(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.