Blind Justice* was the first Sir John Fielding novel written by American Author Bruce Alexander Cook (pen name: Bruce Alexander). The series is eleven books long, and I look forward to happily reading them all. Unfortunately, Mr. Cook is no longer with us, having died of a stroke in 2003.
The book starts with a murder, which looked like suicide, and a non-grieving widow, who is adamant that the suicide is, in fact, a murder. When the recently orphaned Jeremy Proctor mentions the lack of gunpowder residue on the victim’s hands, Sir John Fielding realizes that the widow is right. There has been a murder. What ensues is a very fun series of events that don’t reveal the answer until the very end. Very, very good plot lines, with clues added in periodically. Some of them, so well placed, that they don’t become important until the story is all tied up.
It’s not all fun and games, of course. Jeremy’s father is killed in the early pages, leaving him homeless orphan. He runs off to London to escape those who would mistreat him in his hometown. Then there is the matter of Meg, who was sexually assaulted by the murder victim when he was alive. For much of the book, I had hoped that Meg was the murderer, just so she could get her revenge. She does get it, but not in a way one might think. Finally, Sir John Fielding faces the pain of losing his wife to cancer.
I really liked all of the characters. Alexander took time to develop all of them throughout the story, giving us a reason to pull for the ones we liked, and hate the ones we didn’t. All of this done, mind you, through one POV (Jeremy Proctor). One of my favorite characters is Meg, who was treated very badly by Lord Goodhope while he was alive. I love how Bruce fixed her circumstances and let her get her revenge. Of all the characters, save Jeremy, I felt most invested in Meg and wanted her to get her revenge.
In addition to being a good mystery, the book is also a well-researched reference for the language and customs at the time, as well as medical and court procedures.
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I look forward to getting to know Sir John Fielding and Jeremy Proctor better through the novels. It’s a series I will dabble in from time to time, like visiting old friends. I only wish the author were still around to bless us with more of his work. Easily a 4 out of 5 review.
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