Review: Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr.

FF’s Star Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Author of a powerful novel called The Plain of Jars, N Lombardi Jr starts his phenomenal thriller Justice Gone off at four in the afternoon with a character named Joe Poppet, the owner of a bar in Bruntfield, a small town in New Jersey. The author maintains that people walk past shops and unbeknownst to them a change comes based on a hot summer day in 2006; rabid distractions that altered the state of the nation would be faced. It hadn’t rained in a super long time as a hundreds years long drought had been predicted.

This is one big court case. A small act of vandalism was committed by an unarmed homeless man named Jay Felson who turned out to be a war veteran. He died while being apprehended by police, one of them being patrolman Rafael Puente, and it doesn’t look well politically for the mayor of a small town called Bruntfield, New Jersey. There is a video that needs to be found. Besides the court case itself, homelessness is a major problem in the city. Police corruption is at the forefront of everyone’s attention. Jay Felson was beaten to death by six officers of the law. Will his death go unanswered?

Felson’s death was a heartrending thing to notice: Patrolman Puente started question Felson in a professional manner. But the questioning quickly turned to a heavily displeasing one, with Felson becoming obnoxious and standing up for himself. The beating that would ensue would be painful to visualize. He was brutally beaten to death. No mercy and help and all, sending a yucky thrill down my back.

Rudy Glum is a character that makes his appearance in the beginning of the book. From a third person perspective, there’s a whole range of different characters to follow. The book has more life in that sense in that readers are actually placed in a realistic fictional world with moderate setting descriptions. It wasn’t stale at all and there was always an exciting new development to look forward to.

One is a woman called Dr. Tessa Thorpe, who is actually a pretty sassy and smart woman who records dreams whenever she garners time for it. She brings with her something supernatural to the table, dreaming and at the same time perhaps, predicting, that a major form of protest was on its way, but I was disappointed that this dreaming of hers wasn’t something that happened often. She comes across as an attractive counselor for war veterans and plays a major role throughout the novel.

Through a squad of soldiers, hard guys with big mouths, intimidators, Arnold Swatzennagors all of them, there is a lot to learn about what it means to be at the forefront of battle. There is a tinge of racism in the book that I didn’t like concerning the homeless war veteran who died – in a flashback scene, Private First Class Darfield was my favorite character. I liked him from the get-go because he seemed like a leader to me right away. “As the vehicle’s doors popped open, Darfield charged full steam toward them. Felson, another member of this squad, was a step behind as they received enemy fire.” Unfortunately in war, you can loose a limb quickly, and it’s no different here. The author creates a war scene perfectly with the eye of a movie director.

PTSD is usually a major factor when it comes to war veterans. Having done his research, the author knows enough about this well-known disorder to make it realistic. Such a person might avoid situations that bring back memories of the traumatic event; has difficulty concentrating, yet at the same time is hyper-vigilant to his environment; can’t sleep… sometimes loses touch with the present…cyclic changes in mood, from numbness to exhilaration…”

Donald Darfield, being suspected of killing a police officer, has a good lawyer representing him. Darfield’s best shot at this trial is an eye witness. The emotional aspect of this trial is extremely high, tense, and emotional. What is needed to put him behind bars is both motive and means, an integral part of the case that hasn’t been found yet.

I remember last year how gun violence was a major problem in America. What comes under questioning for his case is what gun Darfield used during his qualification tests, which was a popular Marine sniper rifle known as an M40A3 and what exactly he needed to do to purchase one. He faces the death sentence, and though he is suspected of multiple homicide, he turns out to be a likeable guy. I can’t tell you if it is him, but only that there’s a strong chance that he is responsible because it was his friend who was assaulted and killed by the police officers.

There’s a lot of fowl language going on and it can be a bit over the top in some scenes. Not entirely daunting to plow through; luckily the author doesn’t use these words a lot and at the end it does shimmer down. Someone talking to the town’s mayor says, “Thank God it wasn’t a black man!” The author doesn’t elaborate if this character is racist, and I didn’t take it entirely serious, but I would’ve liked the author to counter this racist remark through the words of another character, perhaps something along the lines of just saying, “Jesus, don’t be like that man.”

The author N Lombardi Jr. seems like an excellent writer as soon as you start reading this book. Lombardi tackles a lot of well-known problems in America and uses his own pleasant style of writing to make it his own. The book is well researched and the format of the book is pleasant and appealing. It is an excellent war thriller that can be put right beside Chris Kyle’s American Sniper and it has a small town feel about it that is on point. Simply put, this is the best legal thriller that I’ve read in a long while. I wouldn’t trade this book for anything.

Kindle Edition:

Publisher: Roundfire Books
Date Published: February 22, 2019
Genre: Legal Thriller
Pages: 336

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