Guilty Blood: Rick Acker
A young man is accused of killing a lethal gang member except he never came in contact with his person and never met him. So, why was he arrested and framed for the murder? DNA is sourced and Analyzed and investigator as in this case, before going to his apartment while doing research and homework for a course he was taking at Berkley University, Brandon Ames is startled when told he committed murder. Investigators collected DNA evidence from several different sources. Biological evidence of any type contains DNA and not every sample has enough amounts of DNA to create an accurate profile.
Author Rick Acker brings to light the impact of DNA testing and profiling in this rifting novel of corruption, fraud, deceit and what happens when one young man is accused of murder because his DNA markers come close to that of the victim. Brandon Ames was sitting in his dorm room doing homework when the police came and arrested him for the murder or Lincoln Thomas noted for his affiliation to a dangerous group called Lan Ling. FBI Special Agent Coleman Jones and his partner William Chen are investigation the case but something about this investigation does not ring true. As samples of Brandon’s DNA are collected forensic investigators will analyze the biological samples to create a profile of him that the samples came from. As a suspect in a murder they try to collect these samples and compare them to the evidence they supposed get from the crime scene. But, Brandon was never at the crime scene and how did they manage to match his DNA with that of the victim? How accurate is the sample and when and if the sample is properly collected, handle and bagged and sealed did the forensic scientist use the right and acceptable method to conduct the analysis the right way. As we will learn as the case moves forward against Brandon the author relates his research and knowledge about DNA profiling and how matching another persons DNA profile is extremely small perhaps one in a billion by some estimates. The prosecution for this case will rely primarily on this evidence and hopefully Nate Daniels and his team enlisted to defend Brandon will find him not guilty.
Jessica Ames is devastated when her son calls her stating he’s arrested for a murder that he knows he did not commit. But, for some reason the DNA evidence point only at him. Nate Daniels is a close friend of Jessica and her late husband and with some persuasion and convincing she convinces him to defend her son despite the warnings from his law firm. His forte is corporate law not criminal defense but the Public Defender lawyer, Sofia although at the preliminary hearing appears inept she turns out to be the right choice to hopefully free Brandon.
The issue of autism is brought to light with Kevin Fang who is so brilliant and innovative that he’s able to hack into many different databases in different branches of the government including those involved with DNA profiling and coding. Brandon is in prison and is dealing with his own demons as he’s attacked by a member of the Los Reyes Gang and defending himself kills the gang member bringing him into focus with the other gang members causing the prison officials to isolate him even further and realizing that he cannot trust anyone. Questions come to light involving the veracity of DNA and if Brandon did not even know Lincoln Thomas and had no affiliation with his gang, why did they arrest him and why not look further? Kevin hates to not solve a crime and he wanted to catch a real criminal not one that is a hacker or who violated some cybersecurity rule. Cole and his partner in the meantime were trying to piece the case against Brandon but watching a video, seeing the prisoners that attacked Brandon and realizing Hector Garcia was dead but was Brandon guilty or not? Lan Long was the gang they thought Brandon was part of but there was nothing to link him to that or the other gang. Brandon is an amazing character for a young man whose faith in God and his religion and wanting to protect his mother and allying her fears, makes him a smart, perceptive and brave character who would not let his prison stay destroy him. But, after a while he beats on his pillows, mattress and becomes violent only to himself. As the supervising deputy attorney general if California, Rick Acker presents a case as if it’s straight out of the headlines and a case that he might have worked on.
Sofia Acuna and Nate go to court and the questioning varies and the suspense is heightened as lives are in danger not only Brandon but meeting at restaurant shooters enter and kill Amy who was protecting them and seriously wound Sofia leaving Nate with another Public Defender that could not hold a candle to Sofia and Jessica to work the case that was slowly going downhill until Kevin finds something that no one else learned. Hacking into different computers is one part, the DNA is the other but the international trafficking ring is tied into the Lin Lang gang and the end result will reveal why Lincoln Thomas was murdered.
A woman named Jade comes into the picture and she is involved with the Human Sex trafficking ring and she has information that might break open the case but hesitates to help and cooperate and her relationship with Nate bothers Jessica. Jade speaks Chinese and is directly related with the Chinese Group that is funding the trafficking and sending these innocent girls into living in squalor and slavery. The girl that Jade is talking to about how she is involved, how she was drugged, blindfolded and treated her like nothing. Using her and other girls to servicemen in a strip club in Chinatown and locking them away at night. This issue is not new and it’s still going on now. But, a key clue and a first name of someone might change the odds of finding out who is behind the trafficking and who might have killed Thomas.
Kevin Fang is a genius and relentless and won’t stop until he completes the job he set out to do and find the one missing piece that might free Brandon but will he find it in time? The issues of autistic and autism in a person that is really smart comes to light, human sex trafficking, abuse, greed, murder, power, deceit, betrayal at the highest level comes to light within this multi-plot novel.
Jessica was fearful when her son was first incarcerated fearing the other prisoners. But, Pastor Craig was right she learned that her son was strong and could take care of himself. Realities set in as the author reveals that the Chinese Military might want to commit crimes in our country related by Kevin while explaining the situation to Nate in short sentences and less words for him to comprehend what he’s telling him. The key points are the following which he explains: The FBI database does not contain just one profile, it contains over 15 million profiles and the odds of a particular or certain profile being a near match for one somewhere in that database are a lot better than a billion to one. The bigger the database the better the change for a random match. Second, his is that the Chinese wouldn’t run just one profile through the database. They would check the profiles of each of their agents. Finally, the agents could commit a crime in the general area or vicinity of someone with matching DNA, leave behind some of their own DNA and the police would arrest the wrong person while the agent went free. The Chinese Military wanted Thomas dead why?
Sofia seemed to be doing a great job and was glad when she learned from Nate that they were investigating Lan Long. Was Linc an informant? Who was this Jade and what was her role? The U.S. Attorney’s office might get involved as Nate introduces Al Francini and deals are about to be made. The goal is not to prove Brandon innocent but to take down the human trafficking ring and the FBI has found nothing to connect Brandon to Lan Long or the human trafficking or even Linc Thomas. But, the investigation might gum up the works and interfere with their taking them down. But, Kevin’s freedom would come in question and would Nate have to reveal how he managed to hack into CODIS and other systems and would Kevin be sacrificed to save Brandon? Transcript done, a judge that might hear the case and would anyone really believe that Brandon is not guilty? But, a meeting with the team and Jessica goes to the restroom only to come out and see the carnage and the deaths in front of her. Was Lan Long behind what happened to Amy and Sofia? Would she have been killed if she did not go to the restroom? Things go even worse when Brandon is shot and is the next target. Is Jade a traitor and who betrayed Brandon?
A trial that will keep the tension moving and the suspense high and a verdict that you won’t expect after the jury takes not much time to deliberate. As Nate rips apart Brown the Prosecutor and reveals how the DNA was changed, the falsehoods told by the prosecutions expert in this field and other the truth about what Thomas did at the docks, you begin to wonder where or how high up the corruption runs?
An ending you won’t see coming and a young man’s life that hangs in the balance as author Rick Acker presents a clear cut case of a young man who had no motive to kill anyone, faces years in prison if convicted and someone clever enough to alter his DNA profile. But, what would the final outcome be? Who’s corrupt? Who’s behind the murders? Will Nate lose his position with his firm for taking on this case against their policies about pro bono cases? Jessica Ames, Nate Daniels, Brandon Ames what will their fate be? What happens when someone wants to make sure that the world thinks and wants you convicted of having tainted or GUILTY BLOOD?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine