New York Times bestselling author Diane Capri, probably best known for her "The Hunt for Jack Reacher" series, certainly knows what might captivate a reader and keep the person turning pages. That said, her Judge Willa Carson series is quite different and I actually prefer it on the overall. In part, that's probably because I'm not that big a fan of Lee Child's original series that features Jack Reacher. But never mind that. Back to "Night Justice."
The basic premise is straightforward and occurs very quickly in the book: Willa is driving home and strikes a man, leaving him dead, and Willa absolutely horrified. It all happened in a nanosecond, and it appeared that the man himself might have almost been shoved in front of her car. But that doesn't mean she can prove it. Meanwhile, because she's a federal judge and not particularly liked by her superior in the court system, she's immediately suspended when an intense investigation is launched. Willa can't work, and she's hounded by the media. She incessantly calls the primary police investigator, who is neither friend nor foe. When answers aren't forthcoming quickly, she does everything she can on her own to reach out to people who may be somehow linked to the pedestrian's demise.
As I said, it's a great storyline, and the novel is fast-paced and straightforward. No jumping in and out of time, or switching to multiple viewpoints. Willa is on her own and it's up to her to move the investigation along. As she does, she talks to a lot of people in an intent to understand what, if any, motives they might have had in causing a horrendous accident — if it was an accident at all.
The only element in the novel that occasionally made me want to grind my teeth was the author's overuse of describing many of the things that only rich people might actually relate to or care about. Willa and her husband, the owner of a high-end restaurant favored by celebrities and the like, are rich. Okay, fine. But do we really need to know every detail of what they eat, from the opening appetizers to the salads to the main course, etc? In my mind? No. Those details merely slowed the story down, as did Willa's own propensity to describe what she wore each day. It seemed like "filler" material to me, and not necessary to the movement of the story itself.
But that's me, and it's not a deal breaker for what otherwise is a genuinely good story with riveting moments. Judge Carson? You come back again in another story. Just leave your pearls at home and what you ate for dinner out. That's it. That's my only nit-picker. Your mileage may vary.
I love books with strong female lead characters. Judge Willa Carson is a woman in a predominately man's field, doing a great job, and still has brain power leftover to solve murders. This story tests Willa's faith in herself. I can't wait for the next book to see what Willa does!
The 11th and final Judge Willa Carson novel, Night Justice, is perhaps Diane Capri's finest and most fitting as her excellent character's swansong. An unfortunate road traffic accident on a wet and windy night sees Willa fighting not only for her professional life as Tampa's youngest ever court circuit judge, but also to save the damaged (by association), reputation of husband George's famous restaurant going down the pan with hers. Can she get to the truth, backed up by the results of the inquest and the help of her friend and associate Chief of Police, Ben?
Get your copy of this exciting, unputdownable, sure to be best-seller from the inimitable Queen of the Mystery Thriller, Ms Diane Capri and buckle up for a wild ride full of twists and turns, that will keep you guessing to the very end, in Night Justice.