If you’ve been keeping up with 2LWithIt, you’ll notice I have a thing for art, business, and cookbooks. While I still love these genres of books, I thought I’d mix it up and introduce my first review in the crime/thriller genre: Race to Judgment by Judge Frederic Block.
*FOR INFORMATION ON THE GIVEAWAY, SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM!*
I chose this title because it explores the legal world of due process, trial by jury, and the inevitable verdict-something I’ve become all too familiar with as I finish my last year of law school.
Race to Judgment takes a hard look at New York’s criminal justice system, namely Rikers Island, the largest municipal jail in the United States. If you’re a fan of the TV series “Law and Order,” you’ve likely seen quite a few scenes filmed here. TV trivia aside, Race to Judgment is, in Judge Block’s words, a “reality fiction” that is loosely based on a number of high-profile cases he heard during his twenty-three year tenure on the bench, including the Crown Heights riots and the trial of mafia boss, Peter Gotti.
While crime dramas are compelling on TV, the reality is there is a lot that goes unseen during a criminal trial. Corruption and racial tensions are only two of many factors that can influence a trial-and in this book, much like in real life, they do.
The book follows young attorney, Ken Williams, during a murder trial that turns out to be much more politically and racially-driven than he could have ever imagined. Williams’ character is actually based on real-life attorney, Ken Thompson, a former Brooklyn District Attorney that rose to notoriety by unseating an incumbent who had been involved in improperly-decided convictions. Williams also shares a real-life tie to the author himself, in that both are music aficionados. In fact, if you turn to the end of Race to Judgment, there is a songbook that’s included with lyrics and sheet music.
The crux of this novel rests on the realistic account of the intersection of race and politics in the law, and how one can overpower the other to create an imperfect legal system that convicts innocent people. Sex, scandal, coverups, and all of the juicy details in-between make this novel more than thrilling-it’s intoxicating. I really enjoyed the depth given to each character – there are no wallflowers or superfluous details, everything is important.
At the end of the book, Judge Block does delinate which scenes are based on real-life and which ones are fiction. I found this especially helpful, because it makes the book a little bit of a history lesson and a little bit of a fictitious murder-mystery, if you will.
Overall, I’d say this is a really great thriller if you’re looking for something to keep you engaged on a long flight, as an escape from the mundane work week, or just because.
* Giveaway is now closed, winners have been dm’d*
Last, but certainly not least, a GIVEAWAY is in order! This is the first one on 2LWithIt, and it’s a good one!
In honor of my first giveaway/as a belated birthday celebration on my end, Judge Block has signed TWO copies of his new book that I’d like to give them away to two lucky winners!
To enter: Follow 2LWithIt on Instagram & comment on any of my last three pictures with your favorite kind of book genre.
For extra entries, you can follow subscribe to 2LWithIt by hitting the follow button at the bottom of this page, follow 2LWithIt on Twitter, and/or leave a comment on this book review!
Winners will be messaged on Wednesday November 22, 2017!
Giveaway is open to all US residents. This is not sponsored or endorsed by WordPress or Instagram. 2LWithIt will pay for shipping books to winners at the end of the giveaway.
I received this book complimentary on behalf of the publisher, but all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. All photography featured in this post is my own unless noted otherwise; please seek permission before copying or reproducing the images.
To purchase a copy of this title, click here — Race to Judgment
Score Card: Cover Art 4/5 | Content 5/5 | Ease of Read 5/5
Book Stats: Race to Judgment by Frederic Block
Page Count- 356