The Substitution Order: A novel (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
The Substitution Order: A novel By Martin Clark Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
8 on hand, as of Dec 9 8:10pm
(Local Author - Fiction)

Staff Reviews

Martin Clark's newest novel is a great summer read, fast moving with interesting characters and recognizable settings for those in a particular part of southwestern Virginia. 
In the book attorney Kevin Moore find himself in squeezed between a shady land-deal set-up and his need to redeem himself for earlier missteps. His already lost his wife, his home, his license and everything else he'd worked for. But he's determined to get as much of that back as he can. And he's willing to use every legal (and a couple of not so legal) tricks to get there. 
Clark's characters are funny and familiar without becoming cliches. He faces his complicated legal situation while battling an irrational health insurance company and an overly enthusiastic dog. While watching is wife fade from his life, he's grabbing at budding romance. 
Readers will feel sorry for Kevin less from his every more complicated troubles than because he's determined not to feel sorry for himself. 
You'll laugh out loud at Kevin's problems because they could so easily be our own. And with luck ours will tied up neatly in the end too.


— Doloris Vest



Kevin Moore, once a high-flying Virginia attorney, hits rock bottom after a tumultuous summer leaves him disbarred and separated from his wife. Short on cash and looking for work, he lands in the middle of nowhere with a job at SUBstitution, the world’s saddest sandwich shop. His closest confidants: a rambunctious rescue puppy and the twenty-year-old computer whiz manning the restaurant counter beside him.

Kevin’s determined to set his life right again, but the troubles keep coming, including a visit from a mysterious stranger who wanders into the shop armed with a threatening “invitation” to join a multimillion-dollar scam. Before long, Kevin will need every bit of his legal savvy just to stay out of prison.

In The Substitution Order, Martin Clark—hailed by Entertainment Weekly as “hands down our best legal-thriller writer”—takes readers on a remarkable tour of the law’s tricks and hidden trapdoors and delivers a wildly entertaining novel that will keep you guessing and rooting for its tenacious hero until the very last page.

About the Author

Martin Clark is a retired Virginia circuit court judge who served twenty-seven years on the bench. His novels have appeared on several best-seller lists and have been chosen as a New York Times Notable Book, 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 Award for First Fiction, and the winner of the Library of Virginia’s People’s Choice Award in 2009 and 2016. He received the Patrick County Outstanding Community Service Award in 2016 and the Virginia State Bar’s Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award in 2018. Martin’s wife, Deana, is a photographer, and they live on a farm with dogs, cats, chickens, guinea fowl, and three donkeys.

Praise For…

“Truly thrilling. . . . The Substitution Order is not merely a good legal thriller; it’s a great one.” The New York Times

“Terrifically entertaining.” The Washington Post

“Clark’s trademark witty prose and mind-bending legal plotting get a welcome workout in this engaging thriller.” The Seattle Review of Books

“Exceptional. . . . Clark does a masterly job.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Tightly woven. . . . Martin Clark proves how adept he is at writing the contemporary legal thriller. . . . The best book so far from one of the South’s best-kept secrets.” The Anniston Star

“[An] engaging, subversive story.” —Literary Hub

“Ingeniously plotted. . . . A story rich with atmosphere, memorable characters . . . and intriguing plot twists and surprises…” Greensboro News & Record

“Tightly plotted. . . . In The Substitution Order, Martin Clark—often acclaimed as the country’s best writer of legal thrillers—tells the tale of Kevin Moore. Clark writes crisply about encounters among people, and sharply of the shortcomings of the legal and health care systems. There’s plenty here to engage.”  The Washington Times

“Deeply satisfying.” Kirkus Reviews

“Martin Clark, retired judge and master of colorful legal thrillers, is back with another page turner. Clark’s narrator is smart and observant, and the reader is in good hands throughout the quickly moving plot.” Book City Roanoke

“Clark has created likable and adaptable protagonists. . . . How they turn a doomed situation around is ingenious and unexpected.” Bookreporter

“An enjoyable read. As . . . thrillers go, this one is a cut above most of them. Clark writes very well, and the reader will keep turning pages to find out what will happen next.” The Decatur Daily

Product Details
ISBN: 9780525566564
ISBN-10: 0525566562
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: June 23rd, 2020
Pages: 352
Language: English