ForeWord Reviews

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Justice Betrayed

Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 2003

Television reporter Cassie O’Conner is described as “Mashed between truth and justice.” Since the pretrial hearing for Richard Welch, the Low Country Killer, she has been seeking the truth. A recent transplant to South Carolina, she notices the country folk who have set aside their farm chores to attend the hearing in the sweltering heat. Welch is accused of killing of Dan Colby, a police officer in the town of Winslow, and the townspeople have transformed the hearing into a picnic-like gathering. When Welch is whisked away before trial in a black car that takes “off like a coon being chased by a pack of dogs,” little does Cassie realize that this dead-end story may be the career-maker she desires.

Welch appeared to be mixed up in the drug trade, with connections to an East Coast drug cartel. Dan’s widow, Katie Colby, tells Cassie that Welch was wanted by the cartel because he knew who murdered certain Drug Enforcement Agents. Katie thinks Sheriff Kyle Ryder may have been involved. Cassie gets another lead in the case when Sergeant Brock Elliot, a boyfriend of Cassie’s who knew the victim from the academy, hooks her up with an informant from a topless cop bar. At the meeting place-the zoo parking lot- Cassie hears a popping gun, sees a figure running in the fog, and avoids a car screeching away. Human screams and animal howls drift on the wind as Cassie’s informant turns up dead.

The author uses his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and his thirty-year career in law enforcement, including his experience as a Chief Deputy Sheriff in North Carolina, to enlighten readers with his understanding of drug raids, conspiracy, and retribution. He describes deals bought with cash, information, and pain-paid for with loss of respect and even death. This action-packed, realistic view inside crime and law enforcement is reminiscent of Michael Connelly, but with a Southern drawl.