Extreme Justice

Extreme Justice

Book - 1998
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Breathless pace. Vibrant, complex characters. Explosive courtroom showdowns. These are the hallmarks of William Bernhardt's internationally acclaimed novels. Now, in Extreme Justice, Bernhardt brings his storytelling expertise to all-new levels of heart-pounding suspense and terror. Disillusioned with both the legal system and his private life, criminal attorney Ben Kincaid decides to abandon his law practice for a less-stressful pastime: playing with a combo at Uncle Earl's Jazz Emporium. Compared to litigation, the musician's life is bliss--until a corpse crashes through the ceiling on the night of the club's swanky anniversary gala. The body is that of "Cajun Lily" Campbell, legendary singer and one time girlfriend of club owner Earl Bonner. The cops are convinced that Bonner killed her--and Kincaid knows he didn't. The trouble is, there's some pretty damning evidence, including the fact that Bonner did time for killing a man. A man who died with a grisly smile carved on his face. Just like Lily. Kincaid swore he was through with law forever, and now he finds himself spiraling down into an underworld of gangs, drugs, Internet sex "clubs," and long-standing vendettas. At the very bottom of the spiral is the killer--and it looks like Ben Kincaid has been pegged as the next to die with a smile on his face. Once again William Bernhardt displays his mastery of the contemporary crime thriller. Extreme Justice is a gripping novel of die-hard jealousy, sexual obsession, and cold-blooded murder.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 1998
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780345407375
0345407377
Characteristics: 294 p. ;,25 cm

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PolyWogg
Sep 17, 2017

PLOT OR PREMISE:
In the seventh in the series, lawyer Ben Kincaid has become disillusioned. So he runs away from the law and takes up jazz music full-time. When a body shows up on stage (literally falling on Ben), Ben has to step up as a lawyer again to save the owner of the club who has been framed for the murder. Working against the owner and against Ben is the fact that the owner served time for the murder of someone else from the old days, a friend of the owner -- and an old friend of the new victim! A few too many links and the police think they have their man. Ben wants to see justice done, but his return to the law is only temporary, supposedly.

WHAT I LIKED:
The story-telling is first-rate, and the mystery aspects of it become almost secondary. Loving, Jones and Christina are all back on the scene, and you get to see one sub-mystery involving Christina.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
Everyone is impatient with Ben and keeps telling him to wake up and realize who he is (a lawyer, not a jazz music) and the constant angst grates on the nerves. Loving and Jones don't have much to do, and Christina's mystery drops several GIANT clues that Ben doesn't see. The ending reads more like an action / movie ending, and all three of the sub-mysteries are easily figured out by the reader before they are unveiled in the story.

BOTTOM-LINE:
Stronger story-telling than mystery

DISCLOSURE:
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow him on social media.

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