Retire Mechanical engineer. Student at California State university Channel Island studiyingAbout Me

November 14, 2020


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Title: Appellate Judge
Subtitle: A Jack Ludefance Novel Author: Behcet Kaya
Publisher: Amazon Digital Pages: TBA
Genre: Fiction / Crime / Thriller Reviewed by: Jake Bishop

Hollywood Book Reviews

Tallahassee, Florida is the primary setting for this engaging murder mystery filled with twists, turns, revelations, and machinations, as a private investigator sets out to solve a crime that apparently has local police stumped. The crime is the killing of a judge. The P. I. is Jack Ludefance, somewhat of a sunshine state celebrity in his own right known for solving tough cases frequently, narrowly avoiding his own demise from time to time, and putting particularly bad actors where they belong, be it below ground or behind bars.

Ludefance is an ex-Navy pilot, originally from New Orleans, who still carries the scar along one side of his face that an alligator left him some time ago. The shamus is hired by the murder victim’s daughter to see if he can succeed where the Tallahassee constabulary has so far failed.

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It turns out that Cindy, the deceased judge’s daughter, is a bit of mystery in herself. She’s independent, occasionally quick to anger, and unknown to many, in the care of a psychiatrist. But she’s just the beginning of the judge’s family who are decidedly out of the ordinary. The judge’s widow is a vixen who, rumor has it, makes cougars look tame. After an initial grilling by Ludefance, as well as input from Cindy, it’s made known that she satisfied her sexual needs outside the marriage, both often and with multiple partners. There are also a couple of other daughters whose relationship with their father was far less intense than Cindy’s. Not exactly a King Lear scenario, but not Little Women either.

As the P. I. gets deeper into the case, he learns of all sorts of unexplainable situations and any number of potential suspects. When the judge was killed, he was in his courthouse chambers supposedly impossible to enter or exit without being noticed, yet no one was on camera or seen by other building personnel. In addition to his wife’s lovers, and former individuals he had pronounced judgement on, other suspects are members of the musical judge’s string quartet, one of which is an ex-con. Plus a giant pharmaceutical company, with shady ownership, who had a case pending before the jurist. And when it comes to motive, initially robbery was ruled out because nothing seemed to be missingbut perhaps something quite valuable really is missing.

Author Kaya does a first-rate job of keeping the pace of his novel moving at a satisfying speed—not so fast that it’s hard to keep with and not so slow as to impede interest. He creates supporting characters that are as entertaining as they are necessary to plot development. Not the least of which is a computer hacker slacker and a sumo sized gangster with access to otherwise virtually unknowable information. He’s created aprotagonist, Ludefance, who is pragmatic, rugged, and human, without being a typical genre cliché. His prose is easy on the intellect and his dialogue snaps when necessary but avoids overindulgence in tough guy speak.

Appellate Judge is one in a series of Jack Ludefance novels. It’s an entertaining yarn that aficionados of the genre will likely enjoy. Those who do will also be glad to hear that another, Murder In Buckhead, is on the way. This Ludefance fellow may well be someone crime and mystery readers can easily get used to spending time with.