Justice: A Great Word
I learned that if you ask a writer for a story about justice, you get all kinds of books and genres. But mostly when you say the word "Justice" you get mystery and crime fiction.
And that was fine by me. To be honest, that's what I thought of when I started putting together a bundle of books with the theme "Getting Justice."
Turns out the concept of justice isn't so easy to define. I know, I ended up looking it up. The most common term in the many definitions is "fair." For example, the best definition in my mind for the idea of justice is "the quality of being just, impartial, or fair…"
But when you add the word "Getting" in front of the word "Justice" it brings up an entirely different form of story.
For example, in Diana Deverell's powerful novel HELP ME NORA, an ex-con lawyer named Nora works only for convicted felons, trying to get them justice in whatever form that takes. This novel is the first in a six-book series of legal thrillers that will keep you reading for weeks.
Now Diana's novel was what I had thought of when I started with this bundle. But then along came Carolyn Rowland's novel THE METER'S ALWAYS RUNNING, a story of taxi driver Trisha Reede trying to solve the death of a former passenger and get justice. Along the way Trisha gets help from a spirit, and not the help she wants.
Justice and crime and ghosts can mix just fine and Carolyn does it wonderfully. And so does R. W. Wallace when she writes the first novel in a popular short story series I publish every issue in Pulphouse Fiction Magazine.
BEYOND THE GRAVE, a novel about a ghost detective, confined in the borders of a cemetery, getting other ghosts justice by solving what happened to them in life. And why they remain as ghosts. A powerful story and the first book in a coming series.
Next up, Kari Kilgore presented me with an amazing novel of Victorian Fantasy and Crime. INDEPENDENT BY MEANS OF MAGIC is the first book in Kari's "Odd Society" series of novels where sometimes misdeeds just can't be explained by normal methods. A wonderful novel of fantasy and justice.
In Marcelle Dube's haunting and tense novel SHELTER, a woman running from her abusive husband finds shelter in an old home that has secrets of its own. Justice gets very complex for both Ash Gantry and the home itself. A great read. Very tense.
Justice can also be the simple act of solving a crime to get the victim justice. Robert Jeschonek solves a crime by using music in DEATH BY POLKA. Lottie has an unbeatable talent to use music to solve crimes. But digging deep into the small-town world of polka can turn up a lot more than justice. This is maybe one of the most fun and original crime books I have ever read.
On a completely different note, Kris Nelscott's novel STREET JUSTICE gives us a hardcore look at 1969 Chicago. Justice in those streets in that time period had a harsh truth about it, and Nelscott's award-winning style and her character Smokey Dalton let you see the truth like no other. You are there. Hang on.
I added a book of my own in this bundle because my Cold Poker Gang mystery series has a focus on finding justice for those impacted by cold cases. In the stand-alone novel ACE HIGH, retired Las Vegas detectives find real justice, but not in the way you might expect.
Annie Reed explores how sometimes heroes can provide justice. In her amazing collection UNEXPECTED GOOD GUYS. Seven stories of quiet heroes who make a different and bring justice often to strangers they never met. Annie Reed might be one of the best working short fiction writers today, and this collection shows you why she has that reputation.
And lastly I added a volume of short fiction from some of the best crime writers working. FICTION RIVER: JUSTICE really explores a bunch more aspects of the word Justice.
I have to admit, that word Justice is certainly interesting. And very fun to read how authors and their characters deal with it. I sure hope you have as much fun reading this wonderful bundle of stories as I did putting it together.
And also, when you get this fantastic bundle, don't forget to add a little for AbleGamers.com, an amazing charity that provides gaming equipment to the disabled to help them survive in this harsh world. – Dean Wesley Smith
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