A Darker Justice

3.92 avg rating
( 215 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780553582710: A Darker Justice

From the critically acclaimed author of In the Forest of Harm, one of suspense fiction’s most exciting new voices, comes a stunning psychological thriller, a novel of conspiracy and revenge and of a ruthless killer whose shocking reign of terror can be stopped by only one woman.

A Darker Justice

For Assistant District Attorney Mary Crow, the misty mountains of Little Jump Off, North Carolina, still echo with secrets hidden in shallow graves. Now, at the request of the FBI, she is called back from Atlanta to her childhood home for a matter both professional...and deeply personal.

Three federal judges are dead--victims of an assassin so swift and skilled in the deadly arts that the only clue left behind is his trademark black feather. The killer’s last victim was executed in a fashion so brazen, brutal, and horrifying, it even has hardened law enforcement officials rattled. They are desperate to protect the next suspected target-—Judge Irene Hannah-—but the stubborn jurist has adamantly refused federal protection.

It is up to Mary--and tight-lipped, hard-boiled FBI agent Daniel Safer--to protect her old friend and mentor as best they can. But the threat is much closer to home than Mary could ever imagine. When Judge Hannah disappears, Mary must follow her on a terrifying chase through the Carolina wilderness she knows and loves.

Deep within the beautiful and treacherous forest, a rogue killer and his army of “soldiers” are waiting. Soon Mary will have to confront a battle for survival in a place where there is no law and no mercy...only a darker justice.

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Review:

Penzler Pick, November 2001: One of the last year's most interesting debuts was Sallie Bissell's In the Forest of Harm, which introduced Mary Crow, an assistant district attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, who is half Cherokee. Crow had some unfinished business in that book. Her mother was murdered and Mary discovered the body, but the murderer was never brought to justice. She also had residual feelings for an old beau, Jonathan Walkingstick, with whom she resumed their on-again, off-again affair.

At the start of A Darker Justice, Mary once again is in Atlanta when she is called away from a friend's wedding to be told that her mentor and friend, Judge Irene Hannah, may be the next target of a vicious killer who is murdering federal judges. When the judge refuses to accept help from the FBI, the feds ask Mary to intercede on their behalf so that they can put agents on her land to protect her. Hannah will have none of this, but does accept Mary's offer to stay with her as a bodyguard. Then, in one brief moment, she is abducted from under Mary's nose. In a race against time, Mary and FBI agent Dan Safer must try to find her before she, too, is killed.

In an equally compelling parallel story, we meet Tommy Cabe and Willett Pierson, who attend Camp Unakawaya in North Carolina. Their life at the camp, which is part military, part orphanage, is hell under the rule of Robert Wurth. The lives of Tommy, Willett, and Wurth will intersect with that of Mary Crow in an explosion of violence when many of Mary's questions about her mother's murder and her relationship with Jonathan will be resolved.

While I was a great fan of her first book, Bissell has written a second that is even better. --Otto Penzler

From the Back Cover:

“Bissell's narrative drive should carry readers right along.”
Publishers Weekly


Praise for Sallie Bissell’s In the Forest of Harm:

“In the mode of Patricia Cornwell ... Bissell masterfully drives the plot with ... gut-wrenching suspense.”
The Asheville Citizen-Times

“A top-notch thriller.”
People

“Astonishes and impresses through complexity of characters, credibility of plot, and terrifying sense of menace.... [Bissell is] a writer who makes no compromises with reality and constructs a story of unrelenting excitement.”
Baton Rouge Magazine

“A nail-biting novel of psychological terror, survival, and loyalty and friendship.”
The Purloined Letter

“Hair-raising ... harrowing.”
Publishers Weekly

“Bissell tightens the screws slowly and expertly.... A shrewdly imagined female actioner, tailor-made for audiences who would’ve loved Deliverance if it hadn’t been for all that guy stuff.”
Kirkus Reviews

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