Justice for Dallas: Mark Rusin: Priscilla Barton
Graphic images of a crime scene that would remain within the recesses of one man’s dreams and mind for a very long time haunting him. . A child whose life was snuffed out before her time in order to send a message to a whole community that he felt betrayed him. A family that would fade away into oblivion as if they never existed in order to complete a vendetta and strike a chord with anyone who might try the same. A man who sought revenge for one man’s decision to rise above his station in life and provide for his family. When Rookie Agent Marko Novak witnesses the carnage, ash and debris left behind when an entire family is butchered the sight, the faces and the images are something that he will never erase from his mind. Closing his eyes to sleep at night he relives the events of what took this family’s life in his dreams sees the gunshot wounds that fatally killed three of the family members and the slit across the neck that took five year old Dallas’s life. One man decided that no one could betray him. One man decided the fate of so many innocent people and even more sent the fear of God within the hearts, minds of so many and dared them to defy or betray him. The Iron Cobra’s might be a biker group but some might think more like a cult. Brainwashing the members to do his bidding a man named Butch Crowley ruled the streets, the alleys and the bar where so many went to drink, sound off and hoped to relax. Fear is a powerful tool and often makes people hide their true feelings, thoughts and compounded by the abuse inflicted on all of them can turn a person that is good into someone that he/she won’t recognize when looking in the mirror. As Mark Novak and his partner Larry begin the investigation into the deaths of this family one young woman named Angel might hold all the cards but she won’t speak, she is afraid and the end result if she speaks could be the same as the deceased family.
Marko Novak might be an AFT agent but he has other wants and needs that transcend his being a cop. Street cops are special and he states are the real heroes but he wanted something less dangerous and which allowed him to have back up and plan his investigations more methodically. Women are his passion and finding just one for himself not in the cards. But, on a trip to Vegas and a stop at an airport bar he meets a woman that haunts his every thought, wonders where she is and yet never calls. Would you call someone who gave you her number on a cocktail napkin? Would you think she was serious? What about a business card? Marko is quite complex and his feelings at times are on his outer sleeve you might say telling the public as he did this woman too much about himself that most would keep secret. So, what happens when he gets to Vegas and finds the girlfriend of this dangerous biker group and she wants to talk? Abused, tortured, belittled and used Angel decides to run away, leave and hopes to never be found by Butch? Can Marko help her? Will he find her? Who else needs justice served?
Marko seems bent on creating his own destruction at times. Gambling, drinking, plenty of women in his life and having no real direction to pursue other than trying to rise in position in his job and thinking that he might have finally found someone to love. But, Marko’s habits never change and whenever a moment can be spared he uses it to drink with this buddies, watch television with a beer or play the tables in Las Vegas. Marnie Keith was his hope for his future. Smart, caring, intelligent and everything that he could want so what could go wrong? Regional account coordinator for a major cosmetic company her goal was to rise to the top, have money to enjoy life and someone to make sure she was financially secure. Handling Marko, his erratic behavior, work schedule and the dangerous incidents he encounters gave Marnie pause for thought.
Marko has many friends and connections that would back him up, cover his tail and protect witnesses if need be. When Angel Cruz takes her first step to freeing herself from Butch, Fabian Marbulies, a truly rich friend of Marko, unwillingly helps him out. But, things change and Angel proves to be an asset to his cook and a friendship begins until something changes it all.
One man who decided that someone disrespected him and everyone had to pay and they did annihilated the Derhammer family in one felt swoop. Using his experience as Police Officer, his knowledge of how cases are handled, evidence is processed and crime scenes assessed, author Mark Rusin brings to light how a good AFT agent handles a case from start to finish hoping to get a conviction. Explaining each step in vivid detail and allowing readers to become part of the investigation the heart stopping scenes, the moments of uncertainty, the attempts on the lives of witnesses and the final blow that ignited the main character into action author Mark Rusin raises the bar for all mystery/thriller writers. Author Priscilla Barton is a member of Sisters in Crime and using her expertise as a writer of crime novels adding the graphic scenes and providing the vivid descriptions of the physical appearances of these characters makes the plot come alive.
With flashbacks to his childhood and events that impacted his life, Marko often reverts back to incidents from the past that have influenced his present. Hoping to create a permanent relationship with Marnie something would change it. Added in we meet her ex-husband Edward who would provide the stability, money and power she so craves.
As the pieces of the case finally come together and those involved are caught some outstanding police work is involved as Marko, his partner Larry and many others in several different locations, work together for a common goal to bring down the man that started it all. From the memories of the fire at the MGM Grand, to a jury trial that will keep readers on edge, this is one novel that will keep you guessing until the jury presents its verdict. Enter the MGM Grand on pages 170-172 and relive the entire horrific experience as Marko relates it to readers haunted in his dreams. The past haunts him in his dreams in the present making you wonder if he will ever be at peace with himself.
Marko Novak is a strong character with a firmly set personality that will never change. In many respects he can be flexible but in others he remains true to his passions. Gambling, drinking, women and finding time to leave his job behind and live within the moment seems to be his preset direction in life. Will he and Marnie unite? Will they get the conviction and hopefully stop what Butch started? Will anyone rat him out? As you listen to the interrogations and hear the informants speak you learn just how cases are won, information is related and to whom some of the money goes.
Marko Novak: Tough cop, no holds barred with a partner just as tough. Doing what they need to in order to solve a case. Going by the book to work out the details for the prosecution’s case and having the warrants in place just in case Justice For Dallas will keep readers at a fast paced hoping that these authors bring Marko and the rest back again for more fun in Vegas and of course solving another case. Justice for Dallas: You decide if she can finally rest in peace when you hear the final verdict!
Fran Lewis: reviewer