I have received a free e-copy of the book Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi Jr to review.
Here is the book blurb.
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.
This book is dedicated to Kelly Thomas who was beaten to death by police in California. This event inspired Nick to write this novel which is set in 2006/7.
The story starts in Bruntsfield, New Jersey where a bar-owner doesn’t like the fact that there is a homeless man outside. In order to get him moved on, he gets his bartender to call the police and falsely suggest he is trying to break into cars. The homeless guy is Jay Felson, a decorated veteran of the war with Iraq. Two cops arrive and start giving Jay a hard time. They call for back up and ultimately, there are 6 cops who beat Jay to death.
Previously Jay had been attending a veterans trauma clinic in Manhattan for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) along with his best buddy Donald Darfield. Their counsellor there is Dr Tessa Thorpe, supported by Casey Hull. Tessa and team are utterly horrified when they see the pictures on TV. But then Tessa realises Donald has gone missing. And Tessa goes to see Jay’s father, Colonel Marshal Felson, to discuss how they will get justice for Jay.
Meanwhile Bruntsfield council are holding an emergency meeting and decide the best course of action is grand jury, no indictment rather than a long drawn out trial, as they believe the public will get tired and dust will settle. I had to look up the word indictment, and discovered no indictment means no formal charge. But wrong decision, the public outcry continues to grow, especially after footage of a protest after Jay’s funeral and of the huge bloodstain surrounded by flowers. Ex-chief of police, John Garson comes to see Tessa.
Things get even worse after a video of the beating goes viral, so a public forum is scheduled for three days later. But before we reach that point, three of the cops are gunned down. Who has taken matters into their own hands? Prime suspects are the missing Donald Darfield and Jay’s father, Marshal Felson.
Darfield is tracked down and arrested. Is he innocent or guilty?
Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi Jr. is available on Amazon, currently priced at £12.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. An interesting read with a twist at the end, although somewhat confusing.
About the author
Author Nick Lombardi Jr. has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and he speaks five languages. An event in California in 2011 in which a homeless man was beaten to death lead Nick to write his newest novel, Justice Gone. Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Update – July 2020
See here for a Spotlight on this book following all the awards it has won, plus a giveaway.
Disclosure. This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.