Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sober Justice, by Joe Hilley (River Oak)

(Click cover for more information)


Mr. Hilley is probably tired of being compared to John Grisham. But, hey, there are worse authors to be compared to, no?

Sober Justice is a solid, well-written crime novel with an interesting spiritual twist. Our hero, Mike Connolly is a lawyer whose life is pretty much in the toilet. Hooked on gin, divorced, estranged from his daughter and living with an exotic dancer, he’s not the stereotypical protagonist in a Christian novel. Mike is assigned a case by a judge who considers it to be cut-and-dried: a black man with a felony record accused of capital murder in the death of a prominent citizen. But, as Mike digs into the case, oddities begin showing up almost immediately. As you’d expect, he embarks on a twisting and perilous road to discover the truth about the crime. His investigative efforts are both inhibited and, at the same time, oddly enhanced as he discovers himself —or perhaps better, is discovered (you’ll see what I mean)—at the same time.

Mr. Hilley takes us on an incredibly detailed journey through the city of Mobile Bay in deep South bayou country as you follow Mike’s steps in uncovering evidence and protecting his client from a corrupt legal community. We learn as much about the local environment of the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ as we do about the legal processes constraining his capital murder case. Intricately researched and intensely written, we sweat with Mike in the relentless heat and humidity of the Gulf coast, burn with frustration as he is beset at both the personal and professional levels by those who have no confidence in him, and muse with him as he wonders what God is trying to tell him through spiritual trials and revelations that come at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected ways.

This is a must-read for those who enjoy a good crime thriller coupled with a unique story of redemption. Sober Justice is the first in the Mike Connolly Mystery series. According to Mr. Hilley’s Web site, this book is currently out of print, but there are still some copies available by ordering through the Web site.

Great story. Worth waiting for.

7 comments:

Four Lights For Him said...

Oh wow! This one sounds very interesting. I have read several John Grisham's books and liked them. To say Mr. Hilley writes like John Grisham, that's a high compliment. I look forward to reading this one.

Bruce Judisch said...

Jennifer,

He does a great job of revealing the plot at a measured, believable pace--and it's a good story. Think you'll like it.

It's a 2004 copyright, though, which is why it's out of print. If you check the author's Web site (linked to the cover), you'll see he'll sign one for you, too, if you request it from his site.

Cheers! Bruce

Four Lights For Him said...

Oh cool! I'll have to check out his website then. :)

Four Lights For Him said...

Good morning Mr. Bruce,

I received a copy of Sober Justice in the mail yesterday. :) I wasn't expecting to receive it so quickly! Nonetheless, I'm very happy to have a new read for the holidays.

Merry Christmas!!

Love in Christ,
Jennifer ><>

Bruce Judisch said...

Jennifer,

Great! I actually heard from Joe Hilley, the author, who had seen my blog review. He said one of my readers had contacted him. I figured it was you. :-)

You'll enjoy the book. I have a copy of the sequel on the way to me, too. I'll let you know how that is.

Cheers! Bruce

Four Lights For Him said...

I finished reading Sober Justice Friday evening. What a great book! I really enjoyed it! And you were right about it being very similar to a John Grisham book. Mr. Hilley did an excellent job at keeping me on my toes. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

A friend of mine was asking about good books to read and I mentioned this one to her. She asked if I've read The Shack yet. I told her no but I've seen it at the book store. She said she thought it was good...especially if you keep in mind it's a fiction thriller book.

Bruce Judisch said...

Jennifer,

Glad you enjoyed the book.

I have The Shack sitting on my bedside stand, too. Not sure when I'll get to it, but it's on the "to-read" stack.

Cheers! Bruce