Within the pages of this novel you the reader will enter the courtroom, hear the voices of both the prosecutor and the defense attorney and witness something that will shock you and those present during this trial. Someone wants the trial to end even before it begins. Someone hired a sniper to take out the prosecution’s star witness who would testify against a dangerous drug, arms, trafficker and weapons dealer named Nick Rossi. Rossi is smart, savvy and has the right connections to conduct business from his jail cell. The prologue sets the scene for what is about to happen to Sammy Biggs. Someone gave up his name. Someone would lower herself under anyone to get money, endure pain and make her way to the top of the chain in order to get what she wants at any cost.
Julia Gooden is jogging by herself when someone calls out to her to be careful and warn her of unseen dangers. Julia Gooden is a crime reporter who never follows the rules, does her own thing but is about to learn what happens when what she sees and thinks she knows about someone close to her is one big illusion. Within this novel you will meet numerous people whose speech, conduct, way or acting, speaking will result in the deaths of many, deceitfulness in speech, demeanor and conduct by acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same thing or matter. Double dealing: Duplicity! Simply defined as deceit, fraud, hypocrisy and trickery.
Lawyers are required to present all information, documents and discovery to the opposite side before the trial begins. What happens when someone does not? What happens when someone related to the trial is blackmailing one attorney, changes the course of one man’s freedom, sends into motion a chain of events that violates the state or quality of the indictment. David Tanner is the Assistant District Attorney chairing the case against Nicholas Rossi. Julia Gooden is his wife and learned how to deal with the system, not leaking information from the D.A.’s office and realizing that David would not divulge anything to her just because of their marriage. Ray Navarro and His partner Russell are the two detectives on this case hoping to put Rossi away for good. Salvatore Gallo is a powerful mob man and the uncle of Rossi who protects him at all costs even if he’s guilty.
Rossi witnessed the murder of his nine-year-old sister and the rape and murder of his mother during a home invasion. His father does not come into the picture but he has had it in for Julia and her family for many years but why? Dealing with the acting mayor and his assistant proves frugal at times but at other times the Mayor appears to want to clean up Detroit and make it safer but what the author has set up will change it within seconds as Sammy Biggs does not know it but a sniper has been placed in perfect position in a building across the street from the courthouse and all he has to do is pull the trigger. Julia reminds us with the help of the author that Rossi might be 42 years old and had not been arrested until now for all of his crimes. The FBI they hope will nail him for hijacking, selling stolen goods and more if they could prove it. Julia has to be careful with what she writes but it would be worse if she gets scooped and her paper does not put out the story first. Seeing David before court does not give her much leeway as he is cold, aloof and will not tell her anything. Their relationship is not solidified and their living arrangements tentative at best in order for Logan and Will to have their father even just in name only living there. Helen is their housekeeper and you might say grandmother and mother to Julia and without her she as you would learn would crumble. Reading Chapter three you the reader will fell the tension, the fear within the sniper’s mind and yet there are two more that will meet their fate as someone else has decided a different way to gain some attention, notoriety, and take out Sammy and others without any thought to the lives of those being lost. Two men are hired by someone unknown to plant a bomb in the courthouse. Who remains unrevealed at this time? Why will come out when you read the novel and learn the true meaning of Duplicity, greed, power, money and revenge.
David Tanner wants to run for D.A. he is smart, impressive and comes from an affluent family but behind his exterior and cold demeanor there is another man who is unscrupulous, dangerous, and harbors secrets that when revealed will ruin many lives. Entering the courthouse and just minutes away from what is about to happen Julia eyes Brooke the second chair in her husband’s case and instantly realizes their connection. Opening statements are given, reasons to incarcerate Rossi are given and yet the defense will probably try and convince the jury that he is a good man, law-abiding citizen and his only flaw is his juvenile misdemeanor charge from his youth. Added in his connection to the corrupt former Mayor Willis Slidell or the intimidated innocents with treats of death to themselves or loved ones. Rossi is guilty of drug trafficking in Detroit, paying off people voted in to look the other way and has an illegal gambling operation. David’s opening testimony is compelling, well thought out but what about the defense? The defense lawyer tries to refute everything David states and relates that the illegal acts were not his but that of the key witness. Stating that he never entered into bribery, trafficking or illegal gambling which side would win?
Julia loses with her paper as she is scooped and chewed out by the editor but this is nothing compared to what happens next as in the abandoned building across from the courthouse as the sniper takes aim something else happens. Told to stay away from the courthouse she naturally defies the orders knowing that her son’s school is supposed to be there to take a tour. Michael Cole is injured and a young child Julia tries to help leaves him with the police but he’s not saved. Biggs is dead, David is seriously injured and the Judge on the case critical. Reliving the death of his two year old daughter and Nanny, Rossi is going to make Julia and many others pay but first who planted the bomb at the courthouse killing many and injuring others? All signs point to Rossi but was it him? Who hired the Sniper?
Reporters are out there and Julia wants in on the investigation but someone else has been assigned to write the story and when someone else learns that David is still alive will this person end his life in order to keep what he knows and did forever buried in his mind?
Talking with Gallo Julia hopes to get him to pay back a favor he owes her and get someone on his nephew Nick. But, blood is much thicker than water and the final outcome of the meeting is what most would expect. Not liking Nick’s business ventures does not mean he won’t keep him safe and defend him even if he disagrees what he’s done to his business after taking it over. Freed and given a mistrial, just where does Nick hide out, who will go after him and will Julia risk it all for a story and to avenge David’s injury and more? Jim Bartello is the man who planted the bomb, a contract worker and paid to take out Biggs. Where is he? Will they go after him to make sure he does not reveal the truth? As Julia becomes more involved in the case due to her relationship with Ray Navarro, things heat up, her family is in danger, they boys and Helen need protection but Julia becomes more reckless in her actions which makes the reader wonder just what she hopes to gain if she does gain access to the information she needs while possibly losing her life? Nick hired a man to they think the sniper to take out Sammy the Butcher Biggs. Someone confirmed that Jimmy Bartello, the former head of MGM Grand runs Rossi’s local operation. He reached out to her source on behalf of Rossi to recommend a hit man to take out the Butcher as he entered the courtroom. Scary that no one stopped this man or saw the bomb!
At times you wonder why Julia would put her life in danger and the lives of her children and Helen to get this man off of the street. But, behind the scenes we meet Isabella Rossi whose relationship with Nick is like a paid trophy wife who knows better than to cross him knowing his ire and anger would be taken out on her in a brutal manner. But, she is more dangerous as you will learn and her hidden secrets, her relationship to someone close to the case will shock readers as we learn the fate of someone, just why they might be after David, what he did to compromise himself and the case before him and the end result which will change the dynamics of someone’s life for good. Ray Navarro does everything to protect Julia but when they are both attacked, the warehouse where the drugs are supposed to hidden is hit and those there dead, why does she disobey him and head for Nick’s hideout not realizing that Enzo his hit man and protector is out there just waiting for her. Caught in a dangerous situation and captured by this man just how she manages to survive is right out of a Rambo movie starring Julia as Rambo.
The sniper is revealed but is he dead too? Enzo Costas has Julia will someone take him out? When you hear the voices of several you won’t know just who will die, who will take these people out but the ending will shock readers as we learn just what Nick thinks David has and Julia knows where it is? Just what role Isabella plays and what happens when both Julia and Ray face their feelings, do several stings and then come face to face with a cold-blooded mercenary and killer as Ray, Russell and Julia might find themselves fatally shot as Julia is clamped down and chained to a chair hoping to somehow release herself but will she? The ending is quite compelling as Julia and Ray fight for their lives and David’s fate is sealed as there are many who double deal, conspire, are deceitful, disloyal, break the law along with Nick who we won’t reveal if he pays for any of his crimes but he too as the rest are guilty of DUPLICITY!
Characters that are realistic, police work spot on and a family whose lives change, as you will see at the ending of this outstanding novel by this author. Murder, Greed, Duplicity: IS IT WORTH IT?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine