Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr.
Published by Roundfire Books on Feburary 22, 2019
Series: Dr. Tessa Thorpe, #1
Genre(s): fiction, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 336
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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 get 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? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. N Lombardi Jr. is the author of compelling and heartfelt novel The Plain of Jars.
Justice Gone, a crime thriller that deals with issues relevant to modern American society, vaguely reminds me of John Grisham’s stories.
“What makes a person if not their own experiences?”
This story starts with quite a bang as a man is beaten to death by several policeman. With an opening chapter that raw and explosive, it pulls the reader right into the headspace needed to continue on. I, for one, had to put the book down and process it for some time before continuing. And I’m glad that I did, to prepare for some of the important themes addressed within these pages, including police brutality, homelessness, and veterans with PTSD.
The plot here was well crafted and easy to follow. The pacing faltered a bit after the beginning but evened out nicely in the second half of the book. And the final chapter and epilogue wrapped everything up clearly, although I did want a bit more from the ending to feel some more closure. One of this book’s strongest points was its characters, though. They were well thought out, complex, and flawed.
All in all, Justice Gone was a satisfying read that feels significant to our society today. I do want to include a warning in some graphic scenes, including the opening chapter and a fairly explicit war scene that makes sense given the subject matter but may be too much for some readers. That being said, if you’re a fan of crime and legal thrillers, this might be up your alley.
*Thanks to the author for providing an advance copy of this edition in exchange for an honest review.