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Review: January Justice by Athol Dickson

Title: January Justice, The Malcolm Cutter Memoirs
Author: Athol Dickson
Publisher: Author Author November 30, 2012
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Action Novel, Suspense, Murder Mystery
Format: eBook on Kindle
Age: Adult
Pages: 701 KB (307 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars

Reeling from his wife's unsolved murder, Malcolm Cutter is just going through the motions as a chauffeur and bodyguard for Hollywood's rich and famous. Then a pair of Guatemalan tough guys offer him a job. It's an open question whether they're patriotic revolutionaries or vicious terrorists. Either way, Cutter doesn't much care until he gets a bomb through his window, a gangland beating on the streets of L.A., and three bullets in the chest. Now there's another murder on Cutter's Mind. His own.

ONE OF THE STRANGEST THINGS ABOUT THE CITY was the sudden way it disappeared around the edges. One minute you were down on Sunset Boulevard surrounded by glass and concrete, and the next thing you knew you were up on Mulholland Drive, alone in the rough country. From a high window or a rooftop almost anywhere in Los Angeles you could see the mountains, and there was always something ravenous up there looking down.

I was up among the hungry creatures, standing at the edge of a cliff, with Hollywood and Santa Monica far below me in the distance. One step forward and I would be in midair. I was looking down and wondering if Haley had considered how suddenly you could go from city to wilderness. Then I wondered if it was a distinction without a difference, if the city might be the wilderness and the wilderness the city, and maybe Los Angeles’s edges seemed to disappear so suddenly because there really was no separation between sidewalks and mountain paths, buildings and boulders. Up in the mountains or down in the city, either way the carnivores were in control.

I imagined Haley, out of her mind, running full speed off the cliff. I wondered what it had been like, that final second or two before she hit. Had she realized what was happening? Did she recognize the city lights below for what they were, or did she really think she was flying toward the stars? And did she think of me?

Stepping closer to the edge, I slid the toes of my shoes into the air. I looked down two hundred feet, toward the spot where she had broken on the rocks. I stood one inch from eternity and tried to imagine life without her. I could not summon up a single reason why I shouldn’t take that final step, except for one. I thought about the kind of animal who would drive someone to do what my wife had done. Predators like that were everywhere. I should know. I had trained for half my life to be one of them. I was hungry, looking down on the city. If I was going to live, the hunger would have to be enough, for now. But I would sink my teeth into him, sooner or later. I would do that for Haley, and for myself, and then maybe it would be my turn to see if I could fly.

I stepped back from the edge.

My Thoughts:
I loved this story! 
January Justice is a story with unscrupulous characters, who are ex-revolutionaries, desperadoes, criminals, kidnappers, and people who are experienced in firearms and bomb-making. At times I wondered who was truly trustworthy. I hoped the main character and hero, Malcolm Cutter, had the training and resilience and wisdom to know how to deal with them. 
January Justice is told from a first person voice, Malcolm Cutter. At times he reminded me a bit of Humphrey Bogart's character Sam Spade, in the movie The Maltese Falcon.
The main character Malcolm Cutter is a man's man. He is confident, bold, resilient. He's sarcastic, but charming. He's a thinker and planner, but he's also a man of action. He's methodical, but plans for surprises. His training in the military prepared him for his job as a chauffeur, and later bodyguard. I enjoyed reading a story that was full of action, and at the same time plausible and believable. So often an action type novel just doesn't seem like it could be anything other than fantasy type fiction. I'm hoping there will be a sequel to January Justice

Thank you to Partners in Crime Tours, Athol Dickson for my FREE eBook copy!
Every eBook received for review from Partners In Crime is given in exchange for an honest review.
The eBooks are the sole property (copyrighted) of the author and should not be sold, distributed, transferred, or exchanged with or to other people, nor should they be listed on file sharing sites.

A master of profound suspense!

Athol Dickson's mystery, suspense, and literary novels have won three Christy Awards and an Audie Award. Suspense fans who enjoyed Athol's They Shall See God will love his latest novel, January Justice, the first installment in a new mystery series called The Malcolm Cutter Memoirs. The second and third novels in the series, Free Fall in February, and A March Murder, are coming in 2013.

Critics have favorably compared Athol's work to such diverse authors as Octavia Butler (Publisher's Weekly), Hermann Hesse (The New York Journal of Books) and Flannery O'Connor (The New York Times). Athol lives with his wife in southern California. Please visit his website at, and like his Facebook fan page.

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CMash said…
So glad you enjoyed this book. Very nice review and post. Thank you for sharing.