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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Final Appeal

Narrator: Laurence Dobiesz

ISBN: 9781666652956

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: 02/06/2024

Format: Audio

My Rating: 3 Stars (ALC)

A charismatic defense lawyer faces a horrific case where nothing is as it seems in this international bestselling thriller perfect for fans of Steve Cavanaugh and John Grisham.

Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video and PBS as The Defence.

When whip-smart criminal defense lawyer Joanna Chylka is tasked with defending the son of her law firm’s biggest client, she is stumped for the first time in her career. Her client, Piotr Langer Jr, is charged with murder, and he’s guilty.

Assisted by the firm’s newest trainee, Kordian Orynski, Joanna finds a maze of tangled evidence. Piotr is alleged to have sat in his apartment for ten days with two corpses before calmly opening the door to the police as if nothing had happened. He has confessed to the murders, but the truth is far more complex and shocking than they could have imagined.

Joanna and Kordian find themselves facing a treacherous situation. And with the spotlight on them, a killer may have them both on his hit list.

My Review

A pair of Warsaw attorneys take on a murder case when everything is stacked against them in Remigiusz Mróz's Polish legal thriller debut, FINAL APPEAL.

Now on screen in PBS's series The Defense. The author has signed a two-book deal.

Set in Poland, Trainee lawyer Kordian Oryński has recently started at the prestigious Anglo-Polish law firm Żelazny & McVay in Warsaw. He will be assisting criminal justice lawyer Joanna Chyłka.

The case: A man charged with MURDER, killing two people and living with their bodies in his apartment for ten days until his arrest. However, it is the son of their largest client.

They need a WIN. However, nothing is as it appears. The case is more complex and shocking than they could ever imagine. Businessman Piotr Langer's wealth has shielded him from any criminal repercussions arising from the accusations that he's taken advantage of women immigrants. He can only help his son just so far. The police found him in his apartment with a pair of ten-day corpses.

Piotr is alleged to have sat in his apartment for ten days with two corpses before calmly opening the door to the police as though nothing had ever happened. The client, Piotr Langer Jr, does not admit guilt, but neither does he claim innocence. He speaks in only short sentences and does not give out information.

Gauging how long the bodies had been in the apartment was gross because of the bugs embedded and multiplied on/in the body. Disgusting.

Senior Associate Joanna Chyłkais thought they would get an insanity. She was assigned to defend the accused and to assist the new legal trainee, Kordian Oryński.

The defense must deal with the following:

  • Everyone assumes Langer is guilty

  • The Defendant's father is paying the legal bills on the condition that he pleads NOT guilty by reason of insanity.

  • The defendant says he is NOT insane.

The defense has more enemies than they know. A grey-haired man and a bald man are determined to undermine the defense. Then, an unexpected turn.

We get different personalities and back and forth like a tennis match between Kordian and Joanna. A love interest? Can they put their differences aside to clear their client's name? First, they must survive.

The first part was a good setup; the middle was slower; the last part was out there, and then it ended. I lost all interest. Assume it is set up to continue for the next in the series. I was not fully invested and doubt I will read the next one in the series. I was bored by the end.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Laurence Dobiesz, which did an ok job for an international thriller, but his voice got tiring and mundane after a while with no emotion.

My Thoughts: FINAL APPEAL is for those who enjoy international legal thrillers with a detective/mob vibe. I am a fan of legal thrillers; however, I would NOT put this book in the same class as John Grisham, David Baldacci, John Lescroart, or other US legal thriller authors.

Not a fan of international thrillers. I am in the US. Possibly because this is Polish versus English, fans of Polish or international legal thrillers may enjoy more. I also agree with other reviewers regarding the continued usage of the leading character names (first and last); changing them up with no rhyme or reason throughout was annoying.

According to the publisher, Mróz is the most popular author in Poland. Each of his novels has reached the number one bestseller spot, selling more than seven million copies.

Thanks to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for an ALC in exchange for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 3 Stars

Pub Date: Feb 6, 2024


“First it was Stieg Larsson, then Jo Nesbø, and now it’s time for another sensational crime author to enter our shores.”

—Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Rizzoli & Isles

“A world-class author.”

—B.A. Paris, New York Times bestselling author of The Prisoner

“A master storyteller.”

—JP Delaney, New York Times bestselling author of Playing Nice

“Intelligent, exciting and ingenious.”

—Alex Marwood, bestselling author of The Island of Lost Girls

About the Author

Remigiusz Mróz is the biggest Polish author writing today, who has sold over 4 million copies of his books in Poland alone and 7 million worldwide. He has published over fifty novels across nine series. WEBSITE







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