Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Length: 272 pages
First Published: 2022
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Knopf. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
From the author of Snow Falling on Cedars comes a new legal drama about privilege, power, and family. A conservative Christan couple, Delvin and Betsey Harvey, are charged with murder when their adoptive Ethiopian daughter dies just feet from the back door of their home. In the final days of his storied career, a Seattle criminal attorney agrees to take the case with the help of his son.
From the premise, The Final Case sounds like it will be an interesting legal story, but it isn’t. The book starts and ends with the mindless laments of an aging writer. The middle section describes the trial, a legal case that is transparent from start to finish because everyone and his brother knows this couple is guilty of child abuse. The entire book was pointless and I highly suggest skipping it.
From the award-winning, best-selling author of Snow Falling on Cedars—a moving father-son story that is also a taut courtroom drama and a bold examination of privilege, power, and how to live a meaningful life.
A girl dies one late, rainy night a few feet from the back door of her home. The girl, Abeba, was born in Ethiopia. Her adoptive parents, Delvin and Betsy Harvey—conservative, white fundamentalist Christians—are charged with her murder.
Royal, a Seattle criminal attorney in the last days of his long career, takes Betsy Harvey’s case. An octogenarian without a driver’s license, he leans on his son—the novel’s narrator—as he prepares for trial.
So begins The Final Case, a bracing, astute, and deeply affecting examination of justice and injustice—and familial love. David Guterson’s first courtroom drama since Snow Falling on Cedars, it is his most compelling and heartfelt novel to date.