Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
A beaten homeless vet. Three cops gunned down. A multistate manhunt. The trial of the decade.
A new kind of legal thriller
When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.
A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase.
Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture.
Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?
What starts with a bar owner trying to get the police to move on a homeless man results in that man, a decorated vet, being brutally beaten up and killed by the police. This triggers investigations, recriminations, political shenanigans and unrest, soon to be followed by the shooting dead of three of the officers involved in the man’s murder. Now, with a man hunt to find the killer, can justice be delivered or will it forever be gone?
This story deals with the many aspects of the judicial system and with those involved in endeavouring to treat vets suffering from PTSD. Dr Tessa Thorpe is a veteran’s counsellor who has been involved in the treatment of the initial victim and several of his fellow vets. She is drawn into this intriguing search for the serial killer and into working with those seeking to clear one of the vets, Donald Darfield, of being the shooter of the officers. The lawyer involved is Nathaniel Bodine and, although he is blind, he proves to have added insight into those involved. As more revelations of the history of those she works with unfold, the plot has plenty of twists to keep you guessing right to the end. It is an intriguing murder mystery with great characters and filled with suspense. Will the real killer be caught or has the chance for justice gone?
The story highlights the issues relating to the levels of care, support and treatment needed but often not available for military veterans. It also shows how public protests can help shine a light on potential injustices and help trigger more appropriate detective work but that can only be successfully concluded when those involved are seeking the truth and not someone to be their scapegoat…. An intriguing and very different contemporary legal thriller!
I requested and was gifted a copy of this book which I chose to read and this is my honest review after doing so.
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N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).
In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net
His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.
His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing materials for this post and organising the tour it is part of. The review is my own, honest opinion after choosing to read this book.