– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Justice Gone’ blogtour, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but b
About the Author :
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.
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.
WINNER OF THREE AWARDS
2019 AMERICAN FICTION AWARD
NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCY AWARD – Best Legal Thriller OF 2019
SILVER MEDAL WINNER 2019 READERS’ FAVORITES AWARDS
Chosen by Wiki.ezvid.com among their list of 10 Gripping and Intelligent Legal Thrillers
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?”
Published in paperback and ebook formats by Roundfire Books on 22nd February 2019.
In a room with butter-yellow walls and brown-trimmed moldings, imitation wood-patterned linoleum covering the concrete floor, they sat around a square walnut table; the U.S. Marshal and the delegate from the New Jersey State Police Investigations Branch were at the two heads. By implicit consensus, the U.S. Marshal was reckoned to hold the chair. He was an African-American with closely cut, slightly graying kinked hair and a square chocolate face. He had a distinguished black man’s type of mustache, a velvety salt-and-pepper velour above his upper lip. His hands were clasped on the table as he hunched forward to speak. “I think it’s safe to say that all three acts were perpetrated by the same group and that the connection is the Felson incident. And being that the video of the incident is popular on the internet, provoking all sorts of wackos out there, the assistance of the FBI is most welcome.”
There were two FBI guys, and the contrast between them was so stark that one could conceive it was intentional. One, Agent Crawford, had bushy brown hair, a beak nose, and thick lips, and wore tortoiseshell eyeglasses, while his partner was shaven- headed with thin, nondescript features. Agent Crawford spoke up. “As a matter of routine, we contacted the Marine Corps personnel section to see who his wartime buddies were and whether they fit. We are also investigating several anti-police groups, Second Amendment people, and other related activist groups, focusing on the SPB, the Stop Police Brutality network, as it was they who were responsible for releasing the names and addresses of the officers involved over the net. We are refining our query to those members of any dubious organizations who live within a fifty-mile radius.”
His spooky bald partner spoke up. “If need be, we can easily expand that, but it’s our opinion that this was a local guy, and not some conspiracy group from outside. We feel it’s more likely that this could have been perpetrated by a single individual: easier to plan, less chance of being seen.”
Len Peterson spoke up, his usually dispassionate Nordic face showing some anxiety. “After canvassing the immediate vicinities of all three murders, there was only one woman near the Fox shooting who thought she heard a single shout. Otherwise, nobody saw or heard anything. We assume that the weapon is a sniper rifle with a range of a thousand yards; and because no one heard gunshots at any of the scenes, we assume he used a suppressor. At this point we’re not sure of the line of fire, so we’re concentrating within a ninety-degree quadrant in each case, looking for sheltered, isolated places which are concealed yet provide good vantage. So far, we’ve found only some shoe prints in two of these sites, but they don’t look recent. Whether these fellows are local or not, it’s likely they didn’t stick around. And so as not to overlook anything, we’ve also contacted the New York Police Department and got in touch with the Fifth Precinct, who will extend their cooperation in questioning people at the Manhattan clinic that Felson was attending.”
Lt. Colonel Calvin Gerhard of the New Jersey State Police Investigations Branch leaned forward in his chair so that everyone could see him. His elongated angular face, capped with a crew cut, and dominated by wide, stone-cold eyes and full corpulent lips, exuded a no-nonsense attitude. Other than Chief Peterson, he was the only one wearing his uniform. “These murders all occurred within hours of each other. That takes planning, knowing where these men live, timing their movements, etcetera. The shooter has shown himself to be a cold, calculating killer. He even shot that poor dog for Chrissakes!”
“What have we got in respect to the CSI?” the U.S. Marshal threw out to the group.
“We believe we have all the bullets,” Peterson responded wearily. “There were exit wounds, one only in each of the bodies. We collected one bullet from each scene; caliber .308 Winchester.
Despite exhaustive searches of the grounds, we didn’t find the cartridges or anything else. But the bullets seemed modified. The ballistics report should be ready sometime tomorrow, as well as the report from the coroner’s office; then we’ll know more.”
“Weapon?” asked the U.S. Marshal.
Trooper Gerhard answered. “Could be any number of guns that use that ammo. Not only the generic Winchester, but the Remington 700 series can use the same bullets, and hell, there must be hundreds of models…”
The cue-ball head of the second FBI agent jerked up. “The military has many sniper rifles based on the Remington 700 series. The M24 is the Army rifle, and the M40 series is what the Marines use. Consistent so far with a local Marine. Isn’t Jay Felson’s father a veteran of the Marine Corps?”
The U.S. Marshal then directed his attention to Bruntfield’s chief of police. “Chief Peterson?”
Len Peterson lived his whole life in Bruntfield. He knew almost everyone, and almost everyone knew him. His normally sparkling blue eyes were dull and downcast, his gray hair graying more by the minute, making him seem more aged than his usual appearance. “We intend to dispatch Detectives Cavaluzzi and Ryan to the home of Marshal Felson, the boy’s father, as soon as this meeting has concluded. He is being considered a person of interest at the present time.”
Gerhard shifted restlessly in his chair. “Chief Peterson, given the manner in which these crimes have been carried out, I would consider approaching any suspect with extreme caution. I would suggest a state SWAT team to accompany your detectives.”
Peterson was flabbergasted. “I’m not going to send a SWAT team to Marshal Felson’s house! At this point he’s still a well- respected citizen, and we just need to question him…”
“But if he feels cornered, trapped…” “That’s ridiculous.”
“Ridiculous? Didn’t he release a burst of automatic gunfire at the press people?”
Peterson felt defeated. “But that was different. He was upset.” “And how upset do you think he is now? How upset would he have to be to gun down those men?” “I know this man…”
Gerhard entreated the rest of the group, intending to bring this meeting to a practical conclusion. “We need to determine jurisdiction before this meeting closes.”
The U.S. Marshal intervened. “We feel the best arrangement would be that the New Jersey State Troopers should lead the law enforcement aspect, with investigative support from the FBI. The Bruntfield Police Department will be seconded and provide assistance. The U.S. Marshal’s office will also supplement personnel on the ground.”
And that was that.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds