Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr. It’s legal and crime fiction with strong social issues of our era.
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.
Buy Justice GoneAbout the book
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?
I didn’t warm to Tessa Thorpe at all. Talk about being the most unprofessional counsellor ever. Lack of impulse control, highly emotive reactions, doesn’t set boundaries for her clients or herself and sets a bad example for clients in situations that could trigger reactions.
On the plus side, she is willing to fight for her clients, but then that also suggests being far too involved. Veterans often find it difficult to re-emerge back into society or family life, after suffering physical and psychological damage in war or conflict zones. PTSD, mental health, addiction issues can then lead to homelessness.
In this story Tessa fights to save the life of a veteran when he is accused of killing the men who beat his friend and brother-in-arms to death. As the title rightly says justice is gone, because sometimes there is no justice. Sometimes the system works in favour of the guilty.
Tessa may be the main character, but Nathaniel Bodine and his daughter certainly battle for equal attention. I think the two of them deserve their own courtroom drama or legal spin-off.
Lombardi uses this fictional story to shed a light on the injustices veterans suffer at the hands of the government, society and in this case the police. There are many preconceived misconceptions when it comes to veterans and especially homeless ones. The statistics for homelessness are quite interesting, perhaps not what people would expect when it comes to which groups and why.
It’s legal and crime fiction with strong social issues of our era. The main character is an impulsive woman willing to fight tooth and nail to find the truth.