Judgment Calls

judgementcallsThe bold debut thriller that received high praise from the biggest names in crime fiction.

Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid walks into her office in Portland’s Drug and Vice Division one Monday morning to find the sergeant of the police bureau’s vice unit waiting for her. A thirteen-year-old girl has been brutally attacked and left for dead on the city’s outskirts. Given the lack of evidence, most lawyers would settle for an assault charge; Samantha, unnerved by the viciousness of the crime, decides to go for attempted murder. But as she prepares for the trial, she uncovers a dangerous trail leading to a high-profile death penalty case, a prostitution ring of underage girls, and a possible serial killer. And she finds her judgment — not only in matters of the law but in her personal life — called into question.

In Samantha Kincaid, Alafair Burke has created a complex, appealing character — a woman consumed by a sense of justice, who is also tough enough to take on a man’s world. Seamlessly juxtaposing courtroom scenes with those of criminal investigation, Judgment Calls reveals not only an insider’s knowledge of the criminal justice system but a fresh new voice in the world of crime writing.

Critical Praise for Judgment Calls

“Burke’s earnest, fast-paced debut introduces a sharp new crime series revolving around Deputy DA Samantha ‘Sam’ Kincaid, a hip, 30ish lawyer working in Portland’s Drug and Vice Division.”
-Publishers Weekly

“Burke blends courtroom drama and criminal investigation with surprising aplomb, and she uses her Northwest setting to good advantage . . . This promising debut augurs well for a successful series.”
-Booklist

“First-rate, suspenseful entertainment . . . we’ll be hearing more from tough, tart, sexy, high-minded Samantha Kincaid.”
-Washington Post

“If you love “Law and Order,” you’ll love Judgment Calls.”
-New Orleans Times-Picayune

“A grabber of a first novel.”
-Houston Chronicle

“Burke writes with both a clarity and a self-assuredness that belies her first-novelist status. The plot lines are tightly woven, and she adroitly ties things together in the end. This is the first in what should be a popular series.”
-Library Journal

“Alafair Burke is the real deal . . . Judgment Calls is a fine work, introducing what I hope will be a long-running series about the trials and tribulations of Samantha Kincaid . . . with Judgment Calls, Alafair Burke has arrived on the crime fiction scene in dramatic fashion . . . in a year during which there have already been many worthy debut novels to choose from, Alafair Burke’s entry must be considered one of the top choices. Believe the hype-she’s going to go very far.”
-January Magazine

“It’s no mystery why Alafair Burke’s first novel, Judgment Calls, is already getting rave reviews . . . Burke demonstrates a natural-born propensity for suspense.”
-Phoenix New Times

“Fast-paced, well-plotted debut.”
-Raleigh News-Observer

“[Burke] has developed her own unique style of storytelling that is both fresh and wholly original. Judgment Calls is an exciting first novel and the perfect summer book to send shivers of suspense down the reader’s spine.”
-Tucson Citizen

“It’s her meticulous approach to nailing the criminals in the courtroom that gives Judgment Calls its principal appeal . . . As a female sleuth figure, Kincaid seems standard issue . . . but she and the book get into fresh territory when she applies her mind to her case and the courtroom. It’s the attention to the minutiae of trial tactics that illuminates Kincaid’s character and gives distinction to the novel.”
-The Toronto Star

“Alafair Burke has made an excellent start . . . we’ll be watching for the return of Samantha Kincaid.”
-Toronto Globe and Mail

“Burke comes out of the gate flying . . . this has all the makings of a successful series, and we’re looking forward to the next.”
-New Mystery Reader

“Burke definitely stands on her own merits as she delivers a debut that immediately springs to life . . . tightly plotted, Judgment Calls is a personal story wrapped around a realistic, likeable heroine . . . [It] would be an engrossing read no matter whose name was on the cover.”
-South Florida Sun Sentinel

“. . . an accomplished and thrilling tale . . . an engrossing novel that compares to the best of the genre.”
-Rocky Mountain News

“Burke (herself a former Portland deputy D.A.-turned-law professor) is a splendid guide through its satisfyingly twisty plot.
-The Seattle Times

“Captivating. Alafair Burke is a wonderful writer, with the kind of skill and confidence I most admire! I’m a big fan and look forward to the next novel in the series.”
-Sue Grafton

“Judgment Calls expertly shows that the most gripping drama is not found in the courtroom but in the places where choices get made in the shadows cast by politics and corruption and human desires. Burke comes out of the gate with a first novel that proves she’s got what it takes and will be sticking around.”
-Michael Connelly

“A bold, brash entry into the world of crime fiction, Judgment Calls is strong, smart and shocking. Alafair Burke has been on the front lines in the courtroom and on the streets, and brings her world alive in this exciting first novel. A powerful debut from a talented newcomer.”
-Linda Fairstein

“Judgment Calls is a remarkable debut — a skillfully told tale with memorable characters and plot twists that will keep readers involved from the first page to the satisfying end.”
-Jan Burke

“A terrific debut; very different from her famous father’s work, but the storytelling DNA is all there, for sure. This is smart, savvy, expert — and highly recommended.”
-Lee Child