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Chasing Justice (A Matt Royal Mystery) Hardcover – September 1, 2015
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“At the start of Griffin’s excellent eighth Matt Royal mystery (after 2013’s Found), Royal, a “lawyer and mostly retired,” is enjoying life on Longboat Key, Fla., with those whom he considers “the best people on earth.” One is his lover, J.D. Duncan, the island’s lone police detective, who’s investigating the murder of a beautiful nude woman found in a ritzy beach house. Another is Abby Lester, the local police chief’s wife, who’s arrested for killing a shady developer. Though Matt has nothing to gain and maybe much to lose, he agrees to defend Abby. Meanwhile, J.D. uncovers sleazy connections that link her case to Abby’s. Griffin, a former trial attorney, often contrasts how things used to be with how they regrettably are now, showcasing today’s “devastated hell” of Florida’s “forgotten ones” and damning a system where too many lawyers are unscrupulous, too many policemen are corrupt, and politicians dare to threaten honest judges. Even so, Royal ensures that justice triumphs in this highly satisfying courtroom drama.”
―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
H. Terrell Griffin is the award winning author of ten Matt Royal mysteries set on Florida's Suncoast. Prior to succumbing to his lifelong yen to write, he earned degrees in history and law from Mercer University and was a board certified civil trial lawyer based in Orlando for thirty-eight years. In his youth, Terry served three years in the U.S. Army, much of it as a medic in an Armored Cavalry regiment on the East German border.
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Having done that, be prepared for a lot of entertainment. Unlink most modern potboiler authors, Mr. Griffin understands the subtleties of the English language, though he pops in an occasional "laying" in place of "lying."
Bottom line, if you don't mind being faced with bodies scattered around the territory, these stories are just plain fun. His descriptions of southern Florida are right on the money and well crafted.
It's all a very good read.
IMO, it starts a bit slow as there's a lot of head scratching in this complicated list of characters.
However, once we get to trial, it moves like a freight train, I suspect Mr. Griffin knows something about courtrooms. (In a good way)
If I were to nitpick, I'd would have toned down the romance between Royal and JD. We seemed to be constantly reminded of their sex life and it didn't add to the story.
Lastly, all the good guys won, and the bad guys were punished, and the good guys all had high moral codes. In real life, the judge is not so noble, nor are the cops, and the lawyers often get away with lying.
Our hero ties it all up neatly with a bow. Unrealistic.