Title: Judgment Day: A Novel
Author: Wanda L. Dyson
Publisher’s Synopsis: Sensational journalism has never been so deadly.
The weekly cable news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel—until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embellishing put her in hot water with her employers, putting her credibility in question and threatening her professional ambitions..
Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find an entrepreneur she is investigating, John Edward Sterling, unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, Sterling is dead, she has his blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator Marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiancé–the man she betrayed in college.
Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won’t cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she’s destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire of secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well-worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it.
I’d never heard of Wanda Dyson before I read Judgment Day, but I will be reading her next book, Shepherd’s Fall. This book is exactly the kind of book I enjoy reading. As I started reading, Suzanne (a reporter for a sensational “expose” type show) does an extremely sloppy job of “reporting” that made my skin crawl. At first, I was ticked at the author. After all, I wasn’t invested in the story enough to be lost in it, but it didn’t take me long. My anger transferred to the selfish, narcissistic reporter and then I followed the story, disgusted at the lies, corruption, and so-called justice that the book showed. And that is exactly how it should be.
Judgment Day is a fast-paced, story with numerous subplots that don’t leave you lost and confused. That alone is very difficult to accomplish. I thought I had one of them figured out (hard not to say which, but I don’t want to give away the story), but I was wrong. To be honest, I’m glad. The red herring was a bit cliche for today’s books, so the real “Story” in the book packed a much more powerful punch– an apt metaphor considering the number of physical attacks in the book.
This book reads like a suspense/thriller movie. You watch the scenes unfold, almost begging the characters not to enter the dark alley, the house, the woods. You want to become a champion against black market everything and political corruption.
In my opinion, the weakest part of the book is in the relationships– they seem a bit token. However, I don’t know if that’s a bad thing for this particular story. The plot drives this story and the vehicle is the characters. Characterization is brilliant. The fact that the relationships seem inserted because that is what you’re supposed to do didn’t really bother me. In fact, I didn’t even notice until I started thinking about it. I particularly loved that one in particular wasn’t explored until the last page.
Now, at the risk of being considered morbid etc., one main character really did bother me, though. I think it was a little too “neat and clean” that this one lived. I tend not to be of the “kill ’em off” camp, but I think the book would have had stronger impact had the one character died where appropriate. Then again, that character’s influence on that last page wouldn’t have happened and it was quite hilarious.
Wanda Dyson is a wonderful writer. If you like Mark Mynheir or Dee Henderson, you’ll love this gal. Get the book. Just do it.
This book was provided by Water Brook for review. The opinions are mine and unbiased by the free book. Furthermore, I like to share the wealth, so I will be giving this copy away. Just leave a comment and tell me if you’ve ever read anything by Wanda Dyson.
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