Dark Justice, by Brandilyn Collins (Broadman & Holman, 2013)
When Hannah Shire and her elderly mother stop on a deserted road to assist the victim of a car crash, they’re pulled into a terrorist plot to take down the entire US power grid and send the country into darkness.
The victim passes on a message—and a warning not to tell anyone, even the police. With no idea what’s at stake or who to trust or what the message means, Hannah and her mother, Carol, are soon on the run. She tries to keep her daughter Emily out of it, but all the three are in danger.
The story is told in the first person from Hannah’s point of view, interspersed with portions of a hearing taking place after the fact, investigating police handling of the events. This builds the suspense and allows the reader access to information that Hannah doesn’t have.
Dark Justice is a high-stakes terrorist thriller, made more gripping because of the ordinary women protagonists. Hannah misses her dead husband. She’s not used to handling everything alone, and the strain of caring for a mother with dementia has her near breaking before the story even opens.
Brandilyn Collins does an excellent job crafting Hannah’s increasing strain and paranoia while keeping reader sympathy. The pairing of vulnerable characters with the high-stakes threat makes the threat that much more real in readers’ minds. This sort of attack could actually happen, and odds are that real-life people wouldn’t be able to stop it. (Does that mean Hannah, Carol and Emily succeed? I won’t tell.)
Best-selling author Brandilyn Collins is known for her Seatbelt Suspense® fiction. Dark Justice is her most recent release, available in paperback and e-book formats. For more about the author and her other books, visit her website.
[Review copy from my personal library.]