court typist for a number of year I found it highly authentic, particularly the leering tones from the prosecutor! The narrator did a brilliant job with that. The story itself was engaging, kept me guessing and I couldn't stop listening. Most importantly, I'm sad now I've finished because I just want more. Witty, beautifully paced and clever - this is a must read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Carolhxx
  • 14-06-17

Riveting Story; Very Good Narration

Any additional comments?

The Verdict is a long book, but it never loses interest. There are many facets and subplots that come together very well. My only disappointment was the use of news headlines at one point to explain certain events. It seemed a bit lazy of the author to employ that method. That, however, might have shortened the book. So if the author was concerned about the book's length, then I might understand. This was the first time I have come in contact with Nick Stone, I would highly recommend this book and will read other books by him. The narrator did a very good job in portraying most of the various characters, though the Oxbridge accent could have been a little more clipped.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • 20-01-16

WOW!

What disappointed you about The Verdict?

Almost everything

Would you ever listen to anything by Nick Stone again?

NEVER!

How could the performance have been better?

By being more truthful to the genre.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None

Any additional comments?

It is remarkable how much effort one needs to make to avoid being influenced by favourable reviews! A really substandard book; a mishmash of innuendos and east London tired clichés, poorly written, appallingly narrated.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Odette
  • 21-03-15

Great plot

Great plot, enjoyable read. Would happily recommend to lovers of crime novels with a twisting plot. Go on, give it a go.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Louise
  • 27-03-14

A real surprise

What did you love best about The Verdict?

Great story

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Lots of unexpected twists and turns

Have you listened to any of David Thorpe’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Was 20 odd hours, but had had it on every chance I got

Any additional comments?

Great read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • carole
  • 13-02-14

Really Enjoyable

Wasnt quite sure what to expect from this listen, but thoroughly enjoyed this book.. Great courtroom drama, Well narrated by David Thorpe.