3 out of 4 stars
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The Re-Enactment Project (Book 1- Retribution) is a futuristic crime fiction written by K.O. Johnson.
Set in 2042 and told in the third person perspective, the book is about a murderer, Jeramy Latham, who is sentenced to death by re-enactment, where facilitators will act out on the guilty person the same crimes he perpetrated on his victim. The procedures would be televised to the world as deterrent to criminals.
In 2039, the citizens of America altered the criminal justice system and adopted a more Islamic code of law, death by re-enactment. After three years, Judge Eleanor P. Roosevelt sentences Jeramy Latham to death by re-enactment for the vicious torture, mutilation and murder of his wife Martha, making Jeramy the first to be prosecuted under the new law.
Captain Jedi Jackson, head of the Re-enactment Project, chooses the location for the re-enactment, the Retribution Studios, and hires those who will be involved called Facilitators. He comes up with five members including a female facilitator, Flo Meaux, who will perpetrate the crime, a director, Evalinda Snodgrass, who will film the re-enactment, her assistant, Bubba Canon, and an investigator, Benson Hardisee. They are later joined by Tyrone Goodman, who is in-charge of security and assists in investigations.
The book was fast-paced with enough back stories for a solid and exciting crime story. The mention of contemporary celebrities in the future setting added a touch of humor and levity to an otherwise serious and grim subject, while the romantic scenes served as a breather. The tone was casual and the writing was easy to read. The characters were so well-developed that it was easy to visualize expressions, gestures and even the manner of speaking, from easy banter to serious brainstorming. Jeramy Latham is the epitome of a criminal: disrespectful (to others and to himself), sarcastic, cold and remorseless. The contrast between Flo, the strong and independent woman, and Evalinda, the naïve and sweet girl, gave the team a balanced and more solid foundation. My favorite character was Tyrone, the reliable ex-Marine with a special gift.
However, I noticed several errors within the entire book. First, the book was riddled with misspelled words, missing words, missing quotation marks and incorrect use of words (like marshal instead of martial and thought instead of through). Second, two paragraphs from Chapter 3 were repeated verbatim in Chapter 45. Third, there were chapters without numbers while there were chapter numbers that were repeated (Chapters 58 and 73). Finally, there was a discrepancy in the time frame of one particular event. In addition, there were details which I think are unnecessary, but, which, I presume, may be continued and featured in the next book.
In view of the above, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is an interesting and exciting book which is difficult to put down. I recommend it to readers who enjoy crime stories and who appreciate a touch of supernatural. This book, however, contains gory details and obscene languages which are not suitable for young readers.
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