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Wednesday 13 September 2017

‘The Absence of Guilt’ by Mark Gimenez

Published by Sphere,
6 July 2017.
ISBN: 978-0-7515-6732-8 (PB)

A. Scott Fenney was a young United States District Judge and doing very well until he acquitted a black prostitute accused of murdering a white son of a U.S. Senator. Two months later she died of an overdose and Scott adopted her daughter Pajamae, he already had a daughter, Boo, and the two girls became almost inseparable. Scott became very unpopular and lost everything including his wife who left him for a golf pro.

Through hard work he becomes a federal judge but although it gives him financial security he finds the work boring. He then is given the case of deciding whether an arrested imam, Mustafa and his followers from the Masjid al Mustafa mosque in Dallas, should be allowed out of prison pending their trial for domestic terrorism. They have all been accused of being involved in a plot to blow up the Super Bowl in three weeks’ time and are suspected members of ISIS.

Pressure is put upon Scott to keep them in prison at least until after the Super Bowl game but without any evidence he feels he is legally obliged to release them on bail as there is no proof of their guilt. Should he release them or not? He doesn't know it but Scott's life is about to change dramatically, both his and his daughters' lives are in danger.

There is jubilation all round that the F.B.I. have foiled a plot to blow up the Super Bowl, but what if Mustafa and his followers are innocent, are the supposed perpetrators still out there and preparing the bomb? If so can they find them in time? A race against time begins to prevent the largest mass destruction and loss of life since 9/11.

A very well written and exciting book, the tension builds and builds and it is not until the last few pages that we learn the outcome. There is also an unexpected nice little twist at the very end, almost amusing.

Mark Gimenez writes very much like John Grisham, and this story will appeal to all those who enjoy Grisham's books. Highly recommended for all those who like a gripping tale.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

Mark Gimenez  grew up in Galveston County, Texas. He attended Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, and earned a B.A. in Political Science with honors. He then attended Notre Dame Law School in Indiana and earned a J.D. degree magna cum laude. He practiced law with a large Dallas law firm and became a partner. After ten years, he left to practice solo and to write. Mark lives in texas.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf  (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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