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Justice Gone

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When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran's counselor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa's patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers get there first, leading to Darfield's dramatic capture. Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. N Lombardi Jr. is the author of compelling and heartfelt novel The Plain of Jars.

336 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2019

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About the author

N. Lombardi Jr.

3 books188 followers
N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People's Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Some personal comments taken from his user's profile:
Working as an engineering geologist has taken me to other countries as well, including the Gulf States in the Middle East, North Africa, and two years in China. My cross-cultural experiences allow me to adopt a world view, and form a major component of my writing, with the aim of spreading cultural knowledge to the reading public in an entertaining way. I also enjoy writing emotionally charged stories, and I often laugh and cry while writing them,lost inside the fictional world I create.

Politically, I am ardently against any war,regardless of the rhetoric used to justify it. Until we abandon war, the human race is fated to remain in a savage condition

I enjoy physical exercise, watching a well made film (I love Frank Capra), and of course reading a good book. I like to be in natural settings rather than an urban environment. I am also morbidly interested in following the dark side of covert machinations by the state, and geopolitics, the root cause of war.

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Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
October 21, 2019
”’Why did you kick in the television screen?’

Darfield put his head down, ostensibly because he was ashamed. ‘I don’t know, I wasn’t thinking, I was angry. I saw his face on the news, imagined those policemen pouncing on him, striking him with such...such violence. I was angry. Angry that a good man like Jay could have been...beaten to that degree...for no reason...saw those men just pounding on him...it was like we left the bowels of humanity only to return to the same fucking place.’”

Jay Felson, a veteran of one of our needless wars abroad, is homeless, standing on the street corner not causing any problems except making people uncomfortable with his presence, when he is beaten to death by six police officers. Depending on your political affiliation, you may think this is outrageous, or you may think he had it coming. The vast divide between those two positions tells us a lot about what is going on in this country.

I was in Boston several years ago on business, but I had a few free hours to see some of the historical sites. I was down at the Old North Church when this bearded homeless guy started urinating on the steps of the church. Before he could give his dick a last shake, a police van pulled up, and two cops grabbed him. They threw him up against the side of the van, and when he rebounded off the van back into them, they hurled him against the van again. This time he hit so hard it might have actually knocked him out, or he knew from experience to play dead. They then dragged him around to the back of the van by his arms. He lost his pants in the process. They picked him up and tossed him in the back of the van.

I agree, urinating on the steps of any building is rude, not to mention a national landmark. I was shocked by several things. First, was the quickness with which the cops arrived. Second, I was stunned by the level of violence that was meted out against an unresisting offender. Third, I was appalled that I didn’t have the balls to say something. The words...hey, take it easy, were on my tongue, but they never made it past my lips. I made excuses for myself. This isn’t my town. I don’t know the history of the relationship between this man and the police. The level of agitation the cops were exhibiting had me afraid that some of their anger would be used against me. It all happened so fast. I am a process thinker, and I was still running everything back through my brain as the van squealed its tires as it left.

So what do you do if you come across six cops beating the shit out of a man on the ground? Anybody have visions of Rodney King? People now feel they are doing their civic duty by pulling their iPhones out and shooting video of the carnage. It also makes for a great post on their FB page. In the moment, that doesn’t do much of anything for the man on the ground. I hope I never come across that type of situation, but I’m resolved, this time, to say please stop, please stop.

When the video of the cops beating Jay Felson to death is released, it creates a stir among the general population. Enough pressure is put on the chief of police and the mayor for the six cops to be fired. When three of those cops are shot down with precision and expertise, a statewide manhunt is issued.

”This killer is not only clever, calculating, and precise, but sadistic as well. With just one bullet, he inflicted the maximum amount of pain, a single gunshot wound could inflict, aiming at the edges of bones to cause maximum deflection with minimum loss of kinetic energy. In other words he deliberately shot them in a way that would rip them apart. And he went so far as to modify the bullets to ensure this.”

Who do the cops have in the frame? Who fits their profile better than Jay Felson’s war buddy Donald Darfield? He has the expertise. He has a motive. He is African-American. He has disappeared. It takes some courage from people during his dramatic capture to insure that Darfield is even alive for trial. After all, it is easier to prove a case against a dead man, especially a man who has already been used up by society and tossed aside.

There are a few issues for this trial that are beyond the scope of what most people in the audience at the trial will understand. It is an election year, and the judge’s slogan is…”Vote for Judge Tupelo, ‘cause he just don’t let ‘em go.” In a high profile case like this, which way do you think he will guide the direction of the case? The evidence by the prosecution is weak, but unfortunately in cases like this, a strong case isn’t always necessary for a conviction. It should be, but that is just the facts. This is a jury trial, and Nick Lombardi deftly and realistically guides the reader through the process of how they arrive at a verdict. I once had a judge tell me at a party that, if he is ever the accused in a court case, he will opt for a jury if he is guilty and judgment by a judge only if he is innocent. Roll that around in your brain for a while.

I’ve served on a couple of jury trials so I understand why the judge doesn’t trust a panel of his peers to give him fair judgment. It is difficult for people to leave their inbred prejudices at the door when they enter a courtroom, and believe me, when a jury is deliberating, you learn a lot about people in a very short period of time. The last jury I served on was a real clusterfuck. The accused walked into a bar, got into an altercation with an employee, and as he left the bar, he threatened to come back and kill everyone. Oops. With the new terrorism laws, the guy was screwed. The bartender locked the doors and called the cops, leaving a very compelling tape of a person obviously in fear of her life.

I was annoyed that no one except me took notes, and believe me, when we retired to chambers, it became readily evident that they really, really needed to take notes, because several people barely retained any memory of any evidence they were presented with. Some fell for the dog and pony show put on by the defense, which had nothing to do with the real facts of the case. The jury was split. I laid out my take on the case to everyone, and those opposed to my assessment quickly switched their votes. I was even more irritated that I was able to sway their votes so easily. Their convictions about the case were based on tissues of unsubstantial thought. People serving on juries need to take the job more seriously. A person’s life, in many cases, is on the line.

Fortunately, Darfield has the 62 year old blind lawyer and Vietnam vet Nathaniel Bodine as his lawyer. He has the experience and the charisma to turn a jury inside out. I like the way that Lombardi takes us behind the scenes to witness the discussions between Bodine and his team, and then we see how those concepts play out in the courtroom. Bodine will sometimes change his mind about a direction of questioning because he feels a shift in the dynamics. This is the difference between being a great trial lawyer and just being a good student of the law. I was on pins and needles as I watched the jury deliberate.

Needless to say, this book hit on a lot of issues that are important to me. It brought back some memories of my own experiences and delivered a courtroom thriller that kept me turning the pages.

I want to thank Nick for sending me a copy of this book all the way from Cambodia in exchange for an honest review. That is a dedicated writer wanting to find the right readers for his book.

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
Profile Image for S.P. Aruna.
Author 3 books70 followers
May 17, 2019
Blown away. That's what I was after reading this novel. Easily the best "new" book I've read this year, as it was published only 3 months ago.

I had to ask myself why I was so taken by Justice Gone. I came up with the following reasons:
1) The narrative is very cinematic, structured into scenes with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Scene after scene. Since I love films as much as books, this doubled the pleasure for me.
2) Character development - the author does this by showing, not telling. as the dialogue and behavior of the characters gave me a vivid picture of what kind of people they were. Together with a brief physical description, this was enough, without the need for pages of bio-data telling you who they were. This also added to the feeling that you were watching a film.
3) The courtroom scenes are among the best I have ever read. Meticulous research by the author (who I don't believe has ever practiced law) resulted in a realistic depiction of legal proceedings.
4) I saved this for last, as it is rather obvious from the book's description that the story is woven with the relevant social problems of the day. While one could guess where the author stands on the issues of homelessness, police brutality, and the social and psychological problems of returning combat vets, these topics are presented in a fairly neutral way, as if to say, this is what's going on, take it as it is.

I was pleasantly surprised, as I never heard of this author. Because I feel the book has universal appeal, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity, I am going to do something I rarely do - recommend this book personally to most of my Goodreads friends.
Profile Image for Vishnu Chevli.
650 reviews557 followers
September 11, 2019
Just like Vishnu I also started exploring newer genres and foreign authors. I try to grab as many opportunities as possible for the same. I first time heard something called a legal thriller when Vishnu told me about "Justice Gone" by N. Lombardi Jr. As I wanted to read something like this I grabbed the opportunity before any of our teammates give their concern.

The protagonist of the story is Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran counselor at New Hope Clinic who stand in support for Donald Darfield who is brought to trial for the murder of three cops. All of this fiasco started when a bunch of cops killed unarmed ex-veteran Jay Felson. Nathaniel Bodine was a blind lawyer for Donald Darfield and his future rest on his shoulders.

I have never read anything like this. Every character is written with finesse. From this book, two characters have become my favorite. One is Dr. Tessa Thorpe for her quick wit and the kind of aura she carries. Her dedication to saving the veterans suffering PTSD made her stand out. And the second character is Nathaniel Bodine. He reminded me of Harvey Specter from series suits. They both are different personalities but when it comes to the law they'll bite prosecutor so flamboyantly that you'll fall in love with the character.

This book also shed some light on prejudice for our PTSD veterans for lack of support towards them and carelessness of the law enforcement unit. This book will give you a ride emotionally and mentally, the twist and turns in the second half of the book are written craftily and I find this book sitting in various categories like a legal thriller, psychological thriller etc.

So all and all if you like reading a thriller and you haven't read this book then you're missing big time. My advice is to grab this book right now.

Detailed Review Link - https://chevusread.blogspot.com/2019/...

Author Interview Link - https://chevusread.blogspot.com/2019/...
Profile Image for Louise Wilson.
2,744 reviews1,616 followers
February 22, 2019
When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veterans counsellor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa's patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin and Tessa sets off to find him.

The author has done a terrific job in building the tension in this storyline. I was quickly drawn into this story. The story is told by the third person but sometimes tells us the events and the point of view from Tessa's perspective and some others. The characters, even though they are a mixed bag, are all credible. The author seems knowledgeable about the plight of veterans. There are parts of the story that felt a little OTT but that did not put me off. There is also some bad language that some readers won't like. The courtroom drama, well, I did not expect the outcome. There are plenty of twists in this edge of your seat read.

I would like to thank NetGalley, John Hunt Publishing Ltd and the author N. Lombardi Jr for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Robyn.
420 reviews97 followers
March 1, 2019
I don’t think there has ever been a book that has pushed my buttons within the first fifteen pages. I became so angry and for a moment I was afraid that any review I write would have been of me ranting. While I did calm down, I still found myself thinking back of news stories where police have been involved using excessive force. Even in my own city. Don’t get me wrong, I do respect police officers and I know for the most part they do their best to protect citizens, but you do have a few bad apples who think it gives them a right to be total jack*sses because they carry a gun and wear a badge. Okay, so maybe it's just a small little rant.

N. Lombardi Jr. has created a story that is virtually ripped from the headlines and so relevant in today’s world. Police respond to a call regarding a homeless man acting suspicious. What follows is truly heartbreaking as these police officers beat and subsequently kill Jay Felson, a homeless man who also happens to be a war veteran. Soon after, these same officers are met with their own brand of justice when a sniper takes them out. Local authorities issue a manhunt in search of a cop killer.

Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a therapist at the The New Hope Trauma Recovery Clinic is deep in the middle of it all as Jay Felson along with his friend, Donald Darfield were both of her clients and with Donald nowhere to be found, things start to not look good for him. When Donald is finally captured what ensues is a battle in the court for his freedom. Is Donald a cop killer or is someone else behind it all?

The characters in this story are so well fleshed out. My favorite character by far is Dr. Tessa Thorpe. She cares for her clients and stands up for them when many others may not. She is caring and genuinely wants to help. Is Tessa flawed? Yes and No. She does have an issue in her past regarding law enforcement and in a way it also makes her more sympathetic towards others, but on the other hand she can sometimes get too involved. Another character I really connected with is Nathaniel Bodine, the defense attorney for Donald. Nathaniel is blind and I can’t help but feel he is a symbol for the phrase “Justice is blind.” Even though Nathaniel is disabled, he is a force to be reckoned with and he is a beast in the courtroom.

One thing I would like to mention and am also grateful for is the author, Lombardi, never injects his own political beliefs into this story. I often times find that some authors always take a jab at the politics of today and inject their own narrative and for some readers that may work, but I tend to get really annoyed as an author truly doesn’t know what a reader is going to think or even agree with. Lombardi takes a hard look at ALL angles and leaves it up to the reader to make a choice on their own. For this I really applaud N. Lombardi Jr.

Part legal thriller and part mystery/suspense, Justice Gone will draw you right into this harrowing and heartbreaking story. I could NOT put this book down at all and found myself really relating with the story. Justice Gone is loosely based on a true story and Lombardi makes reference to this in the beginning and I felt it really made this story more personal for me and more real. This story deserves no less than 5 stars and I could not find fault with anything written between the pages. Absolutely brilliant!
Profile Image for Linda Strong.
3,880 reviews1,636 followers
March 4, 2019

It starts with a phone call. A bar owner sees a homeless man on the street. The police are told that he's been checking doors on cars parked on the street.

Two cops show up and ask for back up. The homeless man is not armed. A total of 6 cops take him down, beating and tasering him relentlessly.

The man who is now dead is a war veteran ... highly decorated.

The power that be decide that this case must be addressed and put away. They come up with a plan .... send the case to the Grand Jury .. but come back with no verdict. The cops will be suspended temporarily with pay.

But then the media ... and the public ... learn there was a recording of the entire incident and the police have it in hand.

There are protests and marches and media questioning the police. The man's' family is going to sue .... where is the justice for this young man who survived war time only to come home to be beaten to death.

And then 3 of the cops are killed .. and a cop killer holes up in a cabin ... just waiting.

Dr. Tessa Thorpe is a veteran's counselor. She was the victim's counselor and she's also the counselor for the cop-killer... and wartime friend of the deceased. Who will get to him first .... angry cops or Tessa and an ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine.

What happens when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?

Dr. Thorpe is a well defined, finely drawn character. She's compassionate and not always as professional as she should be. There is a trauma in her earlier life that she also has to deal with on a daily basis.

This book takes a long, lingering look at the justice system in this country. In recent years, we've all seen the headlines .. the war between cops and the public .... sometimes a racial divide. Shouldn't cops be held to a higher standard? Isn't there a better way to treat the homeless, those with mental illnesses? It's a complex issue of right and wrong and the author takes us from end to the other.

Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. N Lombardi Jr.

Many thanks to the author / Roundfire Books / Netgalley for the digital copy of this Psychological Drama. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Profile Image for Shalini.
2,506 reviews199 followers
February 22, 2019
The captivating highly engrossing plot, the flamboyance and flair of the defense lawyers, and the plight of the war veterans homeless and suffering from PTSD all caught me in an emotional fray from which I was loathe to escape.

The story was thus, a homeless man was beaten to death by cops, public wanted cops to be prosecuted, a sniper killed the cops, an innocent man was arrested as the cops had no suspects, the lawyers embroiled in a legal drama to prove him innocent ==> hung jury with mistrial. Then came a revelation...

Every scene written by Nicholas Lombardi produced a visceral reaction in me. The emotions drawn left me vanquished. The mystery and the drama were well played. The plight of the war veterans touched my heart so deep that I was speechless after the book was done. I was in a state of turmoil.

The scenes which affected me the most

Police brutality on a homeless man on a call from a bartender who didn't know the truth - the way they brandished their batons and hit that poor man, 6 cops against a lone unarmed man who called out for his father, just about chilled me. They pulverized him so much that he was just meat with no recognizable features. I won't be able to sleep for days now!! HE WAS A WAR HERO!!

Legal drama - one of the best in recent times made me sit up and follow every point made my visually impaired Nat Bodine. There was an excitement in the air when he entered the scenes. I loved the psychological analysis he conducted on every person and he was not above using reactions from people on his side, including Tessa.

Plight of the war veterans - soldiers sent to unnecessary wars who return back less than what they were along with the mental torture and nightmares - they made my heart laden with a heaviness that seemed to seep right into my core and stay in my bones.

This is one book which will stay with me for a long time. Nicholas Lombardi has taken a relevant topic and the social issue and wrapped it cleverly in a fictional tale which is probably neither fiction nor a tale just the HONEST TRUTH about JUSTICE GONE.
Profile Image for Reading Badger.
124 reviews26 followers
March 24, 2019
I must confess that I didn't have any expectations when we first received this book from John Hunt Publishing. It didn't speak to me, so I just postponed the moment of reading it, over and over again. When I actually started it, I was surprised how easy to read the novel is and that it took me less than a weekend to finish it.

Read more here:

"Justice Gone" is an easy to read book. Even though it is a thriller, this book is suited for everyone. What I like most about it is how it is structured and how you get to have a second thought about everything related to the story.
Profile Image for Elaine.
3,355 reviews103 followers
April 21, 2019
What starts with a bar owner trying to get the police to move on a homeless man results in that man, a decorated vet, being brutally beaten up and killed by the police. This triggers investigations, recriminations, political shenanigans and unrest, soon to be followed by the shooting dead of three of the officers involved in the man’s murder. Now, with a man hunt to find the killer, can justice be delivered or will it forever be gone?

This story deals with the many aspects of the judicial system and with those involved in endeavouring to treat vets suffering from PTSD. Dr Tessa Thorpe is a veteran’s counsellor who has been involved in the treatment of the initial victim and several of his fellow vets. She is drawn into this intriguing search for the serial killer and into working with those seeking to clear one of the vets, Donald Darfield, of being the shooter of the officers. The lawyer involved is Nathaniel Bodine and, although he is blind, he proves to have added insight into those involved. As more revelations of the history of those she works with unfold, the plot has plenty of twists to keep you guessing right to the end. It is an intriguing murder mystery with great characters and filled with suspense. Will the real killer be caught or has the chance for justice gone?

The story highlights the issues relating to the levels of care, support and treatment needed but often not available for military veterans. It also shows how public protests can help shine a light on potential injustices and help trigger more appropriate detective work but that can only be successfully concluded when those involved are seeking the truth and not someone to be their scapegoat…. An intriguing and very different contemporary legal thriller!

I requested and was gifted a copy of this book which I chose to read and this is my honest review after doing so.
Profile Image for Sue .
1,650 reviews97 followers
November 9, 2019
This is a ripped from the headlines novel. It's about police brutality, veterans, PTSD, and homelessness in a story that is made even bigger by the news media. It's about people trying to make a difference despite the feelings of frustration that they feel.

The novel begins with a homeless veteran being beat to death by three police officers. The city officials decide that they will hide the fact that there is a video of the beating and they will protect the police officers. Someone else has a different plan and the three officers are murdered at their homes. A multi-state manhunt is started as they look for Darfield, a black friend of the murdered veteran since they were in combat together. The person with the most knowledge of both men's mental health is Dr. Tessa Thorpe who did psychological counseling for both men. She becomes very involved with the background behind the accusation and helping to find a way to exonerate Darfield. The main trial lawyer is a brilliant blind attorney who has to prove Darfield's innocence and fight against the people and the media who have decided that he is guilty.

This book is very well written and is a good look at issues that are happening today. The characters are very believable and there is real tension throughout the book. When I read a book with a trial in it, I usually skip over the trial information but in this book, I read every word and learned a lot about the justice system. Dr. Tessa is a wonderful caring person and I look forward to future books in this series that involve her.

This is the best legal drama that I've read in a long time and I highly recommend it.

Thanks to the author for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Stanley McShane.
Author 10 books40 followers
December 27, 2018
This book delivers a knowledgeable albeit prejudiced punch in a bow to the plight of our PTSD veterans, both with the lack of support for vets as well as the state of awareness of our law enforcement bodies. The protagonist is Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veterans counselor, who decries the loss of one of her own, beaten to death, as she champions the support of Donald Darfield, close buddy of the vet killed by law enforcement in a less than enlightened confrontation.

This is an excellently drawn scenario, plausible to the point of eliciting ginchy reflex, and proffers major sympathy for the well-fleshed characters. Dr. Thorpe is largely the reason Darfield survived his heated resistance to the army of officers ready to take him into custody for the deadly sniper deaths of three of those officers. This narrative grabs you immediately and draws you into the psychological thriller that ramps up as it goes. The lawyer for Darfield is introduced and immediately so well developed you can see, hear, and be spellbound by his expertise in law, handicapped or not. You'd want this powerful "Ironside" on your side.

I was absolutely drawn into the emotionally supportive and intelligent Dr. Thorpe and loved the introduction and crafty legal manipulations of Nathanial Bodine and his daughter assistant and the sympathetic plight of Darfield. As this is to be the first in a series of psychological thrillers, I say grab this while you can as you will want to be glued into the next book of the series. These characters are strong and wily. The author knows how to craft his characters and it will become necessary for you to see where he is taking this.

I received this ebook download as an initial direct request from the author for a read and review and received through the publisher and NetGalley. Recommended as a not-to-miss thriller.

See my full review after 12/28/18 at https://rosepointpublishing.com
Profile Image for Devika Ramadoss.
91 reviews21 followers
September 16, 2019
Clearly this would be be my one of the best read of 2019. A clean and perfect legal adventure at its best. An intelligent straight forward legal sessions to get glued to the plot.

I had no idea where the story was taking me as I was enjoying the narration flow which was meant as it was meant to be. The composure of each character was surprisingly amazing even though they exhibited the stress which was on edge as story went through.

This is one book where I admired each and every character. Author was so sure about the characters where he portrayed them special. He made me to like the characters the moment they were introduced with the unique description or their ways. You cannot move or deny any characters of their existence, that powerful was the involvement of each character. Be cautious, Nathaniel Bodine is watching us through his intelligence. His presence and trials occupied the majority of story space which was absolutely stunning.

Don’t even try to miss a page related to the court trials,it was brilliant to the core. The language was simple but efficient. If I could say, I was literally present in the court room during the trials . There was no unwanted compulsion of twists or turns. I mean author didn’t push himself to put efforts in executing or adding extra thrills, Oh god he doesn’t need to actually. That much high score was the narration and story flow.

Overall “Justice Gone” is meticulous in plot and flow which grabs our attention in every way right from the start of the book. You cannot put this book down until you reach the end.
Profile Image for Danni (_forbookssake).
175 reviews20 followers
October 16, 2019
From the very first chapter, you are thrown into the action, and the devastating events that set the scene for the rest of the story. The violent death of homeless war veteran, Jay Felson, at the hands of the police, was extremely hard to read, and I don’t say that very often while reading. It really hits you, and makes you seriously think about the things that are happening in the world. To think that these types of acts are happening on the streets every day is absolutely heartbreaking.

Justice Gone is excellently written, and N. Lombardi Jr. deserves a round of applause for how he approached the delicate and emotional subjects of the book. Despite the seriousness of the story, the author also includes some light humour, which actually made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions, and I think this was exactly what the book needed to not completely break your heart. I particularly liked the character of Nathaniel Bodine, he is a very interesting, and well developed character, who brought an enjoyable side to the trial section of the book.

Justice Gone will have your emotions running wild, but there is no way you can put this book down. This is the type of story that will stay in your mind long after finishing the book. The subjects throughout are extremely important, and I really think that everyone should give this book a read.

I give Justice Gone an easy 5/5 star rating!
Profile Image for Anthony.
Author 31 books121 followers
January 24, 2019
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

An emotionally and politically charged thriller like no other, author N. Lombardi Jr. is set to release one of the most relevant and headline grabbing novels of the year with his upcoming release, Justice Gone. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran's counselor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa's patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers get there first, leading to Darfield's dramatic capture. Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. N Lombardi Jr. is the author of compelling and heartfelt novel The Plain of Jars.

The Review

My first reaction to this novel was simply…wow. Between the relatable and attention grabbing characters to the heartbreaking and straight from the headlines story and the vivid imagery, this novel truly came to life in ways few novels are ever really able to get to. The issues discussed through the character’s struggles, from homelessness and racism to police brutality and neglecting the needs of those suffering from mental health struggles (most notably in this novel war veterans), made this novel feel not only gripping and engrossing, but important.

The complex issue of right and wrong takes center stage as readers have to not only see the horrible crimes the police are able to commit against citizens, but the tragic cycle of violence that occurs when these issues are left unchecked. I recently saw an interview in which a student remarked that what’s moral and ethical is not always what’s legal, and this novel really brings this sentiment to life. At what point do we start standing up to immoral acts that are protected by technically legal tactics? Do we as a society share any responsibility for crimes committed due to these injustices or the lack of care for those suffering through traumatic mental health struggles? That’s what this novel delves into as the mystery behind the brutal killings of three cops slowly but surely get untangled throughout the book.

The Verdict

This is a must read novel of 2019! Full of edge of your seat twists and turns and a story that touches on the pulse of our current society, this novel excels in every way, delivering a story full of heart and emotion that doesn’t always pair with a good thriller, but in this case it does and then some. If you haven’t yet, be sure to preorder your copy of Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr (or grab your copy if you’re reading this after February 22nd, 2019), today!
466 reviews24 followers
November 18, 2018
Wow - what a great book!

I had very low expectations when I started this book by an author I had never come across before but it engaged me from the start and I found it original and moving.

The heroine is Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran's counsellor, who specialises in dealing with war veterans suffering with PTSD and how she copes with the situation when one of her clients is suspected of the revenge killing of three cops who beat another veteran to death.

The action is breathless but the characters are well drawn and credible and the author has a deep knowledge of and sympathy with the plight of veterans.

As if it was not already good enough, the second half of the book introduce us to the irascible blind lawyer Nathaniel Bodine who is a wonderful invention and mesmerising to see in action.

This is apparently the first of a new series and the author has set the bar extremely high.
Profile Image for Olga Miret.
Author 52 books233 followers
January 15, 2019
I am reviewing this book as a member of Rosie’s book review team and thank her, NetGalley, and Roundfire for providing me an ARC copy of this novel, ahead of its publication, that I freely chose to review.
This is not an easy book to categorise, and it could fit into a number of classifications, but it goes beyond the standard examples many of the readers of some of those genres are used to come across. When I heard about this book, my interest was piqued by several elements: the book features as one of its main characters a female therapist who has specialised in counselling war vets (many of them suffering from PTSD), and as a psychiatrist (and I did work with military personnel, although not from the US) I’m always intrigued by the literary portrayals of psychologists and psychiatrists and of mental health difficulties. There is a mystery/thriller element, and because I’m an eager reader (and writer) of those genres, I’m always keen to explore new authors and approaches. The novel also promised a close look at the US judicial system, and having studied criminology and the British Criminal Justice system, that aspect of the book was also intriguing. Could the novel deliver in so many levels?
Dr. Tessa Thorpe is an interesting character, and it seems that the author is planning to develop a series of novels around her. She is described as insightful and compassionate, with strong beliefs (anti-war), morals, and a trauma of her own. She is not the perfect professional, and at times her trauma affects her behaviour to a point that I thought would have got her into trouble if she were working in a different environment. We are not given full details of what has happened to her before, but the hints we get through the novel (where other characters in possession of that information refer to it) give us a fair idea. She is much better at dealing with others and understanding what moves them to act as they do than she is at dealing with her own issues, but that is a fairly realistic aspect of the book (although considering how insistent she is in getting others to talk about their difficulties, it is surprising none of the colleagues take her to task). What I was not totally convinced about was the fact that at some point she decides to support the vet going to trial accused of murder, and she leaves her practice and patients unattended for weeks. As she works in a private clinic and we only meet one of her patients, we don’t have sufficient information of her day-to-day tasks, and it’s quite possible that this is not a problem, but it felt counterintuitive to me. Tessa plays an central part in the plot in more ways than one, because although she is an expert in some aspects, she is totally new to what happens in other parts of the novel, like court procedures, and at those points she works as a stand-in for the readers, asking for clarifications and being walked through the process in detail.
The mystery and thriller elements, as I said, are dealt with differently to in many other books. The novel starts at an earlier point than many of the books that give advice to writers would recommend. It does not start in the middle of the action, or the crime (what the real crime is here is one of the main questions). We get the background to the events, down to the phone call to the police about a homeless man, which gets the ball rolling at the very beginning of the book. The police, who have been fed the wrong information, end up beating the man, a war-vet, to death. This causes a huge uproar, and we hear about the way the authorities try to sweep it all under the carpet, then the apparent revenge killing of the three policemen, the chase of a suspect, the hair-raising moment when he gives himself up (with some help from the doctor and others), and then we move onto the court case. There are moments where the book leans towards the police procedural, and we get plenty of details about the physical evidence, the investigation and those involved, we witness interrogations, we are privileged to information even the police don’t have, we get red herrings, and dead ends. The ending… there is a twist at the end, and although some might suspect it is coming, I was so involved in the court case at that point that I had almost forgotten that we did not know who the guilty party was.
I think this is one of the books I’ve read in recent times that best manages to bring to life a US court case, without sparing too many details and at the same time making it gripping. I will confess that the defense attorney, Nathaniel Bodine, is my favourite character, one of those lawyers who will happily cross the line for their client, and he seems, at times, a much better psychologist (and manipulator) than the doctor is. The judicial process is realistically reflected and at times it reads as if it were a detailed film or TV script, with good directions and fantastic dialogue.
And, we also follow the deliberations of the jury, in a few chapters that made me think of Twelve Angry Men, a play I remember watching many years back, although in this case we have a more diverse jury (not twelve men and not all Caucasian) and a more complex case. I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the novel as well, and I could clearly see the interaction between the sequestered jury in my mind’s eye. (It would make a great film or series, as I have already suggested).
The story is told in the third person by an omniscient narrator that at times shows us the events from the point of view of one of the characters, mostly from Tessa’s perspective, but at times from others, like her co-workers or members of the police force. At some points, the story is told from an external and fairly objective perspective (like the jury deliberations); although at times we glimpse the personal opinions of that unknown narrator. I know readers dislike “head-hopping”, but I was never in any doubt about whose point of view I was reading, and the alternating perspective helped get a more rounded view of events and characters. Although the style of writing is factual and to the point (some of the descriptions reminded me of police reports, in their matter-of-factness), that does not mean the book fails to produce an emotional reaction on the reader. Quite the opposite. Rather than emphasising the drama by using over-the-top prose, the author lets the facts and the characters’ actions talk for themselves, and that is much more effective, in my opinion.
I recommend this book to anybody who enjoys a mystery/thriller/police procedural novel which does not obey by the rules and is keen to engage readers in controversy and debates that go beyond a standard genre novel. (The author explains he was inspired to write this book by an incident not dissimilar to the death of the veteran at the hands of the cops at the beginning of the novel). The novel goes into more detail than most readers keen on those genres will be used to, and also follows the events from the very beginning to the very end. This is not a novel only interested in thrilling readers by highlighting the action scenes and ignoring the rest. Readers who always feel there are aspects of a story missing or underdeveloped will love this book, and also those who like complex characters (plenty of grey areas here) and a story that lives beyond the page. I also see book clubs enjoying a great discussion after reading this book, as there is much to debate and ponder. An accomplished novel and the first of a series that we should keep a close eye on.
Profile Image for Ritika Chhabra.
496 reviews52 followers
March 5, 2019
Follow Just A Girl High On Books for more reviews.

I received a copy of this book as part of the Outset Review Program.

"You saved my life...You know what that means? Now you are responsible for it."

Justice Gone
is the story of a man beaten down to death merely because he didn't have the money to own a house and had no work other than to deliver letters. It is the story of a man who is wrongly accused of the murder of three policemen who killed the homeless man on the basis that he is an African-American and the closest pal of the man who was killed. And then, how he finally wins his justice back but only because the real murderer comes out.

The first thing I want to say about this book is that it was a great read for me. Despite its bulky size, I was able to get it done within a day (well, thanks to my free weekend, too!) and it was rather enjoyable. So before anything else, I want to point out why I liked this book so much. And here we go!

1. The book reminded me a lot (and by that I mean, a lot) of To Kill A Mockingbird and anyone who knows anyone in literature knows how much of a compliment that really is.
2. It was of the injustice against an African-American only because of his colour. Mind you, that wasn't how it started. Instead, it started as the injustice against a "white" vet who returned with nothing but the horrors of his past. But the major part of the book is all about the injustice due to colour.
3. The writing style of the writer is impeccable. It kept me hooked throughout the part of the novel and despite the fact that I'm usually able to guess who the killer is, I wasn't able to identify him in this case. It was just so...not obvious.
4. The author knew what he was writing about. I say that because the horrors of the vets that he described were described with such intensity that I can say he knew what he was talking about.
5. The characters in this book were amazing, too! They developed as the novel grew and each of them had so many layers to them, especially Tessa (but then, that's obvious, isn't it?)

So yes, when I say I enjoyed the book, I meant it. The only thing that didn't work for me was that sometime, it seemed too much to handle. And by that I mean that there were many descriptions and it got a little boring because of that. But it was great nonetheless! So don't hesitate to give it a go. However, just remember that there might be a few violent scenes here so read it only if you are comfortable with that.
Profile Image for Marilyn.
10 reviews8 followers
January 14, 2019
From the title, one would guess that Justice Gone is a legal mystery, but it really is a lot more. From beginning to end, it evokes controversary and arguments that typically fill the comment sections of current news stories. Not surprisingly, the story pulled in my emotional side from the beginning, and it's pace never let up.

An event in a small town cascades into a drama that keeps unfolding and expanding before we finally arrive at the trial, where the author does a superb job of heightening the tension while at the same time gives one of the most realistic depictions of courtroom procedures I've ever read in a novel. Even the jury deliberation is expressed in the diversity of opinions that are fragmenting our society.

One of my favorite aspects of this novel are the characters, so vividly portrayed, you can practically see their faces and instinctively form opinions of them. One way the author does this is through his handling of dialogue.

I won't mention anything about the ending, except that you will be completely thrown off-guard.

So, if a novel has a keen plot, interesting characters, a brisk tempo and an imaginative ending, it has just about everything needed for an enjoyable read, doesn't it?
Profile Image for Karen Cole.
887 reviews115 followers
April 28, 2019
Justice Gone opens with an upsetting scene which sees a homeless war veteran, Jay Felson become a victim of police brutality. Although I knew it was going to happen, the build-up is almost unbearably tense, as the hot, humid weather contributes to a fractious exchange before inevitably leading to violence and eventually, tragedy. It's a frightening fictional representation of real-life incidents where members of the public end up dead after an encounter with the police goes suddenly very wrong. The public respond angrily but as always, the ensuing debate soon becomes polarised with those demanding justice for Jay, better support for veterans and fairer treatment for the homeless at loggerheads with supporters of the police and the Citizens for a Safer Bruntfield who insist their town can't afford to take care of the homeless or withstand the impact of their presence. It's an emotive subject and anybody who uses social media will undoubtedly recognise the dogmatic arguments which persist following such events. The online anger is understandable but there is a human cost beyond the loss of one life and Justice Gone is really about those left behind and how they respond to the death of Jay.
The book explores a number of themes beyond the use of excessive force by the police, including the desire for retribution and the divisive influence of the Press and social media but perhaps the most poignant is the treatment of PTSD in veterans. Jay had sought help, alongside his comrade and friend, Donald Darfield and there's a powerful scene which demonstrates how the bond between the two men was formed under fire - or as Jay describes it in 'the bowels of humanity.' The introduction of Dr Tessa Thorpe and her colleagues at the New Hope Trauma Recovery Clinic underlines the strength of that bond, as their fear when Donald goes missing after Jay's death is almost palpable. Here is a man they evidently care about - their affectionate use of his nickname, Shortstop, makes that obvious - but they are concerned as to how he will react to the murder of his friend. When three cops are expertly gunned down in cold blood, it's not surprising he becomes the number one suspect.
Justice Gone is really three stories in one; the first, The Incident follows the immediate aftermath to Jay's death, then The Manhunt sees the dramatic hunt for the cop-killer, with the initial suspect soon ignored as the police decide Donald Darfield is the perpetrator, particularly after he takes shelter in a remote cabin. This part of the book is fairly short and it's clear that the main purpose of the scenes here is to lead to the moment where Donald is arrested as the final part of the novel, The Trial is the longest and arguably most important section. However, there are still some nail-biting moments as Tessa desperately tries to keep him safe when officers enraged by the murder of their police colleagues finally catch up with him.
The trial is probably the most compelling part of the novel with the intense courtroom drama seeing Donald's fate lying in the enigmatic hands of the blind and controversial ageing lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. He is an intriguing character; a man who is clearly a gifted reader of people and situations despite his lack of sight but he isn't a particularly sympathetic man and Tessa struggles to trust him, knowing that if he fails, Donald faces the lethal injection. The detailed description of the court case, from the selection of the jury, to the presentation of the evidence by the prosecution and the response of the defence is absolutely fascinating. I desperately hoped that Donald would be declared innocent and found the scenes where the jury discuss whether they believe him to be guilty of the crimes he is accused of, to be an anxious read, particularly as they are all influenced by their own experiences and prejudices. The conclusion to the book genuinely surprised me and again served as a reminder of how violence begets violence.
Justice Gone is an intelligent and thought-provoking legal thriller which examines important contemporary topics that seem destined to become ever more pressing in this world apparently set on a course of conflict and anger. It is a moving and damning indictment of the treatment of veterans and the shameful covering up of acts of police brutality which ultimately benefits nobody, least of all the serving officers who risk their own lives protecting the public. I was engrossed throughout and look forward to future books featuring the principled and insightful Tessa Thorpe. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Ally Swanson.
279 reviews84 followers
April 23, 2019
This book was such an intriguing, suspenseful, thriller read that is truly ripped straight from the headlines!

This book is thought-provoking, compelling, well-researched, with complex characters, elaborate plot points, and touches on multiple topics including real-world issues.

I found myself thoroughly invested in the storyline and totally caught up with the character’s outcomes.

This book hit on one of America’s toughest tragedies that we are still working through today – the homeless population, especially that of our war vets vs. the police. It’s a very ugly battle and this book spares no detail on its case featuring this particular dilemma.

I liked the main characters, Dr. Tessa Thorpe, Donald Darfield, and his brilliant, witty lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. It was not hard not to get wrapped up and invested in these characters, especially that of Donald and wanting to make sure he is treated fairly, and that the actual guilty person goes to jail not just the convenient or most obvious person. I enjoyed the feisty lawyer, Mr. Bodine. I was curious to see what he had up his sleeve next. I couldn’t help but wonder if him being blind was a play on justice. I liked Tessa, but I wanted more from her. I felt she could be this strong, fierce character and I am hoping in her upcoming books she takes on a more powerful role.

I really like that this book takes real-life issues head on and allows the reader to easily connect with the characters and explore their take on the case. This would be a great book for book club as it would easily spark over many intriguing debate topics!

This book has a great storyline that flows, terrific writing style with detailed scenes, well-developed characters, is fast paced, and keeps you completely entertained through the last page.

I really liked the in-depth amount of research the author did while constructing this book. It was clear Mr. Lombardi Jr. was very familiar and well-versed on criminal procedures, legal procedures, war veteran disabilities, mental health difficulties, PTSD, police brutality cases, mass media, etc. The author provided so much detail and such vivid descriptions it made the scenes easy to picture.

There are some predictable scenes. However, there are still a few very unexpected twists and turns that you won’t see coming!

I enjoy police procedural books and I have to say this book did seem to fall into that genre too, while still staying true to its legal thriller category. Since this book spends almost half of its pages inside the courthouse there is still quite a bit of legal jargon, but thankfully it’s done in an entertaining, tasteful, and understandable fashion, and without being overly dumbed down.

Warning! There are some very intense, graphic detail scenes in this book. I have to admit it was a bit hard to read some of those passages, as they were quite dark, and I’ll be honest I did skim past a few of those lines here and there.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and would absolutely recommend it! I think all legal thriller, mystery, suspense, police procedural readers will like this book too! So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading - you won't be disappointed!

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**
Profile Image for Jessica Belmont.
1,483 reviews46 followers
April 23, 2019
If you haven’t read Justice Gone yet, stop reading this review, go read the book and come back. I know you have a TBR pile, but forget that. Pick this up and read it. It’s incredible and definitely on my favorites of 2019 list!

This is an emotionally charged novel. A fair warning, many of the scenes were brutal and are scenes that will stick with you. N. Lombardi’s writing is so magnificently realistic that visualizing these scenes was inevitable. Lombardi is a clever, talented writer that is able to draw out feelings as he delves into a very relevant subject and sheds some light on the justice system.

If you ignored me in the beginning of my review, I hope now you’ll go pick this up. It’s one of the best legal novels I’ve read to date. Highly recommended!

*I received a copy of this book as part of a blog tour with Rachel's Random Resources. All opinions are my own.*
117 reviews1 follower
May 3, 2019
What a great legal thriller with peculiar personalities and realistic themes full of court action.

I never heard of this author, but I am thrilled to read this book and will read more of him. Apparently this is the first one in a new legal and psychological series and I loved this one!

From the beginning to the end this book has realistic situations whom made me read to the end in one time. Tessa is a veteran counselor, with a troubled past and Casey her partner at the office,has some surprising secrets too. When their client, who was suffering from PTSD, has beaten to death by policemen the horror begins and was coming to a crescendo at the courtroom.
Shortly said.. Homeless veteran died, policemen dead and Donald, the friend of the homeless man is the perfect suspect. In the courtroom has to be decided what is the truth, but one day some new news is showing up. Of course the media is from the start till the end there with their truth. When I read this one I am guessing who really was the murderer and I was asking myself why sometimes justice isn’t done.

I admit, I like to read legal thrillers and by this one I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a hell of a good and sad story because, yes, you do, ask yourself if Justice Gone.
Next to the plot I think the author has created beautiful key players. I absolutely adored the blind Bodine, who is bold and clever. So this is a well- plotted legal thriller with realistic characters and themes that can come out of our world. I am sure, I am going to read the other ones in the series too. I Can definitely tell you to read this book, you won’t regret it!

Profile Image for Erik McManus.
305 reviews298 followers
March 1, 2019
Another legal thriller that really kept me on my toes. Right from the get-go, this book grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. It was about a war veteran that is wrongly accused of the murder of three police officers and the ensuing legal case that is played out in court.

Right away, you are drawn to Tessa Thorpe’s compassionate character. She really cares for her clients and works with them to overcome their PTSD (overcome may not be the best word, more like manage and deal with their PTSD). She gets caught up in a case where one of her clients is accused of murder and does everything she can to help.

I really like that this book isn’t afraid to voice how veterans are treated once they come back from war. In most cases, they are treated poorly and often have a hard time readjusting to society or attaining another job. These men and women should be honored in the highest regard for protecting our countries.

The best character by far was Nat Bovine (the defense lawyer). I’m not sure if the author intended to do this but he reminded me of Matt Murdock aka Daredevil because he was a blind lawyer that was very good at his job. All of his witty remarks were a nice touch too.

The ending was quite a shock. I thought I had it all figured out just to be thrown for a loop. This was a good thing because I love when the author can have me thinking one thing and then completely prove me wrong.

Overall, this was a great legal thriller with a steady pace that didn’t let up from start to finish.
Profile Image for Lori.
421 reviews10 followers
February 8, 2019
The author N. Lombardi Jr weaves together this physiological and psychological thriller by taking readers on a journey to places you wish you did not have to go. Along the way, Lombardi highlights many aspects, among them, is how environmental and cultural influences impact psychological factors when it comes to discernment and reaction.

The story starts with cause and effect. A look out a window and a false statement lead police officers to the location where they beat a war veteran to death. There is no indictment but we soon learn there is retaliation in the form of a revenge killing of police.

Dr. Tess Thorpe who specializes in counseling war vets suffering from PTSD has one client who is dead and another who is a suspect. Into the mix steps blind defense attorney Nathaniel Bodin.

This book is very well written. The dialogue is superb and I found myself emotionally charged - so much so - that I had to pause throughout to be able to continue.

In closing, this story is wisely told in the third person by a narrator which affords different perspectives allowing us to see there are many perpetrators and victims. And as a reader, you find you are analyzing conversations and reactions while watching the conclusion of Justice Gone.

I received the advance reader copy from the author for my honest review. And an interview with the author is on my book blog.
Profile Image for Grace J Reviewerlady.
1,733 reviews69 followers
February 8, 2019
I can hardly believe I've read this whole book - fast-paced with such a great story that I just seem to have raced through it in no time at all!

When a veteran on the streets of Bruntfield, New Jersey, is challenged by the police, despite trying to co-operate he ends up dead. Six police officers are caught on video and mass demonstrations follow. Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran counsellor who knew the deceased well, finds herself in the midst of events to come as the police target another veteran, one who has gone missing in the backlash.

Living in rural Scotland, this story is a complete shock to the system. I have, from time to time, seen similar stories covered on the news but not to the level of involvement this book brings. I feel as if I have been a fly on the wall in the American legal system and, to be frank, it has stunned me to the core. This is a gripping read, and a real eye-opener; the courtroom scenes are scintillating and the whole novel flows beautifully from beginning to end. The characters are skilfully crafted, and I look forward to more from this author. A very exciting book indeed, and one I recommend with gusto! And the ending - never, ever saw that coming!!

My sincere thanks to Nick Lombardi for my copy of his novel which I chose to read of my own free will. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
Profile Image for Happy Booker.
1,192 reviews67 followers
February 22, 2019
Justice Gone is a psychological thriller story. It highlights an event that happens in a small town and what unfolds as a dramatic and wonderfully set story discussing matters that we are facing in the world we live today. Three policemen are gunned down after a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by police.

Donald, a war vet is the beaten man’s friend and is caught by the officers and only Tessa and Nathaniel can possibly help him in court defending him from the fate others are so desperately deeming to pose on him for. The press is against him and the justice system is nailing him down tight.

The story discusses climate change and questions the legal system. It conveys the modern issue we face such as police brutality and how a war veteran feels. The characters were very easy to bond with and the scenes were written with delicacy addressing every moment allowing the reader to picture the situation clearly. Tessa’s personality as a counselor for veterans was very heartfelt.

The pace of the story and literature was superbly written. I appreciated the author using a strong female character. I believe what stood out to me from everything was the dynamic of the character interactions and how well the plot was put together.

I look forward to reading more from this author.
Profile Image for Erin Cataldi.
2,198 reviews80 followers
January 15, 2019
Fast paced and gripping, this legal thriller will grip readers from page one. When an east coast town experiences the brutal murder of an unarmed homeless man by six cops, people don't think it can get any worse. That is, until they find out that the homeless man was a war hero undergoing PTSD treatment at a nearby counseling center. Riots and protests break out nationwide. Tessa is one of the head honchos at the treatment facility and she was particularly close to Jay, the man beaten to death by cops. She's taking it hard, but not as hard as another one of her clients, Donald, who was a war buddy and best friends with Jay. When Donald goes missing and some of the cops are found shot to death, Donald becomes suspect number one. Deep down she knows that Donald would never turn into a vigilante killer, but at the same time... who did kill those dirty cops? Broken into three parts, this legal thriller will keep readers guessing. A wonderful look into a fictional man hunt and court setting that feels all too real.
4 reviews2 followers
December 22, 2018
Justice Done To “Justice Gone” / N. Lombardi Jr Tackles Dramatic, Real-Life Problems With Real Commitment
A very sad but entertaining novel about how hard it is to maintain fair play and get a judge and jury to decide right. Indeed, the book is a discourse about right and wrong from the beginning. It is also a book which depicts war as a brutal and ugly “pastime”, given America decides to fight its wars away from home. It presents an America full of danger – mental and physical. Its style is eloquent and the court-scenes spectacular.
With hardly any typos (except spacing between hyphenated phrases and a slip-up over “week” and “weak”), this fast-pacing novel is an excellent read and highly recommended.
Profile Image for Aleana Harris.
529 reviews8 followers
November 18, 2018
I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a engaging story. I like how it dives into PSTD and how much Veterans adure.

Dr. Tessa Thorphe is a veteran counselor. As she try to find out if her patient Donald is the one who killed three cops who had beaten a friend of his.

Tessa races against the clock to save him from a lethal injection and she get help from a blind lawyer named Nathaniel as they dig deeper they untangle a web of police brutality and the treatment of war veterans.
Profile Image for Amy Shannon.
Author 102 books120 followers
February 22, 2019
Powerful and Gritty

Lombardi pens a magnificent story in Justice Gone. This story is intense and filled with drama and violence. This story has many layers and plot points, and the characters have that great depth that lends to the telling of the story. "Alone, torture. With others, torture. Whatever you do, whoever you’re with, wherever you are, the torture doesn’t leave you." Lombardi shows a great, intense story that unfortunately happens in the world. Darfield is one character that soon won't be forgotten. I look forward to reading more by this author.
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