It's 1976, Los Angeles. Sarah Collins, a young mother of two, is brutally raped and murdered at the Hollywood Reservoir. For 19 years the murder remains unsolved, and the case goes cold.
In 1995 the streets of Los Angeles are being terrorized by Jake Babbage, a traffic cop who uses his position of power to rape and murder innocent women. On his way to court one day, Babbage sees Judge Daniel Hart. The two recognize each other, and the terrifying night of 19 years ago comes back to haunt the highly respected judge. The aftermath of the encounter brings long-buried secrets to light and tests the moral fiber of Judge Hart, who has committed himself to protecting those victimized by the very crimes of which he is now accused.
©2015 Garret Holms (P)2015 Garret Holms
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"Almost classic good vs evil"
First I want to compliment Robert Martinez on his excellent performance.
Wow! What a good book this is. I am so surprised it has so few ratings, it SHOULD be on the best seller list. The two main characters knew each other at 15 and 20 years old. At that time the 20 year old (Snake/Jake) viciously slaughtered his girlfriend and promptly left town after warning the 15 year old (Chief/Danny) to keep his mouth shut or he would frame him. It almost becomes a fairy tale story for Danny after that because his solution to his guilt for not going to the police is to throw himself into his school work and become a straight A student. I don't want to just restate the synopsis and I don't want to spoil this for anyone but needless to say Jake did not take the high road and make his life worthwhile. The book turns into a battle of good versus evil with a great supporting cast of characters and many side stories branching off and sharing in a conclusion that satisfies the multiple story lines.
I don't know if this is a stand alone or if it will become a series but I could see it being developed into a series with Daniel Hart (Danny) being at the core. Either way I will be keeping an eye out for more books by this author.
Great listening, Highly Recommended.
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"Superb police and legal thriller!"
First, thanks to Audible listener Shelley who reviewed and recommended this novel. Her reviews have been a gold mine of excellent recommendations for me.
Great story with wonderful narration! Recommended!
Go Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50!
"Teeth Grindingly Awful"
Wheeee.... Everyone who can create a ping-pong point of view gets published today!! Garret Holms is a craftsman, but artless. It's as if he's created a wood collage but left out the glue so that the thing falls apart. Yeah I know, this is escapist literature, but escaping's treacherous in a flimsy vehicle.
Why did the publisher allow this to mess out of their factory? What's become of quality control?
There's not a probable character, major or minor, in this gaggle. Everyone's irrational, irresponsible, and well... dumb. I'd comment particularly on the hero... except I can't find one. Nor a protagonist for that matter. Who is this thing about? The semi-stupid detective Fitz? The moronic villain Babbage? Maybe the idiot judge? The terminally irrational siblings? Perhaps the inexplicably manic ADA? Or maybe its about the cast-of-thousands of supporting characters who individually commit only bad decisions?
Actually, until Chapter 20, "GOI" seemed to have promise when it rammed into that damned iceberg of irrationality. And sunk.
Okay, I listened to the end, but then I slow down to ogle car wrecks. I'm not proud of either of those things. Oh well, it's nice to know that in this age of challenge for publishing companies that they're still willing to publish anything or anyone... like Garret Holms. Who says there aren't jobs for everyone in America?
Oh, BTW, Robert Martinez reads this thing OK. I'm glad, at least, that "GOI" made work for him. I wish I'd read Paula's review before flushing a credit into "Grant of Immunity"- which is something Garret Holmes should have sought before this book purloined time and credit from me.
Wow!! What a book. It captivated me from the beginning. More often than not, I was cussing Babbage. The writer didn't miss any punches making him pure evil and to keep getting away with it. I would recommend this book to adults. The content is pretty graphic.
The most memorable moment for me was after Erin brother went to interview Babbage at his house and Babbage was feeding his snakes.
"A good legal debut crime novel !"
The drama has its roots in the past. Sarah Collins is murdered in 1978, a crime that connects two people, Daniel Hart and Jake Babbage. In the present day, Hart has become a judge and the Babbage is a police officer. Blackmail leads to court room drama, as Hart and Babbage become locked in a battle for revenge and justice. The story moves fast and is dark, suspenseful and graphic at times as the real "noir" have to be. The author -Garret Holms -is a Judge in "real-life" and this was evident in his attention to detail. My only criticisms revolve around the cleavage good vs bad which i found a bit naive and that makes the characters a bit superficial and stereotypes. Also, the end was predictable.
All in all this was a fun reading : will be looking for more by this author. Recommend to anyone who likes dark crime and courtroom drama
"A Pieced-Together, Odd Story"
In my view, this one is neither "superb" or "excellent" as other reviewers have proposed. It is a rather mediocre jumble of police and court procedures based on several VERY improbable premises. For example, why would/could a 15 year old boy who had witnessed a murder, proceed with his life (although "carrying a heavy burden"), earn a law degree and become a California Superior Court Judge -- NEVER reporting this crime? If Judge Hart is so moral and ethical as we are told, this oversight just doesn't fit.
And how could the sociopath who actually committed the murder become a respected police officer and subsequently, stalk his first murder victim's daughter? And then, Judge Hart (who used to babysit the new murder target and her brother) is stymied by the threat from the sociopath?
Sorry folks, it just seemed like the story was literally pasted together on the run -- adding facts from the past as they were needed to glue upcoming events in place. There were no really likable characters here -- rude, arrogant lawyers; bumbling detectives; indifferent judges; etc.
This one just didn't reach the threshold of "good" for me. In addition, the author threw in a plethora of vulgar, graphic scenes and discussions that really weren't essential to the story.
On a positive note, the performance by Robert Martinez was excellent!
"Intelligent .... Masterful .... Fast-Paced!!!"
This is author Garret Holms' first novel, he is also a judge and criminal trial expert. Robert Martinez performs an amazing narration. I've added him to my list of favorite narrators. This is a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it.
“The courtroom is the best stage for a gut-wrenching thriller. It’s where tempers fly and tensions flare. It is where the human condition is tested, the place where people unravel and try to become whole again as they defend their own versions of what they perceive to be the truth.” - Garret Holms
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