Spotlight: Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr.


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





  

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


Reviews for Justice Gone

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 


Read an Excerpt

All rise!”
Everyone in the overcrowded courtroom did so, creating a muffled thunder that rose to the high ceiling. Clearly, the size of the crowd was too great for the space provided, but there was nowhere else to hold this event as the white courtroom was the largest one in Asarn County, a locality where high-profile trials rarely, if ever, took place. The judge entered and took his seat at the bench, nodded to the bailiff who then opened the door to the deliberation room to let the jury file in.
“State calls Detective Ralph Cavaluzzi, Fiske announced.
The bailiff offered the Bible upon which Cavaluzzi placed his right hand. “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”
I do.”
Under Fiske’s rehearsed questioning, what followed was a rather boring narrative of how he, Detective Cavaluzzi, and his partner, Detective Ryan, arrived at each of the three scenes, one after the other, discovered the bodies, and called in the other homicide teams. On display near the court clerk was a flipchart with large diagrams of the neighborhoods of all three victims, showing  streets  an emphasizing  wooded  area where  the shots may have originated in each case. Although the evidence gathered at each of the scenes was scant, consisting only of the bulletanone  shoprinnea forestelocale verging on Puente’s house, both Fiske and his witness gave the impression that an abundant amount of invaluable facts had been collected. “Your witness, Fiske said to the defense table as he took his seat.
Bodine stood and toyed with the curved handle of his cane. He knew that Cavaluzzi loathed defense lawyers, since several of his last arrests had resulted in the suspects cases being dismissed due to procedural errors he had made and that the defense had homed in on. Bodine knew this from tasking his son to investigate and submit a profile on the arresting officers. And he would exploit this vulnerability to taint Cavaluzzi’s testimony.
“Detective Cavaluzzi, did you know any of those three men that were killed?”
“Of course, were in the same force.”
“How well did you know them? I mean, how personal? Anything more than just workplace camaraderie?”
“Not sure what you mean.”
“Did you socialize with any of them, particularly Officer Fox?”
Fiske got to his feet. “Objection, irrelevant.”
Before his honor could rule, Bodine blurted out, “I’m building foundation, Your Honor.”
The judge stared at Bodine, Bodine’s sunglasses reflected back at him. “Ill allow it for the time being, but if youre going somewhere with this, better get there fast. Witness, answer the question.”
“Sometimes
we would get together for a few beers.” “I
see. Isn’t it true that he married your cousin?” “No.”
“No?”
“My second cousin, if you must know.” Some snickers from the spectators.
“In fact, wasn’t it you who introduced them?” Again Fiske stood up,Your Honor…”
Judge Tupelo was also becoming annoyed, “What is your point, Counselor Bodine?”
The point was to rattle the witness, what else. “Just wanted to establish that Detective Cavaluzzi may have been affected by personal feelings during his investigation.”
“I’m not supporting that line of questioning.”
“Sorry, Your Honor. Ill take a different tack. Bodine hesitated before asking the next question, perhaps a bit too long, causing Cavaluzzi to shift in his chair impatiently. Time to jab him in a sensitive area. “Now, you testified that the Crime Scene Forensics, under your direction, analyzed all three crime scenes and gathered up evidence. You think you did a good job?”
Cavaluzzi gave out a disgusted smirk. All these scum sucking bastards are the same, he thought to himself. “It’s a painstaking procedure, but we always try to be as thorough as possible, he replied, restraining himself.
You don’t think you missed anything?” “No.”
“Did you find any fingerprints?” “No.”
“Saliva? Fibers.”
“No, these men were killed by a sniper at some distance away. Naturally we don’t expect…”
“Recover any shells?” “No.”
“Did you find any physical evidence linking Mr. Darfield to the scene?”
“There are the bullets, but Ill leave that to the ballistics expert. And we found a print that matches Mr. Darfield’s boots.”
“Explain to the court how it matches.”
Fiske rose again. Your Honor, we have our crime scene forensics expert as our next witness, who is well versed in footprint analysis.”
The judge, who had been hunching forward since the start of cross-examination, leaned back in his chair to relieve his aching spine. “Let’s wait for the State’s expert for the matter of the footprint.”
Very well, Bodine continued.
“Let’s talk about the shells. Recover any?”
I just told you a few minutes ago! What, are you deaf as well as…”
Bodine stood still as a statue, while he let Cavaluzzi’s words hang in the courtroom like an airborne virus. The jury members squirmed uneasily, the spectators holding their collective breath, relishing the tension.
As well as what?”
Fiske tried to break the awkward moment. Your Honor…”
But Bodine wouldn’t let him. “No, I’m not deaf. No further questions.”




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


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Comments

  1. This was a great book. I can see how it won 3 awards.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You can see my review at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2821245694

    ReplyDelete

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