Lexie Conyngham's Blog: writing, history and gardening.

Friday 13 September 2019

Book tour - N. Lombardi Jnr: Justice Gone

About the Book:

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?

Book Links:


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

The courtroom scenes are wonderfully written...the characters are well described and the author paints a picture of each in the mind of the reader...Strong plot, strong characters and a strong writing style that I really enjoyed. This one is a definite "thumbs-up." Strongly recommend! I look forward to reading additional works by N. Lombardi, Jr.
Kim M Aalaie, Author's Den

One of my favorite suspense novels of the year. It will make you question the legal system.
The Eclectic Review

The courtroom action is excellent, trimmed to the most gripping parts of the trial, with plenty of emotional impact...a fairly realistic portrayal of the way small-town US society works...a fast-moving story with plenty of dramatic moments, and a big twist in the final pages.
Crime Review  

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

Follow the Author:


My review:
A distressing subject, damaged military veterans being mistreated by the police in America, against the context of police shootings of black people there. It’s treated well (I could have done with a bit less wordiness, and a little more lightness in the descriptions of every character), heartfelt, but the emotion is restrained for better effect. I found the main character, Tessa, a bit of a jumble, calm one minute and screaming the next, but it seems she has a back story which might explain this. I have to say that the portrayal of the relationship between the public and the police, and the effect it has on both sides, made me heartily glad I don’t live in the U.S.A., and pray that my country never gets that bad. There is detailed work on how the press react, how the police (at their various levels) do their duty, but the sympathy is always with the ‘public’ versus the police in a vivid historical (albeit recent) setting. The account of the trial, intelligent and informed, is gripping, and the ending realistic.

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Guess what? August's reads!

It's been a busy month and I've only just completed my reading challenge! Here they are:
Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success)
Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant, Write, Publish, Repeat: I cheated a little on my non-fiction this month – it’s a book I’d read before, several times, but it is very funny and excellent for morale for the independent author. It might be a tiny bit dated in the details – things move so quickly in this industry – but it acknowledges its vulnerabilities in this regard. It explains terms, strategies and tactics, tells you how to focus your energies and what not to waste your time on. It points out pitfalls and explains how to avoid them. It’s written with some input from David Gaughran and Joanna Penn, who are a couple of real gurus of independent publishing. If you think you want to be an indie author, if nothing else this book will tell you whether or not you’re being realistic. And if you are one, and hit those inevitable days of dark despair, this will almost certainly help to lift you back out, slap you about a bit, and remind you what you came here for.
The Essex Serpent
Sarah Perry, The Essex Serpent: Being mildly allergic to hype, I ignored this during its ubiquitous phase and came to it late. It’s certainly a good read, for me: set in the 1890s, a period of great change and social upheaval, it portrays the multifaceted confusion of the time and the plot very deftly. I liked almost all the characters, for different reasons – even Martha and the Imp have their moments - and dreaded an ending in which any of them might be unhappy. It’s perceptive and charming, and I can see why it was popular (apart from the lovely cover!).
Rough and Deadly (Much Winchmoor Mystery, #2)
Paula Williams, Rough and Deadly: another good, strong, cosy mystery from this author. They’re entertaining, well-paced and quite funny.

Messandrierre  (Jacques ForĂȘt, #1)
Angela Wren, Messandrierre: Rather charming, small-town France mystery, slow-moving but not cosy. Missing tourists, odd locals up to various intrigues, a distressed Englishwoman who might or might not have been deceived by her late husband, and a put-upon local policeman with a past … what else does one need? The investigation speeds up, but not unrealistically, and ends pretty well, for me. I think I’ll probably continue with the series of three books.
The Brotherhood (The Abbey #1)
Jo Fenton, TheBrotherhood: We’re rushed into the meat of the plot here: young nurse, bereaved, threatened, befriended only by an older, religious man, gallops off to take refuge in his religious community which is, of course, not all it seems. As so often with these things, you spend quite a lot of time yelling at the main characters – No, don’t trust him! Run away! Gradually the plot convolutes until it’s not clear whom she should not be trusting, and while I found her trusting acceptance of the situation a bit peculiar, I enjoyed the ride. Then we’re rushed out of it again, and I couldn’t help thinking that the author wrote the middle of the book and then tacked on the beginning and the end to fit, but I was happy enough with the overall result – with one small misgiving concerning a loose end I thought might be wrapped up. On the other hand, I was afraid it might be wrapped up in a very contrived way, so perhaps it’s better flapping free.

Cold as the Grave: Inspector McLean 9 (The Inspector McLean Series)
James Oswald, Cold asthe Grave: I’m tempted to wonder if so many of these seem to be set in the winter because that’s the quieter time for farmers. But this one is as enjoyable and as peculiar as ever, with some reflections on the refugee crisis, human trafficking etc. It’s an interesting subject, and if you want to look at the emotional damage it produces, with some realistic characters and a good plot, then go for this rather than Mark Douglas Home’s infinitely worse book, The Sea Detective.
The Stranger Diaries
The Stranger Diaries, Elly Griffiths: A stand alone, written in first person and present tense. I think the present tense works a bit better this way – it’s my major problem with her other books. Anyway, this is pretty gripping, and it’s hard to tell whether or not the narrators are reliable (perhaps not about what they’re looking at, anyway – college photo from 1832?). The different perspectives on the same events, in fact, make the reader think about how even one person can perceive the same events in different ways at different times, feel differently about another individual from occasion to occasion. The ending is quite a surprise – and I’m delighted to discover that the policewoman, Harbinder Kaur, is going to appear in another book.

Thicker than Water (DCI Logan Crime Thrillers, #2)
J.D. Kirk, Thicker thanWater: Again, the strong suit here is the camaraderie between the cops, the teasing and joking, though the case is intriguing enough. No Ofsted in Scotland, though! The whole thing is very human: the characters, both police and others, are very strongly observed and interesting – occasionally veering towards the clichĂ© but always well chosen and entertaining.

  There we are. Things are moving slowly on the work in progress, but at least they are at last moving. No idea of a projected publication date - I haven't even contacted Helen yet about the cover! And I don't know yet if it will delay this year's Hippolyta. Ah, well - take it as it comes, I suppose!