Mark your calendar now for the September release of Martin Clark’s latest book, “The Plinko Bounce.”
A retired circuit court judge from Patrick County, Clark plans to kick off his book tour once again with a book signing and celebration at the Patrick County Branch Library on September 12, from 3:30-8 p.m. The profits from that event will be used to fund a $10,000 scholarship in memory of Ann Belcher, with the winner announced at the event.
Like all of Clark’s previous novels, his latest book is set in Virginia, primarily in Patrick and Henry counties. It features Virginia courts and is populated by both real and fictional Virginia attorneys and judges, making for a great local connection. His last book, The Substitution Order (Knopf 2019), was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, the winner of the Library of Virginia’s People’s Choice Award and has been optioned. He was awarded the Virginia State Bar’s Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award in 2018 for his work in his “day job” as a circuit court judge.
Clark is a cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Davidson College and attended law school at the University of Virginia. When he was appointed to the bench in 1992 at age 32, he became one of the youngest judges in the history of the commonwealth. His novels have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, and the audio version of The Substitution Order was a number one national bestseller. Additionally, his novels have been chosen as a New York Times Notable Book, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a Washington Post Book World Best Book of the Year, a Bookmarks Magazine Best Book of the Year, a Boston Globe Best Book of the Year, a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, a finalist for the Stephen Crane First Fiction Award, and the winner of the Library of Virginia’s People’s Choice Award in 2009, 2016 and 2020.
Clark received the Patrick County Outstanding Community Service Award in 2016 and the Virginia State Bar’s Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award in 2018. His wife, Deana, is a photographer, and they live on a farm with dogs, cats, chickens, guinea fowl and three donkeys.
Early praise from Adriana Trigiani, author of Big Stone Gap, is that “The Plinko Bounce” “is jam-packed with crime, murder, old wounds, new thrills, disillusionment and the mayhem that ensues when dumb mistakes are made by well-meaning people. What a gift to readers on Judge Clark’s 23rd anniversary in literary show business.”
Beth Macy, author of Dopesick, said “Martin Clark injects life into a topsy-turvy murder case in rural Virginia as only he can in this propulsive tour de force, which had me riveted from beginning to end.”
“What I love about the novels of Martin Clark is how smart they are — about the law, of course: “The Plinko Bounce” is a legal thriller, after all. But he’s just as smart about people, their attachments and losses, and what drives us to assume our roles in the murky moral mess that’s life,” said Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish and This Isn’t Going to End Well.
“Martin Clark is back stronger than ever. With all the legal tomfoolery of Better Call Saul and the dutiful heart of Longmire, “The Plinko Bounce” underscores why I’ve been an ardent Clark fan since the beginning,” said Matthew Quick, New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook and We Are the Light.