Cold Case Closure

by Patrick Ian O'Donnell and Charles O. Gaylor

"...when we finally nail someone whose managed to avoid prosecution for years, I know full well most of those crimes will go unpunished."

In what is essentially Death Wish meets CSI, Patrick O’Donnell and Charles Gaylor have a retired detective, frustrated by years of obviously-guilty killers escaping justice because there is not enough evidence for a prosecution, turn judge, jury and executioner. Relying on his skills as a veteran police officer, the protagonist successfully murders the criminals without any tangible evidence, until a slip-up alerts his son-in-law protégé to his mentor’s activities. As a result, the younger cop must choose between familial and professional loyalty and loyalty to Constitutional procedures. The result is a conflicted tale of justice and conscience versus due process and individual rights.

O’Donnell, a former teacher, and Gaylor, a former homicide detective, alternate between writing in a precise crime reporter style, supplying the reader with names, dates, and hard evidence, and an emotion-filled story of anger and frustration. As a result, readers are given an understanding as to why police officers despise the requirements of due process and how this rage can translate into vigilantism. Even the most civil libertarian of readers will find themselves cheering when the authors’ retired police officer corrects the injustice done to the killers' victims by executing the criminals. However, the authors also provide balance by having a by-the-book detective, who is the son-in-law of the vigilante, prove in one instance that due process sometimes works. The result is a superb suspenseful novel that plays fair with the reader by the authors’ refusal to take sides in this ongoing clash between vigilantism and obeying the law.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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