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I enjoyed this January 27, 2001 By
Phenomenal read May 13, 2012 By B. Koral (New York)
Book Rating (271)

The Tenth Justice

Brad Meltzer’s First Novel

A conscientious Supreme Court clerk.
The young Washington professionals who share a house.
A minor slip-up.
A major thriller.

Twenty-six-year-old Columbia Law grad Brad Meltzer makes a firecracker debut with a novel that will challenge your expectations of the legal thriller. With dialogue as true as it is sharp-witted, characters as likable as they are familiar, and a plot so addictive it will keep you reading into the night, The Tenth Justice is the one thriller you and your friends won’t be able to stop talking about this year—from an undeniably original writer you’ll be following for years to come.

Fresh from Yale Law, Ben Addison is a new clerk for one of the Supreme Court’s most respected justices. Along with his co-clerk, Lisa, Ben represents the best of the fledging legal community: sharp, perfectionistic, and painstakingly conscientious—but just as green. So when he inadvertently reveals the confidential outcome of an upcoming Court decision, and one of the parties to the case makes millions, Ben starts to sweat. Big time.

Ben confides in Lisa and turns to his D.C. housemates for help. They offer up their coveted insiders’ access—Nathan works at the State Department, Eric reports for a Washington daily, and Ober is an assistant to a leading senator—to help outsnake the blackmailer who holds Ben’s once-golden future hostage. But it’s not long before these inseparable pals discover how dangerous their misuse of power can be, even when accompanied by the very best of intentions. And when a suspicious leak develops from within their own circle, Ben and his friends find themselves pitted against each other in a battle of shifting alliances and fierce deceptions that strikes to the weaknesses in their friendships, threatens to ruin their careers—and ultimately may cost them their lives.

Where does loyalty end?
Where does greed begin?
And how much can you really trust your friends?

Original Character Sketches from Dead Even

BEN ADDISON The Tenth Justice


Occupation: Supreme Court clerk
Birthplace: Newton, Massachusetts

Favorite movie: (tie) Annie Hall, Lost in America

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Lisa Tenth Justice

Occupation: Supreme Court clerk
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Favorite movie: Raising Arizona

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Video Gallery

New Trailers and Interviews


Brad Answers All

Q. Was this your first book?

No. The first book I ever wrote was a book called, Fraternity. It got twenty-four rejection letters, and still sits on my shelf. Will I ever go back to it? I don’t know. It’s kinda like a ‘68 Mustang. You can clean it up, and put in a new engine, and install new air conditioning and a CD player, but on some level, when you do that, you rob it of its soul.

What I love about Fraternity is that, whatever I think about it, it’s a book with a soul. It’s me figuring out how to write. And on every page, it has the passion of someone who’s falling in love with the process. That’s what’s great about it. So, yes, I can take it, update it, and put in the new CD player, but sometimes, AM/FM is more than enough.

Q. Are the roommates in the house based on you and your friends?

The funny, handsome ones are me. All the losers are my friend Chris.

Need More Brad? Click below to see a full in-depth interview with him talking about his other books, writing in general, and why he always hates his author photos.