intriguing suspense thriller, now available as an e-book as
well as in paperback, begins with a mystery on the very first
page. The Honorable Judge Bob Maxwell is murdered inside his
garage. More mysteries soon follow: A defense attorney vanishes
after he successfully wins a case; a blood-filled police car
is found without its driver; and a known child rapist/murderer
is found not guilty due to a police error, just before he
disappears from a police van. Police detective Paul Friedman
frantically tries to piece these mysterious events together
to ensure these people are safely returned, but knows as each
hour passes the chances diminish.
As the police and families await word on the missing people,
a vigilante, who calls himself “Justice,” begins
the slow, calculated torture of missing attorney, Doug Lipton.
Strapped to a chair in a darkened room with knives attached
to the sides of his head, Lipton is presented a series of
choices to make, all of which have dire consequences for him
or others. Justice attempts to recreate the life-or-death
situations Lipton (and other defense attorneys who knowingly
gain freedom for guilty clients) faces on a regular basis.
This time, however, the attorney sees the immediate result
of his actions. He endures extreme physical and emotional
pain as Justice manipulates the game with increasingly higher
stakes. Jasper Davis, the murderous pedophile Lipton worked
so hard to defend, waits in a nearby room, often illuminated
like a stage with the attorney as the unwilling audience.
While Lipton is forced to play the deadly games with Justice,
Paul races throughout the Orlando, Florida, area in search
of witnesses, evidence, and clues in the rash of disappearances.
As evidence builds against his former partner, the missing
cop, Paul has a new mystery to solve when the district attorney
who worked on the Jasper Davis case also disappears.
The author has carefully crafted an intricate plot with many
interlinking parts. The overriding theme of justice is thoroughly
explored in this book. The Orlando setting, with its overlapping
of true crime and crime fiction, makes an ideal location for
this story. A fast pace, consistently interesting characters,
and a well-plotted story combine to make Fair Play an exciting
read. Some formatting problems and run-on sentences are distracting
at times, but do not detract from the overall effect of this
Leslie C. Halpern is the author of Passionate About Their
Work: 151 Celebrities, Artists, and Experts on Creativity,
Rub, Scrub, Clean the Tub: Funny Children's Poems About
Self-Image, and Shakes, Cakes, Frosted Flakes: Funny
Children's Poems About Table Manners.