Justice Lost (Darren Street #3), by Scott Pratt

Nine stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Scott Pratt, and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

As a long-time fan of Scott Pratt and his work, I was pleased to receive an early copy of his latest Darren Street thriller. Having been through a great deal over the past few years, Darren Street is starting to revisit all the criminal acts that he’s committed, covered up just enough to keep him one step ahead of the authorities. That said, he feels a sense of vindication, having disposed of a few key figures who have left him feeling empty. Now he is able to turn over a new leaf, with his girlfriend ready to give birth to their daughter. As they arrive at the birthing centre, the doctor on call is not answering his pages and when he does arrive, he stinks of a distillery. Another doctor takes the lead with the delivery, which turns into something high-risk, as Street waits for news. Tragedy strikes and Street is again plagued with devastation, blaming the intoxicated doctor for negligence. When Street approaches the District Attorney General, his request for legal action hits a wall and soon learns that friends will cover for one another, no matter what. While his conscience is trying to tell him not to, Street must handle things in his own way. Additionally, Street is talked into challenging the District Attorney General in the upcoming election. While preparing for his big day, Street uses some strong financial and political resources at his disposal, but also realises that the county is riddled with corrupt officials. Knowing that Street will soon uncover their backroom dealings, some of these officials take it upon themselves to neutralise him. As Street seeks elected office, he must also dodge those who would see him face the verdict he has handed out many time before; death at any cost. Pratt does a masterful job in this third novel in the Darren Street series. Fans of his work and those who enjoy a darker thriller will surely find something exciting in this novel.

I thoroughly enjoy Scott Pratt’s writing and his unique approach to legal matters. He has developed a strong series that keeps the reader wondering just how far Darren Street will go to balance the scales once and for all. In Street, Pratt has created an interesting character, whose development has been quite dramatic in these three series books. While Street has faced adversity and taken things into his own hands, he begins to grow a conscience and has second thoughts about all the blood he’s shed. Building on the crimes that have plagued him before, Street comes to see how fragile life and his future might be if he does not change his tune. Filled with some interesting supporting characters, Pratt is able to shape the story in many different ways, as though there are a few mini-plots that all come together in the end. While I have criticised the vigilante lawyer presented in the first two novels, they have grown on me. A mix of legal matters and Dexter-like criminal activities, Pratt develops his story in an effective way, which entertains readers until the final pages.

Kudos, Mr. Pratt, for another stellar piece of writing. I have loved this newer series and will recommend it to anyone who has an interest in vigilante justice.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Justice Burning (Darren Street #2), by Scott Pratt

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Scott Pratt, and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

I have always loved Scott Pratt’s work, as he is able to get to the core of the issue while entertaining those who love a good legal story. Returning to add a second novel in this new series, Pratt reminds readers of Darren Street, who has been out of jail for two years. Falsely convicted after being framed by a vindictive D.A., Street found himself in the depths of despair while fighting for his freedom. During his incarceration, he encountered a man who sought to kill him, but who had the tables turned. Now, with Street free and back in Knoxville, retribution is on its way. Street learns that his mother’s home is targeted and destroyed by a massive explosion, killing her and leaving only a pile of smouldering ash. Street focuses the hated he has for the perpetrators and chases them down, killing them in a bar in West Virginia. However, Street does his best to cover his tracks, not wanting to serve any time. With this taste for revenge, Street turns his sights on some other miscreants who have done him harm and has them expunged. While he remains one step ahead of the authorities, his luck can only last so long. His son is pulled from his life, a new fiancée begins to wonder about his sincerity, and Street finds himself unable to ignore the devil on his shoulder. Every decision must be masterfully timed, but even the most wily criminals slip up, especially when they have help with their crimes. When will Street make that glaring error or push someone to rat him out? Pratt shows that he can keep readers hooked without all the fancy legalese in this novel that excels without trying to do so. Perfect for fans of legal and crime thrillers that seek to tackle the gritty rather than the silky side of the law.

Scott Pratt has proved himself to be a master in his own right. Seeking to get to the heart of the story, he offers up a wonderful cast of characters. Full of flaws, these men and women show off their true colours and allow the reader to relate. Struggles with love, life, and compassion come to the surface, while that evil vigilante spirit with whom everyone struggles emerges throughout the story. From there, a plot that feeds off the first novel and flourishes again here, Pratt does not seek to layer the narrative with high brow legal discussion, but rather a more realistic element. The ‘Clever Felon’ tactic serves this novel well, leaving the reader to potentially cheer for evading the authorities. However, one cannot completely condone the behaviour, especially as Street seems to be fuelled by his need to set things right in his own mind. Quick-paced, the story gains momentum in the early chapters and does not let go until the very end, using cliffhanging moments or ideas to push things forward. Chapters that flow easily through the reader’s fingers turns a quick reading session into hours of pure enjoyment. Pratt continues to show his fan base that they have chosen well in turning to him for their thriller fix.

Kudos, Mr. Pratt for another stellar piece of work. I thoroughly enjoy whenever I learn you have been hard at work and hope many others share my eagerness for whatever you publish.