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Book Talk: James, ‘Time of Justice’

“Time of Justice” (2020, 312 pages in paperback format) is Book #1 in Robin James’ new Mara Brent Legal Thriller series. Mara is a prosecutor in Phil Halsey’s District Attorney office. She’s known Denise Silvers since her first day on the job, and has promised her justice. Denise was found 20 years ago in “God’s Bowl,” which is Tucker Welling’s favorite fishing spot on the Maumee River. It’s kind of a natural bowl that has formed at the base of a small waterfall where fish collect. On a fateful day two decades ago, Tucker found Denise’s body, beaten, raped, and so broken that she’ll never walk again.


Finally, a DNA analysis has identified Neil Shumway as Denise’s assailant, and Mara wants the case assigned to her. However, Phil seems reluctant to do so, probably because her husband Jason is running for Congress and the publicity might cause a problem for Mara and/or Jason. However, Jason’s unfaithfulness has already damaged the marriage, although Mara still maintains a civil attitude toward him for the sake of their son Will. Will is something of an unexplained mystery. I couldn’t decide if he were an autistic genius or just an intensely-focused introverted boy.


At the D.A.’s office, Kenya Spaulding is jockeying for the position to prosecute Shumway, who is suspected to be a serial rapist and killer of at least two other women. However, Mara has seniority and badgers Phil to give her the case. When he does, she asks Kenya to be second chair. Mara and Kenya know that they can’t bring up any of the other cases that they know about; they can try Shumway only on Denise’s case because their only hard evidence is the DNA match. And, they must face off against a bulldog defense counsel, Matt Orville.

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