Justice be Damned is a gripping by Rosemary J Kind, whom I have met many times at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. When I bought it, I did not realise that it is the fourth book in the author’s series, The Tales of Flynn and Reilly. I would probably have benefitted from reading the books in order, but there are brief links to the back-story that allowed me to catch up where necessary.
1870 – William Dixon will not ignore injustice. The Reese brothers have been released from prison and no one has been made to pay for the life they took, nor the damage they caused to Cochrane’s Farm. As his sister, Molly and her husband Daniel set out to rebuild their farm, William takes the fight onto the political stage.
Whilst his wife, Cecilia, runs Dixon’s Attorneys’ office in Pierceton, William begins on the campaign trail. He may not have the backing of the establishment, but his oratory is outstanding. The Fifteenth Amendment has broadened the electorate, but politics is still a white male preserve. William sets out to speak for those who have no voice. He stands on a ticket of equality and fairness. Lauded by some and vilified by others, everyone has a view on William Dixon and some will go to great lengths to stop his progress.
How do you fight for justice against those whose interests it does not serve? William Dixon is about to find out.
Justice be Damned is set in 19th century Indiana where William and Cecelia Dixon run the local lawyers office. Cecelia is, apparently the better lawyer, although she is not allowed to appear before the courts. Women still do not have the vote and Cecelia is active in her support of the women’s movement.
William’s sister, Molly, is married to his best friend Daniel Flynn. They run a fam on the outskirts of town. Their friends, Miss Ellie and James live at the farm and look after the Flynn and Dixon children.
As Cecelia’s interest in women’s suffrage grows. She, Molly and Miss Ellie persuade William to run for a seat in the House of Representatives and Miss Ellie speaks to her friend, the local doctor with a view to introducing William to the men he will need to know to have a chance of success.
Justice be Damned is well researched and is a well written continuation of the series. There are some twists along the way to keep the reader interested to the end.
It is a delicately told tale that is a compassionate study of love and loss in nineteenth century America.
Rosemary J Kind writes because she has to. You could take almost anything away from her except her pen and paper. Failing to stop after the book that everyone has in them, she has gone on to publish books in both non-fiction and fiction, the latter including novels, humour, short stories and poetry. She also regularly produces magazine articles in a number of areas and writes regularly for the dog press.
As a child she was desolate when at the age of 10 her then teacher would not believe that her poem based on ‘Stig in the Dump’ was her own work and she stopped writing poetry for several years as a result. She was persuaded to continue by the invitation to earn a little extra pocket money by ‘assisting’ others to produce the required poems for English homework!
Always one to spot an opportunity, she started school newspapers and went on to begin providing paid copy to her local newspaper at the age of 16.
For twenty years she followed a traditional business career, before seeing the error of her ways and leaving it all behind to pursue her writing full-time.
She spends her life discussing her plots with the characters in her head and her faithful dogs, who always put the opposing arguments when there are choices to be made.
Always willing to take on challenges that sensible people regard as impossible, she set up the short story download site Alfie Dog Fiction in 2012. During the six years the site ran, she built it to be one of the largest such sites in the world.
Her hobby is developing the Entlebucher Mountain Dog in the UK and when she brought her beloved Alfie back from Belgium he was only the tenth in the country.
She started writing Alfie’s Diary as an internet blog the day Alfie arrived to live with her, intending to continue for a year or two. It has now run for over ten years and is repeatedly named as one of the top ten pet blogs in the UK.
She now lives in North Yorkshire with her husband and dogs Alfie, Shadow, Wilma and Aristotle, the latter being Shadow’s wayward son.
She hopes you will enjoy reading her work.