By David Lyons
Newly appointed federal Judge Jack Boucher is called into handle some of the cases of Judge Epson, who suffered a heart attack. He hears a twenty year old contempt charge on a scientist who subsequently asks Boucher for assistance. He claims he’s still seeking justice from a two decades’ old case involving a new form of energy and the CEO of an energy production company. While trying to deal with a waning relationship with his girlfriend, Boucher starts investigating the case and almost immediately runs into murder, corruption, and bribery. The case takes him from the heart of New Orleans to Massachusetts to the bottom of the ocean. With help from a New Orleans homicide and the scientist, Boucher concocts a scheme to exact long overdue justice. That is, if he can stay alive long enough.
Standard plot. A little bit different in that Boucher, a federal judge, gets to go on adventures. This is not a Grisham type novel set in the courtroom. This books takes you places.
Jack Boucher: Cajun, U.S. District Judge in Louisiana, father was a black Cajun, grew up on the bayou, lettered in football, basketball, and track at college. Stays in shape. Drives a 2004 Ford F-150 XF4 truck. Lives in the French Quarter, parents dead. Boxed in the Army. Widower
Bob Palmetto: Geophysicist, thin, sparse blond hair, talks to himself, close set eyes
Roscoe Fitch: New Orleans Detective, hangdog look, smokes and drinks but is trying to quit, wife died in Hurricane Katrina, doesn’t like his first name
John Perry: CEO of Rexcon Energy, black hair, mid fifties, married almost forty years. Has a stay-at-home 22 year old son he doesn’t like
Defined but standard and predictable characters. You know who the good guys and bad guys are and there are no surprises. Catch the small mistake with Perry – mid fifties (so I wold assume 55) yet married for almost forty years? Support characters are, again, interesting but predictable.
Except for a few French Cajun terms thrown around there wasn’t anything too exciting about the conversations. Sometimes, I had trouble knowing who was speaking because the author uses the word ‘he’ a lot when there are two or more people in the scene and sometimes it was difficult knowing which ‘he’ was doing action and speaking.
Fast moving book. Quick scenes. Nothing drawn out. Lyons describes pretty well the Louisiana/Cajun/bayou culture and setting. He likes poetry. Some profanity that was unnecessary. The major problems were: abrupt POV switches, unnecessary sentences that took the reader out of the flow of narrative. Many incidents of weak writing in that there was minimal attempt at depth in some of the narrative. Surface material. Even the sex scenes weren’t ‘hot’.