Retribution: Dark Justice
by Steve Thornton
Trafford Publishing

"None of these images or memories was of happy things–of warmth and joy, love or tenderness. They were all foul and dark–reflections of cruelty and depravity, unimaginable horror and evil."

Thornton has aptly named his mystery thriller Retribution Dark Justice. This fast paced novel with a theme of injustice revolves around several criminals including rapists and a murderer who have successfully manipulated the system and escaped their deserved punishments. Various circumstances leave each perpetrator free to victimize again due to misdeeds, mistakes, or even incompetence in the criminal justice system. With hands tied, no justice can be dispensed by the authorities. Instead, an unnamed avenger (The Man) follows dismissed cases and becomes extremely dissatisfied with the injustice he witnesses over and over again. He takes it upon himself to confront, and then exact horrible, yet deserved, retribution for the innocent victims.

The author cleverly reveals the lurid details of each crime through a narration between The Man and the criminal as he is forced to recount, confess, and apologize for his transgressions. The Man dispenses his own dark justice which usually entails inflicting onto the perpetrator (who is now his victim) the same kind of torment that the real victim had to endure.

Retribution Dark Justice horrifies with the high level of cruelty and depravity of the despicable acts of the criminals who have (almost) gotten away with their unspeakable crimes. However, by the time The Man's identity is revealed, the author has drawn the reader into believing injustice must indeed be avenged no matter the means of retribution.

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