3 out of 4 stars
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The Judge: Part I and The Judge: Part II are two separate books read as one review assignment. Bobby Black is a male prostitute that was recently found murdered. Black was not just any prostitute. He was employed by London’s elite- those in power and with good reason to keep their liaisons with him a secret. These aristocrats did not know that Black kept diaries of the names and details of each of his encounters.
Suddenly anyone once close to Black is being watched. A few of his acquaintances have already become casualties, because of what they may know. The Judge, once a client of Black, is now being framed for Black’s murder, and he is not going to fall victim quietly.
Peter Ritchie, local solicitor (lawyer) and always one to help the underdog, will risk everything to determine who killed Black and to locate the missing diaries. Will he be able to save The Judge (Sir Justin Gordon Hodge, High Court criminal judge)? Now Peter’s life is being threatened. Can he stay one step ahead of the killer-since he doesn’t even know who it is?
This story captivated me from the very beginning. While the story does revolve around the death of Black, I was relieved to learn that prostitution was not a central theme. It was merely the external factor that made Black’s death so significant. In fact, there was very little graphic sexual content in these novels.
Morris did an amazing job on his character portrayal. Peter was always rebellious as a youth and did not change that persona upon becoming a solicitor (much to the dismay of his parents and later his employer). Readers will not be able to escape his humor or charm. I was also pleased with the portrayal of his girlfriend, Naomi, as well as that of The Judge. Even the stories of Bobby Black painted him as a fun-seeking, kind and likable guy.
In addition to the characters, I loved the way Morris lined up drama after drama in this dizzying saga where enemies become friends and allies secretly plot your revenge. He provided one twist after another. These books were so fast-paced that I was able to devour both of them over just a few days. I could find nothing to dislike about either of these novels.
Unfortunately, I did uncover more than ten errors in each of these novels. However, I can tell you that they did not at all interfere with my reading enjoyment. (No, I was not about to let something like an error slow me down!) While it pains me to have to deduct anything from these brilliantly written novels, I must rate The Judge: Part I and The Judge: Part II, both by Ian R B Morris, at 3 out of 4 stars each.
These books will appeal to fans of the thriller, adventure, mystery, and romance genres. Readers who love being kept on the edge of their seats will become immediate fans of these novels. Because there are occasional references to Blacks’ past as a prostitute, those sensitive to such material may wish to avoid these books, or at least skip over the offending references. I highly recommend purchasing both of these books at once. You will not want to wait a minute after concluding the first installment before diving into the second one.
The judge Part 1 and part 2
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