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Monday, July 11, 2011

A Cure for Night: A Novel by Justin Peacock

A Very Solid First Novel

Justin Peacock
The last two novels I read before this one were from solid "name brand" authors. And...they were disappointing schlock. Justin Peacock is a new author and perhaps because he is new, he has put some care into his work and created a strong book that I can easily recommend.

The title A Cure for Night comes from this little exchange between two defense attorneys:

"That's what the criminal law is: it's how the day tries to correct the night's mistakes. Most of my cases, people have done something they never would've dreamed of doing in broad daylight."
"What does that make us?" I said. "The night's janitors?"
"We're absolutely that," Myra said, sipping her cosmo. "What else do we do but clean up after it? That's why we'll never run out of work. Not unless someone invents a cure for night."

This gritty, dark book features a New York City Public Defense Attorney, Joel Deveraux, that has his own troubled past (with drugs) that has caused him to fall from the fast track in a big-time, big money law firm. Joel is working himself up through the system and he is tapped to be second-chair on a murder case that involves an inner-city drug dealer, a Jewish college student and a lot more.

On a real positive, Justin Peacock has gone out of his way to include correct-sounding dialects - the people from the projects sound authentic to my ear. Although I am not "in the life", I have taught in urban schools for  more than 10 years and Peacock's a lot more accurate than most of those that even bother to try to catch the dialect.

Fans of Robert K. Tanenbaum (Reckless Endangerment) will like this one.

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: A Cure for Night.

Reviewed on September 20, 2008.

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