The Legal Limit

Gates Hunt is a compulsive felon, serving a stiff penitentiary sentence for selling cocaine.  His brother, Mason, however, has escaped their bitter, impoverished upbringing to become the commonwealth’s attorney for their rural hometown in Virginia, where he enjoys a contented life with his wife and spitfire daughter.  But Mason’s idyll is abruptly pierced by a wicked tragedy, and soon afterward trouble finds him again when he is forced to confront a brutal secret he and his brother had both sworn to take with them to the grave, a secret that threatens everyone and everything he holds dear.

Intricately plotted and relentlessly entertaining, The Legal Limit is an exploration of the judicial system’s roughest edges, as well as a gripping story of murder, family, and the difficult divide that sometimes separates genuine justice from the law.

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“In a novel of ample graces, Clark’s real strength is his familiarity with the material. He writes a deep yet playful story….good-natured, Southern folksy, with moments of poetry.” –The New York Times Book Review

“If you haven’t tried a Martin Clark novel, you should.” –Kalamazoo Gazette

“Clark conveys the joys of small-town life with an eye for detail and the beauty of worn, familiar things.” –Charlotte Observer

“THE LEGAL LIMIT is an absolute page-turner.  Part thriller and part police procedural, it takes on territory Clark hasn’t explored before, even as it remains firmly rooted within the moral world of his previous works.  That world remains a good place to be.” –The Anniston (Alabama) Star

“THE LEGAL LIMIT is full of twists and turns, but they are not mere literary devices.  Clark keeps you on your toes, and you are happy to be in that position because you know you are not being manipulated.  This is writing at its best—for this genre or any other—and one is almost tempted to urge the author to discard his black robe as a real-life circuit court judge and devote himself full-time to writing.” –Charlottesville Daily Progress

“If you order a ‘Martin Clark’ at your local library or bookstore, be prepared: It packs a wallop.” –Raleigh News and Observer

“Clark has outdone himself again.  His novels just keep getting better.  I’m thinking Martin Clark is the new standard against which other works of legal fiction should be judged.” –Winston-Salem Journal

“Fun you can think about. An engrossingly realized novel.” –Los Angeles Times

“A model of how to write a literary legal thriller with a wry sense of humor.  This is probably the best courtroom story I’ve ever heard or read: Compelling characters, surprising twists, rich details, all told in a knowing voice … ” –The Oregonian

“The sharp dialogue and clockwork plotting that have become Clark’s signature…permeate every page.  As they might say in Stuart, Virginia — Clark’s home and the setting of THE LEGAL LIMIT — the boy has done good.” –Chicago Sun-Times

“Compelling…Clark has struck a fine balance between down-home ambiance and high-octane plot.  Skillfully weaving a plot that includes lie detectors, wiretaps and arcane legal principles, the author creates a world in which family ties can easily turn into nooses.” –Washington Post

“Clark has the skill of a natural storyteller.  He gives a sense of the law’s intricacies and consequences in a way John Grisham never could.” –St. Petersburg Times

“An edge-of-your-seat legal thriller….Unlike a lot of summer books, THE LEGAL LIMIT isn’t a guilty pleasure.  Take it to the beach and turn the pages breathlessly.  Then mull over its deeper themes on the long ride home.” –Richmond Times-Dispatch

“… A kind of corkscrew riff on Cain and Abel told with a gritty sort of specificity that reflects the spirit, as well as the practice of criminal law.  This one, in other words, is Elmore Leonard meets John Grisham, but very smart and procedurally realistic–think Scot Turow with lots of crackling Southern dialogue and a plot wound as tightly as a watch.” –Baltimore Sun

“Clark’s wise, knowing novel [is] a superb thriller that ponders family, fraternal loyalty, marital love, child rearing, loss, integrity, tolerance, the fault line between law and justice, and even the economic well-being of a community.” –Booklist, starred review

“A masterful mix of legal arcana and white-knuckle suspense.” –Kirkus, starred review

“Profound and moving…his most substantial and thought-provoking work to date.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Clark spins a wildly imaginative tale…his writing is crisp, his characters are splendidly drawn and the story gallops along to a thought-provoking conclusion.” –Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

“A lively ‘page-turner’ story and vivid characters.” –Greensboro News and Record

“Engrossing…a story that will serve equally well as summer beach reading or something to curl up with on a wintry eve.” –The Roanoke Times

“Clark has surpassed his previous two novels–both of which I loved–with a provocative, deeply moving, and completely thrilling work of art.  It is the best book I’ve read in a very long time.” –The Internet Review of Books

“This novel has Clark writing at his best.  The plot is one that grabs hold of you and announces early on that you should strap the seat belt on pretty tight. Five stars.” –Dan Wickett for EWN

“An entertaining and engrossing tale.” –The Decatur Daily

“Exciting and fast-paced.  THE LEGAL LIMIT is a thrilling page-turner that will keep the reader guessing from start to finish.” –Bristol Herald Courier

“A top-notch legal thriller.  Serious, clever and suspenseful.” –The Fayetteville (NC) Observer

“Compelling.” –The Missoulian

“Engaging…THE LEGAL LIMIT tops Grisham in grasp of the law.  A great story.” –Cleveland Plain Dealer


7 + 5 =

Literary Agent:

Anne-Lise Spitzer – Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency

Film and TV:

Josie Freedman – ICM Partners


Gabrielle Brooks – c/o Alfred A. Knopf Publishing