(Cover picture courtesy of GoodKindles.)
At some point in everyone’s life you experience hardships. John Fowler went from the highest of highs; great career in the FBI, beautiful wife, and a wonderful marriage, to the lowest of lows; alcoholism, his apartment exploding in front of him while his wife was inside, and leaving the FBI.
The Road to Justice – A John Fowler Novel, is the tale of a man’s redemption. This is the story of a man trying to rebuild his life after the loss of his wife, the attempt to rebuild his career, and the attempt to rebuild relationships with those he hasn’t spoken to since his wife’s funeral. I hope you’ll join me in his journey.
John Fowler was one of the top FBI agents until a year undercover in the mob turned him into an alcoholic and may have led to the brutal death of his wife. His old team needs his help and has brought him in for what they think is a two week old case. The case is actually over 25 years old and involves some of the most powerful people in the world.
John Fowler has returned to the FBI after a three year layoff at the request of his team to try and solve a murder that they are having little to no success with. John has been given the promise if he agrees to help; he will be given the case file to his wife’s murder and be allowed to work on it. The Road to Justice – A John Fowler Novel is the story of a man trying to rebuild his life after the loss of his wife, the attempt to rebuild his career, and the attempt to rebuild relationships with those he hasn’t spoken to since his wife’s funeral.
[Full disclosure: David Carner sent me a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.]
I’m not the sort of person that reads a lot of detective/thriller fiction, but I know many of the tropes and clichés from movies of the same genre. And let me tell you, David Carner uses very few of them in The Road to Justice, which really surprised me.
Okay, so you have an ex-FBI agent who quit after his wife died because of one of his investigations. At the beginning of the novel he’s forced by circumstance back into his old job and ends up deciding that maybe he should move on with his life. That sounds like a pretty standard formula in detective fiction. However, David Carner’s twist on this old trope is great. John Fowler actually has some depth and there’s believable explanations for his decisions, so they feel natural and not contrived at all. It feels like the characters, not the magical hand of the author, are pushing the story forward.
John Fowler’s a pretty good character, but the main appeal for me in The Road to Justice was the plot. It was everything an action/thriller novel should be: unpredictable and fast. Yes, you seem to have the old conspiracy reaching the highest levels of government trope, but again David Carner puts an unique spin on things. I couldn’t predict a lot of the plot twists and the fast pace of the novel kept me glued to my computer screen for hours.
Despite my love of the characters and plot I definitely have a bone to pick with the dialogue. THERE ARE TOO MANY CAPITALS AND EXAMPLES OF MULTIPLE PUNCTUATION!!!!!! I’m all for using capitals/italics/multiple punctuation for effect, but such tools become dull with overuse. And in an otherwise great book, David Carner has relied on these tools far too much. It gets pretty frustrating after a couple chapters or so, actually. The overall quality of writing was excellent, but the dialogue felt pretty stiff as well and there were some examples of you’re vs. your. Such things could easily be fixed by having an editor look over it.
Although the dialogue needs work, I’m actually looking forward to reading more books in the John Fowler series because David Carner is one of those writers that will only improve with time and practice.
I give this book 3.5/5 stars.