SILENCED JUSTICE 5 Stars!
This book captured me, lured me in and wouldn't let go until I reached the last page. For a cop turned author, Broadmeadow knows his way around the written word. Having never visited Rhode Island, I was fascinated with his description of the people, their quirks and oddball sense of humor. The story is a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat wanting to know what happens next. I love the characters, particularly Lt. Josh Williams. He's definitely one of the good guys while not averse to stepping out of the box to get the job done. I wish I had read Broadmeadow's Collision Course first so I would have the whole back story going in to Silenced Justice, but it is certainly not necessary to understand and thoroughly enjoy Silenced Justice as a standalone book. I do hope we see Lt. Williams return in future books because I have a feeling Broadmeadow is just getting started.
~ Linda Thompson, Host of TheAuthorsShow.com
Joe Broadmeadow's second novel Silenced Justice impressed me with his skillful plot lines and masterful writing. His story is original and interesting; his characters believable. He has created a worthy and very believable hero in Lieutenant Josh Williams. If this book is any indication of the books he has yet to write I think we're going to hear a lot more from Broadmeadow. Great book, great story. If you are looking for a well written, clever plot that leads to a great story then I recommend reading Silenced Justice!
Joe Corso (corsobooks.com)
Josh Williams is a Lieutenant in the Special Investigations Unit of the Providence Police. The story, set in East Providence, Rhode Island, begins with an attempt on the life of Keira, Josh's wife, while she's driving his truck to work. As Josh begins an investigation into the two men responsible, his former boss, Chris Hamlin who now runs a private investigations company, asks him to look into an old case. The niece of one of the other two women who work with Chris, wants some information on her biological father. Darnell Grey was arrested in 1972 for rape and murder and was subsequently beaten to death in prison before he could stand trial. It's a chilling scenario of racism at its worst, combined with a tense and explosive prison system.
Darnell Grey was an angry man.The investigations intensify and the more Josh uncovers, the murkier and more dangerous it all gets. The Justice System failed, manipulating evidence and witnesses, and corruption is widespread. An unscrupulous and disturbing conspiracy is uncovered layer by layer, involving government, the police and organised crime lords. It's a horrifying but convincing sequence of events.
Rubbing his fist, wiping off the blood, he stormed out of the Warren Avenue Shell station. He would not be back. The rage, taking control of him once again, made sure of it.
His wife would not be happy.
He wouldn't let them push him around.Nobody pushed him around. He'd find another goddamn job.
He knew he needed to control this anger. Yet the nightmares haunted him still. Sounds of the Ia Drang Valley echoed in his head, robbing him of sleep, depriving him of any sense of peace.
All they saw was an angry black man.
Darnell Grey was an angry man, with good reason
I love the skilfully created, complex plot, with lots of strands all coming together in a great ending, leaving the way open for more. The characters are all well defined and likeable, or not as the case may be. The narrative and dialogue are believable (unfortunately so in the case of the 70s police and government officials) and realistic. I like Joe Broadmeadow's writing style, how he shows the evident camaraderie between Josh and his colleagues with sarcastic and humorous interaction. It's obvious the author knows his subject and setting which adds to the authenticity.
This book is reviewed for Rosie Amber's book review team and is based on a digital copy from the author. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review.
Book links ~ Amazon UK | US
From the Author
I have been writing since I was in Junior High School. I was fortunate to have a number of teachers that encouraged me to write, and more importantly, work at improving my writing.
I also love to read. For as long as I can remember, reading has been an integral part of my life. I average a book or so every day. I am a firm believer that to write well you have to read as much as you can. Reading is the best way to learn about good writing and bad writing.
I have read a number of books about writing. If I had to pick one I'd say Stephen King's book On Writing is one of the best. Ironically, I don't particularly care for the type of books King writes, but he is a great craftsman.
Why do we like to read crime novels and do they have a particular form?
I think reading crime novels is the literary version of looking at a car wreck. Bad things intrigue us. I think everyone at one time or another has wondered if they could commit a crime. The brilliant robbery, the great heist, or perhaps even the perfect murder. For most of us, it is the closest one can get to an actual crime scene.
As to form, I think the form is secondary to the story. I mean, there is a crime, an investigation, sometimes an arrest or other conclusion to the story. Since it really is true that there is "nothing new under the sun" it falls on the author to make the characters interesting and believable and to make the story plausible. Nothing ruins a crime novel faster for me than when an author paints an unrealistic scenario to end the story.
Having spent 20 years as a police officer, working with all levels of law enforcement, the reality of crime and the criminal justice system is often misconstrued.
Are you a plot or character writer?
Character, character, character. As I said, writing crime novels there isn't very much unexplored territory. It's the people in the story, how they interact with each other, their actions and thoughts, that make a great novel.
Blending great characters with an interesting story makes for a great book.
When I read a book, I usually enjoy the ones that give me a character to love and admire as well as one to despise. That is great writing. When people talk to me about characters in my books, and refer to them by their first names, then I know I've written something well.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
This is more of a practical problem, rather than creative, but I have to force myself to write and not edit at the same time. Spelling and grammar errors make me crazy. If I see one I cannot help myself. I have to fix it.
What's the biggest mistake you've made as a writer?
I think in my haste and anticipation of publishing my first novel, Collision Course, I did not use enough external readers to help me edit. I have since gone back and re-edited the book, fixing the glaring errors, but I took an entirely different approach with the second novel, Silenced Justice.
I have a number of friends who are willing to read and edit with a very critical eye. I think some of them are still recovering from the influences of the grammar rigidity of the nuns from their Catholic school. One of them uses red highlight to mark the errors. The only thing missing is the ruler on the knuckles, but I bet they would do that, given the chance. It is a form of therapy for them and helpful to me.
In fiction as well as in non-fiction, writers very often take liberties with their material to tell a good story or make a point. But how much is too much?
Liberties within a story is often necessary to advance the story line. In crime novels, if one is writing a story about a crime in today's age, not taking time to understand the state of forensic technology, or how the courtroom and the law really work, diminishes the story in my eyes. The same goes for a historical crime novel. If you introduce DNA evidence into a Sherlock Holmes case you've lost me as a reader.
I recently reviewed a novel that opens with a courtroom scene. The novel was well-written, the story compelling, the characters likeable (and hateable if that is a word) but the courtroom scenes that opened the book and continued throughout the novel were awful.
What served as the primary inspirations for each of your novels?
For the first two novels, Collision Course and Silenced Justice, the main character, Josh Williams, confronts the issue of racism and racial profiling within the story.
My tenure within the department began in the late 1970's. I saw the tail end of the anti-war movement and the race riots of the 1960's. Racism among officers that I worked with was rampant and insidious. I wanted to expose the underlying nature of this attitude within what was an almost exclusively white profession yet also show that things are changing, albeit slowly and not without resistance.
Did you write your novels to express something you believe or was it just for entertainment?
As I said, my goal was to open a discussion about racism but also to portray a more human side of law enforcement. I think that a novel can both entertain and force people to think about difficult issues.
How much of you is in your novels and how much of your career in law enforcement has influenced your writing? As a follow up, are some or all of the characters in your novels based on people you know or met?
My time as a police officer exposed me to things that most people could never even imagine. I believe every writer brings his or her life experience into his or her writing.
It is funny, whenever I run into someone from my department, East Providence, or someone in Law Enforcement that I worked with, they all have ideas about whom the characters really are.
None of my characters are based on one person. They are a blend of the many people I met in my career. Some of the best people I met on the job were those that I arrested and some of the worst were those that wore a uniform. But overall, most of the officers and agents I worked with were dedicated and human.
I would add that most of the people I arrested were just humans as well;; few were truly evil. Although, there are those in the world that are truly evil.
I hope to expand beyond that genre. I am now working on a Young Adult novel involving Wizards and Dragons but with a local Rhode Island twist. Challenge myself a bit. I also have a collection of short stories in development.
What is next for Joe Broadmeadow?
Joe: As I mentioned, I have a Young Adult novel in development called Saving the Last Dragon. It will be out in December of this year.
After that, I have outlines for a new Josh Williams novel as well as a spinoff novel about the Attorney in the books, Harrison "Hawk" Bennett.
My next venture after that is working on an unfinished Science Fiction manuscript called S.E.E.D.
As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
I think you covered the main topics very well. If I had to come up with something I'd like to answer it would be "What has been the reaction of readers to your writing?"
Overall, the reaction has been great. Like any author, you cringe when you get bad review. While I have been fortunate not to have too many. However, out of the 5 of 6 thousand copies of my books in circulation, there have been a few.
I take solace by reading some of the bad reviews people like Stephen King, James Lee Burke, or John Grisham get. Not that I am comparing myself to them (yet) but it just reassures me that no one can write a book that pleases everyone.
In some of the more critical reviews, I have learned something. I tell everyone to write a review, good, bad, or indifferent. Honest reviews are always helpful, if sometimes painful.