Detective Jason Scarsdale of Austin PD didn't think is life could get any worse after the death of his beloved wife. He was wrong. As the high profile murder investagation he's been assigned starts to spin out of control, Scarsdale finds himself entangled in a web of deception, murder and revenge. As the tension rises, the clock starts ticking and the investigation becomes personal, will Scarsdale manage to remain the good cop?
Price of Justice by Alan Brenham is a compelling story that kept me glued to the pages. It has all the elements of a great cop story: the good cop going through a rough time, the loyal partner, the dodgy superiors, the brilliant and attractive female cop and, of course, villains one loves to hate. The novel is well-paced, the writing craftily creating suspense and mounting tension until the tale's denouement. The alternation of first person naration and omniscient narration was one of the elements that contributed to create fantastic cliff-hangers. The plot is well-structured; there are no loose ends.
Brenham managed to create characters that are well-rounded and believable. True, it seems like every hardship is happening to Scarsdale at once but let's be honest: there are times when it seems life throws everything at you, all at once. Plus, the author makes it work beautifully. The reader becomes invested in the characters, wanting to know what will happen to them. Even the villains have believable motives. In Pride of Justice, there are no absolute evil, just human beings with personal agendas.
If characters are great, the setting is amazing. With his economical descriptions, Brenham manages to paint a vivid picture of Austin. The reader also can't fail to notice that the author knows his stuff when it comes to the world of law enforcement. These two combined allowed me to see the whole story clearly in my mind's eye.
In short, Pride of Justice is a riveting novel that I wish could be made into a movie. If that's not on the agenda, I hope to read more of Scarsdale's adventures. This could well be the start of the great series.