Reposted with permission from Paul Shepherd
Corrections Officer Emil Sorn believed the inmates at Larsan State Prison were coddled by the system, had too many rights, and never received any real punishment for their crimes. As sergeant in charge of the evening shift, disrespect or disobedience in any form was dealt with swiftly, severely, and quietly. The idea started in a bar after a couple of drinks, and like most ideas so conceived, it should’ve stayed there. If the accused is granted the right to face their accuser, then the victim should have the right to confront the perpetrator. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life. There is a fine line between Justice and Revenge. Emil Sorn is about to cross it
Let me start out by saying I was given a free copy f this book by the author in return for an honest review. While we are all familiar with the crime genre it always deals with them before, what I mean is that once the perpetrator has justice served on them that is the end of there story. We all give little thought to what happens when they are locked up in prison. Corrections officers are the backbone of our justice system. But we never give them any thought, these are the men and women who make sure that our criminals serve the time they have been given. They have a thankless job and we only ever hear about them when something goes terribly wrong. with that said this book is not about these people who clock in each day and do the best they can for not only our society but also those who are bang up behind bars.
Whilst this is a short book its scope is much bigger than you would first imagine. This is a book of a family's saga. Our lead Emil Sorn is only a young boy when this authors tale starts out but is within these brief moments that the seeds of who he will become are sown. We are lead to believe that once a criminal is locked up that it should be a matter of them serving out there time in peace and quiet. But for Emil, he has to bear witness to events that will tear his young world apart. With his father working as a corrections officer he ends up being apart of one of those moments that flash up on the news. It is the murder of his father that send Emil on path that no one can stop him from. He is an interesting and well-plotted character. As we follow him through his life we get to see how pain and revenge can twist a person into something they where never suppose to be. I like the way the author does this in small increments. There is no big flip from one Emil to another but a slow twisting of the screws inside his head. It is a corrupting force that once it has a hold of him will never let go.
The author does an amazing job as he brings us into a world not many of us can imagine. His landscape is carefully crafted to give us the uninitiated a glimpse into the world of prisons, all the while giving himself scope to tell the plot he set out to do. This is a book that does not hang around and with so much to tell there is always the worry of becoming lost between the pages. But Kelso managed to keep me where I need to be with enough information that the time jumps didn't jolt me out of the headspace. He shows us the horrors of what can take place behind the wall of any prison in the world. Within these pages, we get to see what can happen when things go very wrong. Like I said before this is also the story of what happens to a man who is consumed with hate and revenge. I'm always drawn in by tales of these nature. I realize we all have these things within us if someone hurt a family member or someone we love what length we not go to, to get revenge. For most though this would be a fevered dream that we would not act on. So in seeing Emil's story, it is this dream acted out on those who have hurt us. But this is not wish fulfillment, the author shows the dark side of such noughts. The toll it takes is a debt that no one can pay for no matter what the may say.
This is a book that kept me on my toes and times made me hold my breath. As the reader, you can see what is going to happen but there is no way to stop this runaway train. As with all stories of revenge, it is the damage done by that person on the way that they never account for. For me, this was handled in a very professional way. the author displays his skill as a writer and keeps you locked in never wanting to turn away no matter how bad things get. He has delivered a fast-paced story that is sure to keep any reader wanting more and ending that manages to keep within the realms of possibility whilst still being shocking. I look forward to seeing what else he has to offer.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)