When Gina wakes up from a two-year coma, she realizes someone tried to kill her and make it look like suicide. Detective-in-training Lara Evans is assigned the case, but when she discovers who the main suspect is, she fears she’s in way over her head.
Meanwhile Detective Jackson learns the man in prison for murdering his parents is innocent of the crime and another officer coerced the detainee into a confession. As the two investigators work the cold files, members of their own department come under suspicion and their cases begin to overlap. Can they find the killers before the crimes of the past explode in the present?
Way back in November last year I remember receiving an email from LJ Sellers asking if I would be interested in receiving a copy of Sex Club, the first title in her Wade Jackson series, I agreed, and the rest as they say is history! I’ve always enjoyed reading independent authors – when time allows – and when Dying for Justice arrived – the fifth in the series – I was keen to dip my toes once again in the Jackson water of Eugene, Oregon! Unfortunately, due to a huge demand for reviews this year, it has taken me a few months to get around to reading and I’ve had to postpone my toe dipping on a number of occasions!
One thing I do remember from Sex Club was how well the book read and Dying for Justice is exactly the same. It’s very difficult to describe LJ’s writing style but considering this book deals with murders, suicides, corruption and an abuse of power in the police force there’s a certain warmth and homeliness to her writing that entices you in and makes you feel welcome. I finished the book in two sittings, thanks in part to a fast paced narrative and intelligent multi layered storyline, and was disappointed when it ended – simply due to the fact that I’ll have to wait a while for the next title to come my way!
Characterisation is once again well delivered and despite missing three titles in the series it was interesting to see how Jackson had developed both as a father and a detective. Now in a steady relationship – following the break up of his marriage to a wife struggling with alcoholism – there’s a certain maturity in Jackson, a confidence in himself and those around him. Having said that, every once in a while doubts kick in but this occasional insecurity and fallibility makes him more human and less of a superhero cop – certainly more realistic as far as I was concerned.
Another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed was watching Wade’s relationship develop with his brother Derrick. Estranged for ten years since the murder of their parents in their own home, we follow the brothers as they try to build bridges and mend fences – although neither appears to be all that concerned in rediscovering their loving relationship. They don’t like each other, they don’t trust each other but an event from the past brings about a necessity to reconnect and as the story grows we witness microscopic changes in their relationship that certainly added depth to characterisation and the story as a whole.
Relationships play a key part in Dying for Justice, in more ways than one, and Jackson’s relationship with his partner Detective Lara Evans is intriguing to say the least. I can certainly see plenty of scope for development in the coupling and with Evans taking on a more prominent role it definitely changes the balance of the relationship as she slowly begins to find her investigative feet. Evans has a ballsy attitude, a fixation with running off her food intake and is rather gung-ho in her approach to her job but in Jackson’s company she dreams about what could be and swoons at the slightest encouragement she receives! It’s all rather fascinating to be honest!
Armed with a generous helping of twists and turns and a couple red herrings, Dying for Justice is a superb example of how to deliver a police procedural. A fly on a squad room wall wouldn’t have had as much fun! There were a couple of events in the book that shocked me, needless to say I will not be divulging in this review, but they were delightfully unexpected!! As the book neared the end of its life I began to wonder which direction Seller’s was taking me and I have to admit I failed to see the major revelations and was pleasantly surprised with its strong conclusion.
Another intelligent, multi layered performance from LJ Sellers, Dying for Justice possesses a fluid and addictive prose that just begs to be read.