By: Scott Pratt
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 11/17/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars
Two years ago, Darren Street made a name for himself as the man who rooted out corruption in the district attorney’s office. Now the hotheaded young lawyer is in the public eye yet again—this time, accused of murder.
Jalen Jordan retained Street for what seemed to be a minor traffic violation, but when evidence turned up linking Jordan to the death of two boys, Street wanted out of the case. To ensure his lawyer’s cooperation and silence, Jordan threatened to make Street’s son the next victim. Shortly after, Jordan’s own body turned up with a bullet hole in his chest.
Now Street is on trial for his life, and the enemy he made in the DA’s office is clearly out for blood. It’s one lawyer out to frame another. Can a desperate father escape punishment for a crime he didn’t commit?
A special thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Scott Pratt, author of the bestselling legal Joe Dillard series (have read them all—a huge fan), returns with a riveting standalone, JUSTICE REDEEMED -- a smart young attorney, gets caught up in a dangerous game of murder and corruption. Leading to the destruction of his personal and professional career, while trying to prove his innocence, and attain justice.
Combined with Pratt's wit, and sophisticated legal and courtroom maneuvers--another skillfully crafted page-turner legal crime thriller!
“Justice is like an abandoned child in a dark forest. She meanders slowly, in search of the light. One must hope she will eventually find her way.”
As the book begins, Darren Street, a young southern attorney is upset to say the least. His uncle Tommy had been diagnosed with colon cancer and it had taken quite the toll on him in jail. The corrupt DA had falsely convicted and imprisoned him for the past nineteen years.
Ben Clancy, DA and Joe DuBose, the sheriff of Knox County TN had accused Tommy of murdering his wife (his aunt Linda). He had been sentenced to life without parole. –A sham of a murder trial nearly two decades earlier. Street has been working on the case for years with no pay to try and help overturn the sentence.
Now a new judge steps in--takes Street’s side against Clancy—and honors the judgment. Declaring his uncle not guilty of murder and innocent of the charges. He is free to go, and Clancy is being cuffed. Happy Dance! Tommy’s prison sentence of nineteen years had gained a lot of national attention and of course Street is delighted, knowing Clancy is a criminal.
However, Clancy is up for reelection in eleven months. Street will do everything in his power to make sure Clancy never gets the opportunity to railroad another defendant.
Flash forward two years later. Darren has made a name for himself as the young hot shot attorney who rooted out corruption in the DA’s office. He is known as a hot head with a temper and not afraid to rock the system. This time it takes a wrong turn.
Darren Street, age thirty-two in criminal defense, Knoxville--has a new client, Jalen Jordan (a mix of goth, cowboy, and metro), twenty-five, with long hair and pale skin with piercings. He comes in with his mother regarding a misdemeanor traffic violation plus a felony resisting arrest and assault on a police officer. Street does not care for the man’s attitude or the case; however, he pulls out $50,000 in cash.
Even though the cash is tempting--his wife is having an affair, and he could use the money towards the divorce and help with his six- year- old son. He agrees. A few minutes later, the mother leaves; the client has more to tell him in confidence.
Jordan is linked to the death of two boys, and of course Street wants NO part of the case. He drops him. Street has gained the attention of bad guys like Jalen Jordan who, we learn, is a serial sexual molester and killer of young boys.
The jerk threatens to hurt Darren’s son Sean (in sexual ways), and his wife, Katie if he does not remain on the case. Darren is beside himself with worry. He cannot allow anything to happen to his family. He will kill him before he allows this to happen. He is desperate. If he has to he will hire someone to kill him. He picks up the money and leaves, in a panic. What just happened?
Immediately he contacts his wife to make sure Sean is safe telling her their son is in danger. She of course does not take it seriously. However, while Darren is taking every precaution to keep his son safe— Jordan’s body turns up with a bullet.
Soon afterwards, Jalen Jordan is found shot to death while hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Evidence points to Darren as the killer, and the enemy he made in the DA's office is out for blood. Jordan is killed and Street charged. The killing occurred in a national park, making it a federal crime. The federal prosecutor? None other than Ben Clancy, his enemy. Game ON….
Now, Street is on trial for murder! He is innocent. He thought about hiring someone, had the money, but could not go through with it. Someone however did kill him. He has to find out the real killer to clear his name.
Payback: with the enemy he made in the DA’s office years earlier is out to get him. He is being framed; however, behind bars, how will he manage to get the evidence to clear his name.? A court appointed attorney? He knows this will be a joke, or is it?
He can only do so much legal work from behind bars and what is he supposed to do for money while his law practice and family does down the tube? His soon to be ex-wife is of little support. Darren finds himself in a terrible situation. The book takes place over a few years, and in this case, justice takes a long time to find its way.
Adrenaline fueled, suspense-filled, taking readers into the criminal justice system, and how one bad decision can lead to life-altering consequences. Fast- paced action, twists, turns and Pratt shines. Pratt is definitely tops when it comes to legal thrillers, up there with Grisham and Connelly and the best of the best.
I enjoyed the addition of Grace’s character, the appointed attorney and their relationship, as well as Granny! Also crafty move using his legal abilities behind bars to help others in order to get outside to help attain evidence.
Finally catching up with long overdue reviews, this holiday week, guys. In addition to the reading copy, I also purchased the audio, delivered by Nick Podehl with a powerful delivery —I always listen to Pratt’s books, as the audio enhances the overall experience!
For fans of Connelly’s Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller),Grisham’s (Jake Brigance ) Sycamore Row and a Time to Kill---You will love Scott Pratt’s Darren Street! Loving the new attorney, here’s hoping a new series, forthcoming.
For all you Joe Dillard fans, here is an interesting interview with Scott Pratt, in the event you have not read. The inspiration behind the book. Justice Redeemed,' A Conversation With Scott Pratt. Great job, Mark Rubinstein, Huffington Post.
Buy the Book
About the Author
Photo credit: Dylan Pratt
Scott Pratt has been writing for nearly his entire life.
He started as a contributor to a high school publication, then won the McClellan Award for outstanding writing while majoring in English at East Tennessee State University.
He later worked as a newspaper reporter, columnist and editor for daily papers in Johnson City and Kingsport, Tennessee. Scott earned a law degree from the University of Tennessee in 1998 after commuting over two hundred miles a day for three years.
Scott and his wife Kristy have raised two wonderful people, Dylan and Kody, both of whom are currently pursuing their dreams at the collegiate level.
Three dogs now demand Scott's attention at home: a German Shepherd named Rio, a Yorkshire Terrier named Pedro, and a Bichon Friese named Nacho. When he isn't writing (which is rare!), he's reading, watching sports, exercising, mowing his yard, or thinking about writing. Website Twitter