“Steve Martini rides his books as if they are surfboards. A helluva trip,” said Newsday about the New York Times best-seller Undue Influence, the book Kirkus Reviews called the “courtroom novel of the year.” Now, with The Judge, Martini returns to give his readers another edge-of-the-seat ride.

Steve Martini’s explosive new thriller finds attorney Paul Madriani the unlikely defense lawyer for an old nemesis. Judge Armando “the Coconut” Acosta is arrested on charges of soliciting prostitution in a sting operation of “johns,” and few, including Paul Madriani, who has a long history of enmity with the judge, are sympathetic. Abandoned by his friends on the Capital County bench, Acosta is forced, in an ironic twist, to ask Paul to save his career from impending doom. Paul initially rejects Acosta’s pleas, but when Acosta’s original defense lawyer is forced off the case by a zealous district attorney looking for revenge, Paul is required to step forward and defend the judge.

As the case proceeds, the young female deputy reserve officer who snared the judge is found brutally murdered, and Acosta is the prime suspect. The reason? The officer was the only person who could give evidence against the judge. With his client now charged with murder, Paul faces the most daunting, disturbing, and complex case of his career.

Packed with the nonstop drama and richly drawn characters that have come to be Steve Martini’s trademarks, The Judge delivers a decisive thumbs-up verdict.