2 out of 4 stars
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The Judge: Part One and Two by Ian R B Morris is a crime thriller set in 1990’s London. The story unfolds over two parts: Part One consists of a brief Prologue followed by twenty-two chapters, and Part Two is made up of thirty-one chapters and an Epilogue. The narrative revolves around the character of Peter Ritchie. Ritchie is a solicitor who lives an ordinary life with his girlfriend Naomi Brahman, who is also a solicitor. After one of Ritchie’s clients dies suddenly, Ritchie becomes involved the deadly game of investigating the trail of clues behind the murder. This novel is a fast-paced mystery with themes of violence, deception, prostitution, the taboo of homosexuality, loyalty and betrayal.
The Judge: Part One and Two takes readers on roller-coaster of a journey with many unexpected plot twists and turns. Morris employs omniscient narration which effectively provides a fascinating insight into the inner thoughts of the characters: almost every chapter contains a shift from memories of the past to present-day. This page-turner reveals some fascinating insights into the hypocrisy of the legal profession and the inner workings of the prostitution industry. There are some well-written descriptive passages which aid in creating a dark atmosphere of constant unease and apprehension. Cloaked in ‘death, decay and disease’, Morris’s use of triplicate alliteration to convey the discomfort of the hospital works to swamp the senses of the reader as well as the character of Peter.
Although this novel did keep me guessing until the very end, I am afraid to say that I did not enjoy it. I disliked it because I found the dark themes contained in this book distressing to read. I particularly disliked the graphic descriptions of violence against the character of Naomi. The only aspect that I did enjoy about The Judge: Part One and Two is the author’s portrayal of the bond of loyalty that exists between several of the characters despite the torturous circumstances.
Overall, I rate The Judge: Part One and Two 2 out of 4 stars. While this novel is gripping and suspenseful, the violence in this tale did not make for a pleasant reading experience. I noticed more than several grammatical errors and poor sentence structure, thus indicating sloppy editing.
Even though I did not enjoy this novel, I would recommend it those who are fans of the crime mystery thriller genre. I would hesitate to recommend it to those are easily offended by or sensitive to violence.
The Judge part 1 and 2
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