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Book Review: Cry for Justice by Ralph Zeta

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Successful attorney Jason J. Justice, in an effort to appease Nora, the current love in his life, exchanged the routine and safety of his successful law practice to locate a friend’s missing stepfather, who is suspected of staging the suicide of young Amy Kelly’s mother, as well as stealing her family’s wealth. As the case unfolds, Justice uncovers more victims and a trained killer determined to keep his multiple crimes secret. The story begins in a typical south Florida setting.

The character of Jason comes alive as he narrates a first person account of the details leading up to seductively becoming involved in the case. Jason has developed a unique philosophical outlook, his conclusions based on his personal observations of failed relationships and the disappointment by idealistic expectations not realized. A flirtatious sexual theme recurs throughout without emphasizing graphic details.

Zeta describes the bonding relationship existing between Sammy and Jason as a working team in this unique combination legal thriller, intrigue, adventure, and mystery novel.

Creative word pictures enable the reader to identify with the common everyday sound, smells, and feelings such as highway noises, the stench of stale food, cigarette smoke, and the “firmly entrenched mildew” of a musty house. Descriptions of the inner turmoil of the feelings generated by hatred and the need for vengeance experienced by the victims of a malevolent highly-trained killer add to Zeta’s unrivaled characterizations.

Zeta has an engaging writing style, a brilliant sense of timing, and demonstrates a thorough understanding of the elements of story that allow the reader to experience vicariously a series of exciting plot changes. Ralph’s dialog is believable, not unreal nor stilted, covering a broad base of subjects including the war in Afghanistan, and the dangers of serving with “Doctors without Borders” in remote areas of the world.

While the detailed introduction and carefully developed plot and character elements may move too slowly for some readers, they add to the ultimate appreciation of the fast moving, roller coaster ride of thrills and suspense leading up to an unpredictable climactic conclusion.

Cry for Justice is a brilliant balance of subtle humor, satire, and realism. The action, dialog, setting, and complex plot provide the dynamic ingredients of a big screen movie adaptation. I am eagerly looking forward to more from the pen of Ralph Zeta.

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