So, today is my stop on the blog tour for Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr.
A big thank you to Emma from Damp Pebbles for inviting me on this tour.
Let’s jump right in…
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 counsellor, 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? -Goodreads-
Oh boy, this book touches on some really difficult topics and in the first chapter there is the scene where Jay, a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by 6 police officers. This was really tough to read even for me, I think that this scene is really important as after reading it I became fully invested. The topics mentioned here are very relevant, such as the issue of homelessness, “It’s been made clear that homelessness in itself is a crime when you have laws against loitering, sleeping in public places and constructing temporary shelters” The whole reason why this occurred was that a bar manager didn’t want Jay hanging around outside his establishment so they made a crime up so that he would be moved along. People don’t want to see the homeless, they don’t take the time to understand that person and how they ended up where they are.
This book made me so angry but in the best possible way, I became so passionate about the case and was appalled with the way the police and those higher up were responding to this. The police are not painted in a very good light in this book, there is a town meeting with the mayor and chief of police as well as other members after the incident. They actually try to put the blame on the victim, trying to find reasons they can use to say that he provoked the police into restraining him using force. A decision was made for the officers not to be charge but terminated from the force. Someone didn’t see this as justice, so they took the law into their own hands…
When I went into battle, I was fighting for freedom and justice… justice for all, not justice for some. If it’s that way, then it’s justice gone… justice gone to hell.
The portrayal of PTSD was done so well in the book, it was a real insight into what veterans go through once they come ‘home’. Often they don’t have any homes to come back to and they are unable to get ‘real’ jobs as there is no need for snipers and tank drivers in the community which is the only experience that they have.
The book did seem to slow down in the middle but when we arrived at the trial that’s where it started to heat up again. I really enjoyed listening to both the defence and the prosecution as well as being able to see how the jury came to the decisions that they did.
I could discuss this book all day but I think I best leave it there, this book is so important and I can definitely see why it has won 3 awards. I’m giving it 4 and a half cups of coffee out of 5.
Who is N. Lombardi Jr?
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
-Catch The Other Stops On The Tour-
See you guys in the next one…