Moral Compass Gone Astray

Who Needs Justice by Rex Bolt has a scary premise. On a personal level, think of what you might do if you were told you only had a few months to live. Many people would refer to or make a bucket list. They would pursue activities that brought them pleasure. This story is about a person who decides to redress wrongs done to him or ones he loved. Some of the wrongs were those suffered by Christian when he was in junior high school. Christian is trying to serve up revenge not cold to make up for a lifetime of perceived wrongs. And perception is subjective.

Christian begins with a list of ten transgressors so the author has much material to present in terms of character development. There are lots of backstories. One of the more interesting character segments involves the interplay between Christian and Ray (or Reynaldo). Ray hurt Christian in junior high school but when Christian tracks him down there is no immediate revenge. The form of revenge evolves slowly as their relationship develops.

The reader is pulled through the novel by the desire to see how each of the people on the list will meet their fate. That would make things too obvious so the author mixes things up in two ways. First, Christian modifies his hit list, not in a major way, but there are changes. Second, the plots to kill Christian’s offenders are intricate and multi-layered as far as planning. There might be the occasional impulse kill based on opportunity but these are not the norm. The plot, or subplots, drive the story.

There is one recurrent theme which detracts and seems to be a device for getting the interest of readers looking for titillating sex stories. Along with Christian’s acceptance that he can dole out death based on nothing but a whim, Christian propositions everything female in sight. He does not accept rejection and tries to use clever language and other ploys to get one and all to lie down. This device fills interludes between the planned kills but doesn’t seem to me to fit the storyline. Accept at least some of the rejection, Christian! It would be more realistic.

The story is interesting, nothing earth-shaking or innovative. I believe it deserves an Amazon rating of four stars. There is an underlying scary premise, as described in the first paragraph and it can be extended. With a verdict of terminal illness, how would a person act? How would a person’s values and actions change at age 80? A person with very little to live for, even without a medical diagnosis, might play out all the strange fantasies previously held in check by a moral compass. Extending this further, a person who perceives themselves to be living in a system without hope for an improved future might jump off the tracks of normality. Now think of the “unexplained” shootings which have become too common in certain societies. A story such as Who Needs Justice although not great literature can give us something to think about.

This is on sale at the Amazon site for USD 0.00. Not Kindle Unlimited; this is the sales price. Check this out to see if you like the author’s writing style. At 235 pages and lots of intricate subplots, it is worth reading.

 

 

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