Further Reading: Federal Judges

federal judges further readingFurther Reading is a new feature on The Booklist Reader, designed to provide readers’ advisory for today’s headlines.

As CNN reports, President Trump is bristling against—and lashing out at—the ruling of the federal judge who defanged the administration’s threat to block funds to sanctuary cities. Although a sitting president’s antagonism towards the judiciary is certainly newsworthy, fiction writers have long had a soft spot for torturing federal judges. The following novels, linked to their excerpted Booklist reviews, find federal judges used, maligned, and imperiled—or worse.


blood-game-richard-lyonsBlood Game, by David Lyons

After killing two men, recently appointed federal judge Jock Boucher of New Orleans no longer feels fit to judge others. But when the president asks him not to resign, to protect future presidential appointments, he agrees to take only administrative duties. That resolve weakens when an armed man tries to rob Boucher on the street in the French Quarter, and he retaliates.




losing faith adam mintzerLosing Faith, by Adam Mitzner

Aaron Littmann has a secret. His former affair with federal judge Faith Nichols would damage their careers as well as personal lives if it were known. Russian businessman Nikolai Garkov, suspected of murder and financing terrorism, uses his knowledge of the affair to blackmail Littmann into defending him in his trial before presiding judge Nichols, whose U.S. Supreme Court prospects hinge on the case.


say nothing brad parksSay Nothing, by Brad Parks

Scott Sampson is a federal judge, and his children will be hurt unless he jiggers the verdict in a case he’s hearing involving a lowlife drug pusher. Sampson makes an unusual lead in a genre that is often about lawyers slugging it out while a judge unleashes thunderbolts from Olympus. Here the setting is Olympus, and the thriller plot becomes an exercise in the manipulation of power.




wrong hostage elizabeth lowellThe Wrong Hostage, by Elizabeth Lowell

When federal judge Grace Silva’s teenage son Lane Franklin is taken hostage, Grace knows the only man who can help her is Joe Faroe, the very same man Grace spent a passionate weekend with 16 years ago before she helped send him to jail. Lane is being held prisoner by drug lord Hector Rivas Osuna, the “Butcher of Tijuana,” who is demanding the return of money “stolen” from him by his former business associate and Grace’s ex-husband.



About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist. She worked in bookstores for twelve years, reviews books for The Boston Globe, and writes about books, culture, and politics for several other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Genie.

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