First and foremost, a large thank you to Lara Coates for providing me with a copy of this novella, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.
Having discovered the wonderful writing of Lara Coates earlier this year, I was pulled into more of her work when she offered up this novella the other day (available to all those who seek to join her mailing list). While I adored I Am Justice, her debut novel, which serves as a police procedural and psychological thriller, there was something about the killer that left me wanting to know more. Coates filled this in, with a novella and gives the reader some context as to how the killer got to the point of turning serial in the aforementioned novel. Ethan Cooper only had his mother, after an alcoholic father forced them out of their home. While they did not have much, Ethan and his mother could rely on one another and the small amount of money they saved. One night, while out driving, they were hit by an out of control vehicle in a roundabout. The crash left the car mangled and Ethan’s mother ended up in a medically induced coma. The other driver got off with a slap on the wrist and Ethan watched his mother in the Intensive Care Unit for months, losing an eye and a leg in the process. When they left the hospital, Ethan refused to let anyone else help with his mother’s care. After finishing his schooling, he was forced to find work to support them. Ethan follows up on a lead and gets work inside the local court building. He sees the legal process as being anything but fair or swift. When the man who left his mother so injured is back in court, years later, Ethan watched the legal system offer a tap on the wrist yet again. It was time for some justice, that which only Ethan could dole out properly. A great novella that keeps the curious reader eager to devour this piece. Recommended to those who loved the first novel in the series, as well as those who love getting into the head of a killer!
I cannot say enough about Lara Coates and her work, which now includes a short piece that I can use between larger reading projects. As I have with her other pieces, I devoured this novella, eager to get inside the head of all its characters. While this is an interesting prequel to I Am Justice, so as not to ruin the intensity of the hunt for a killer by DS Will Carson, it would only make sense to read it after the fact. Ethan Cooper is given a great deal of attention here, with a strong backstory and some development throughout his life. Fuelled by wanting to protect his mother, Ethan’s action always have her best interests in mind. As the reader discovers, it is only when Ethan gets into a position of power than he can truly exact the revenge—the justice—that he feels has not been properly doled out through the courts. The other characters in this piece offer some great insight in to the protagonist’s life. Shaping and flavouring how Ethan will develop the interactions secondary characters have shine through effectively. I loved the idea of this novella, shedding light on one person whose core values may have been missed in the opening novel. Coates does this effectively and weaves a degree of compassion into his character, helping readers to care more than they might normally for a killer. As I have enjoyed everything that Lara Coates has penned to date, I am eager to see what she has next for series fans and those who are looking for a new thriller/police procedural series to enjoy!
Kudos, Madam Coates, for a great novella. You have a gift and I am constantly finding new things I enjoy about how you spin a tale.
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons