Imperfect Justice – Cara Putman – Hidden Justice #2 – Thomas Nelson – published 5 December 2017
To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.
Reid Billings thought he knew his sister—right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.
Thrown together in a race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl—and find a future for themselves in the process?
Imperfect Justice slowly builds from an intriguing start to a fast-paced ending, weaving together legal cases, journalism, romance, financial investment, and a murder investigation.
Attorney Emilie Wesley is finding it hard to believe that the woman she was helping to leave her controlling and abusive husband is the same woman who shot and killed her young daughter before killing herself. But that’s exactly what the press and police are saying about Kaylene Adams. Emilie wants to discover the truth, but knows it will be hard while balancing her work at The Haven, as well as her freelance investigative journalism work. When Kaylene’s brother Reid shares his own suspicions with Emilie, they begin to work together to discover the truth and protect Kaylene’s remaining daughter.
This book builds slowly. The first 100 pages provide a lot of information around the backstory and lead-in events and it’s not until after this first section that Emilie and Reid start to dig and the mystery really starts to unfold. It does make the first half of the book rather slow and a little hard to get into, but the suspense quickly builds after that. This lead in to the story also gives the reader time to become familiar with Reid and Emilie as individuals before they have much interaction.
I think it’s important to note that this book focuses on the legal implications of the case, rather than a traditional murder investigation. There is a cross-over and some similar detective legwork, but it doesn’t have the consistent thrills of a murder mystery. Instead, this book combines a number of aspects, most notably Emilie’s work providing legal council for those trying to find refuge from abusive relationships. Combined with this is Emilie’s journalism work, and the suspense that builds around her fear of a stalker who is getting increasingly attentive. A portion of the story also focuses on Reid’s work as a financial investor, which I quite enjoyed, along with the romance that develops between Reid and Emilie.
The romances also builds slowly and it’s rather sweet to watch Reid stumble around his growing awareness of Emilie. As they build their case together, Emilie can’t hide her growing respect for Reid, who shows a character much different from the abusive boyfriends and husbands she sees through her work at The Haven and with which she has had personal experience.
The title, Imperfect Justice, seemed to suggest that perhaps the ending wouldn’t be as satisfying as it could be, but I really enjoyed the ending, and found it to be a fulfilling conclusion to this intriguing book.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian mystery/thriller
Themes: Crime, lawyers, murder, abusive relationships, financial investment, stalkers, romance, relationships, domestic violence, journalism.
Published: 5 December 2017 by Thomas Nelson.
Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook. 352 pages.