Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Stealing Justice: A timely, chilling, important read

Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code sold about a bajillion copies and got made into a Tom Hanks movie, which itself sold about a gazillion tickets.

Everyone read it. You read it. Catholics didn't necessarily tell their pastors that they had read it, except perhaps in Confession. The priests had no doubt read it, too. English teachers also read it. They winced, occasionally, but they kept on reading. The Da Vinci Code wasn't necessarily good literature... it probably won't be on high school reading lists a few generations hence... but, oh my, it was a page-turner.

Stealing Justice, the new book from former Cook County Circuit Court Judge Larry Axelrood, is a rip-roaring page-turner, too. But it's better written than The Da Vinci Code. By rights, it too should sell about a bajillion copies. I hope it does. (The above graphic, gleaned from Facebook, suggests it may be on its way.)

Set in a fictional, but very recognizable, Cook County, Stealing Justice is, in the broadest sense, a story about how even well-intended policies or programs can be hijacked or twisted for criminal purposes unless some people are brave enough to expose the frauds. The reader does not have to believe that anything similar is happening in our own real world in order to get pulled into the plot... and start... and keep... turning pages. To keep turning the pages of The Da Vinci Code, readers did not have to actually believe that Jesus married Mary Magdalene.

In a true page-turner, all the author needs is just a degree -- a smidgen -- of plausibility in order to grab, and hold, the reader. After reading Stealing Justice, probably faster than you intended, you, the reader, will decide for yourself how plausible its premise is.

I finished Stealing Justice a few weeks ago. I've driven by Superdawg and Caldwell Woods many times since; they're in my neighborhood, really. I'm not seeing them the same way recently.

Good books can do that to a reader. Stealing Justice is a good book. It is availabe on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, or through the author's home page.

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