Friday, August 27, 2010

Review - Justified Sins by Brian Drake

 4 of 5 Stars

Available at Amazon

With its clipped writing style, this novella sets you on a bullet train of nonstop action and doesn’t let you off until the last word is read.  The story centers around Freddie and Sheila Webster and Sheila’s foster brother, Pierce.  Freddie is an ex-con who has promised his pregnant wife that he is done with his old life of crime, but with a baby on the way money is tight.  When Freddie is confronted with a proposition to make some easy cash, he makes a decision that sets into motion a series of events that he could not have anticipated. 

The story twists and turns with a full cast of ex-cons, mobsters, cops, politicians and a vigilante who goes about his business with a wink and a nod from the police.  On the surface, Pierce is the usual vigilante type—likes to play with guns and explosives and hunts bad guys, but throughout the story the author throws in snippets from his back story.  This is what captivated me. 

The life Pierce has endured fractures his soul one little piece at a time from the murder of his family, his stints in foster homes to his combat duty in war until his soul shatters and he’s nothing but an empty void that nothing can fill.  What happened to that budding artist who took hauntingly beautiful pictures? What did he see in the war that forever froze his heart?

You don’t always get such depth of character in a short piece of writing, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Pierce.  I slept on this review to see if my focus would change and as you can see it hasn’t.  So what do you say Mr. Drake, will you give us a story for Pierce because that’s the story I want to read.

Well done, Mr. Drake, well done.

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