Lines of Justice: Aždaja by Lee Sherred
Published by Lee Sherred on June 26, 2017
Genre(s): fiction, action, crime, thriller
Format & Pages: e-book, 170
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Bound by honour. Driven by revenge. Two men with a score to settle.
Sgt Dean Samson and his team of British soldiers are well aware of the dangers they’ll face and the things they’ll see in a country that has suffered years of oppression and ethnic cleansing. But nothing could have prepared them for Aždaja, a sadistic, mythical, serial killer with a penchant for vile humiliation and unimaginable torture.
Since leaving the Army, Samson now a Police Officer, has struggled to erase his darkest memories of Kosovo. When he receives a devastating medical diagnosis, his nightmares come flooding to the surface, forcing him to face up to what he did….and what he didn’t do. With nothing to lose and no one to stop him, he’s at a crossroads. But is he prepared for what lies in wait? Will the horrors of Kosovo return with a vengeance?
I thought I had read some dark and gory books before, but Lines of Justice: Aždaja really takes the cake.
“Live by the sword, die by the sword.”
The idea of this story appealed to me, exploring themes of honor and vengeance. Its plot flowed smoothly and moved along at a nice clip. Overall this was stronger on plot than characterization, with the exception of Samson, who is a flawed and faceted hero.
The writing itself was a bit raw and could have used some extra editing. Some parts I found to be a bit confusing, either with dialect or jargon I was unfamiliar with. However, the action and war scenes in particular were very strong – I suppose due to Sherred’s background as fighter, soldier, and police officer. Additionally, several scenes describing torture were extremely graphic and brutal, and I considered not finishing the book several times because of it. On the other hand, this speaks to the author’s ability to create a scene evoking a visceral reaction, and a dry humor served to balance out the horrors described.
“He often had to reassure himself that normal, law abiding, members of the public did still actually exist, or at least he hoped they did… somewhere, running free in a pasture with unicorns and the Loch Ness Monster maybe? All the fairytale beasts together.”
I do think there is an audience for this type of story, and it was left open at the end for future books; if you like a gruesome read that makes you uncomfortable, this might be the book for you. Unfortunately, it was just too much for me.