I recently featured Mel (M A) Comley on Linda’s Book Bag with a guest post and review of her jointly authored crime thriller The Caller with Tara Lyons. You can read that post here.
Today I’m reviewing Mortal Justice, a crime novella that is part of Mel’s Justice series and which will be released on 15th July 2016. Mortal Justice is available for purchase here.
A 12,000 word Justice short novella to be read between Cruel Justice and Impending Justice from NY Times and USA Today bestselling author M A Comley.
What would you do if you saw a stranger’s life in danger?
DI Lorne Simpkins and her partner, DS Pete Childs investigate a violent attack. Lorne becomes increasingly concerned when her star witness, Donna Moran, goes missing. She knew Donna was petrified, but has Donna just gone into hiding, or has she been taken by the offenders?
My Review of Mortal Justice
When Donna sees a man being beaten up in an alleyway whilst on her way to work, little does she realise how her own life will be in danger.
Not having read the other books in the Justice series I wasn’t sure if reading a novella that fits between two other books would work, but I enjoyed this fast paced and exciting story. It didn’t make any difference to me that I hadn’t encountered the main characters Lorne and Pete before, as I instantly got a good impression of their working relationship and enough of Lorne’s private life to feel an interest in them as people straight away. I’m now interested to go back and read the other books in the series to find out more, which I think shows how skilful a writer M A Comley is.
I don’t much like reading about physical violence but I thought the level of violence portrayed in Mortal Justice was perfectly handled. There’s a realism without gratuity that I really appreciated. I’d have liked more detail about the settings but understand that this is a bridging novella so space is short. I liked the variety of structure with lengthier paragraphs to provide sufficient plot and character detail to give depth to this well-written novella, and found the snappy briefer sentences really added to the tension and pace. M A Comley knows just how to keep the reader’s attention in a plot that doesn’t let up for a moment.
Alongside the crime thriller plot I thought the themes were an excellent, if sad, reflection of many aspects of today’s society. So often crimes are witnessed but not reported and the reasons the gang commit murder at the beginning are frequently those we read about in the press (though I don’t want to say more for fear of spoiling the story). There’s quite a lot to reflect on in this quick read and I think it’s impressive that M A Comley has been able to incorporate so much thought provoking material so subtly.
Readers who still expect a pacy and exciting read from their novellas will be delighted with Mortal Justice. I’d recommend it.
About M A Comley