Dark Thrill total badass score: Judgment by Joseph Finder

Best thrillers with female protagonists

After reading the Good Neighbor, I picked this up, and this could be an outstanding companion. As I said talking about The Good Neighbor, there exist myriad stories, think the classic Fatal Attraction, dealing with the guilt of cheating. Writers know we all can relate even if we walk the lie. Every one of us can imagine how awful it is to lie to the person you love. A stressful situation is an invaluable point of departure for a thriller. If we identify with the protagonist, we are already nervous even before the story starts spinning. 

Cheating makes for a vulnerable protagonist in Judge Juliana Brody, and that vulnerability will get exploited till a breaking point. During a convention, the judge meets the fetching stranger. Against her better judgment ( see what I did there), Juliana lets go and sleeps with him. Only to have this man walk into her courtroom that following Monday. Of course, she is asked to throw the case for the defense, helping a billion-dollar corporation to get rid of a sexual harassment case that eventually leads to a much larger conspiracy. 

I liked this one because it focuses on all that Juliana had to do to become a judge, all she had to do to climb that awfully tall ladder, and she is not willing to throw it all away like it was nothing. But she might not have a choice. If it comes out that she helped the defense, she will be disbarred and lose her marriage. But Juliana has to steel herself, she won't give up after all she had to relinquish to become a judge, and she won't simply try to save her skin. She has become hardened by rising in ranks, and she will go down fighting. What follows is an exciting conspiracy thriller with all the right elements, suspicious deaths, secret bank accounts, double-crossings; Judgment is a moral story wrapped in a taut thriller. And Juliana will emerge a protagonist you'll love and root for. 

Total badass score 8 out of 10.