Tuesday, 5 March 2013
Steeled For Murder (A Jesse Damon Crime Novel) - K M Rockwood
With a probationary position at a steel fabrication plant, Jesse wants to show he's useful and knows to keep his head down. Which is working out just fine until the midnight shift forklift driver, Mitch, decides to pick on the quiet felon. Keeping his mouth shut, he listens as Mitch accuses him of staring at his wife, that he's some sort of sex pervert. Thankfully Hank, the shift supervisor steps in and whisks Jesse off to his new task. . At 'lunch' he meets Kelly a woman he'd like to get to know but isn't sure what she thinks of his record. Regretting not standing up for himself a little more, Jesse works his shift until production stops - Mitch has been found dead.
Suspicion naturally falls on Jesse. And then the police turn up. Blinded by an injustice that happened against his daughter detective Belkins hones in on Jesse as the only suspect in Mitch's murder - despite the young man having a strong alibi. As he is forced to consider spending the rest of his life in prison, the young ex-prisoner resolves to find out who actually killed Mitch. However, he's in dangerous territory - one mistake and he'll violate his probation and will be back inside. Yet, the need to prove his innocence is much stronger and his subtle investigations lead to another world - abuse, money, fake identities and drugs. Will Jesse be able to clear his name?
With the main character almost as an antihero, Rockwood's gritty crime novel gets it hooks in right from the start. Told in first person, the story moves along at a steady pace giving just enough details. Jesse is a victim of circumstance yet being found guilty makes him a target and guilty of any misdemeanor. The author has managed to give explicit/vivid descriptions of the environment and surroundings without losing that first person narrative. Belkins is a nasty piece of work and although you know why he acts in a belligerent manner, there is still little sympathy. An absorbing crime story that shows you how life is for an ex-con.
A superb piece of writing, I could have read it in a day but forced myself to sit back and enjoy the easy style and characters this author has created. I felt quite sorry for Jesse, he fights to make his life better but when the law sees you permanently as doing wrong how can you improve? Thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this excellent story. Overall, a well written, moving and emotive tale. A must for all crime fans - a highly recommended read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author to review. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique.