Authors: Robert Thornhill
At what point do the ends justify the means? That’s a question Walt Williams must ask himself as his life takes a new direction in
Lady Justice on the Dark Side
Walt finds himself at a career crossroads which causes him to question his black and white views of right and wrong. He wonders whether he can head down a slippery slope of questionable activities if, in the end, he will come up once again at the side of Lady Justice, his ever constant companion of the past five years. Does it really matter on which side he stands as long as justice is truly served?
As one of Bob Thornhill’s editors, it’s been a pleasure to come to know and understand his cast of characters and to watch their development throughout the
series. Because Bob writes cozy mysteries, it’s very hard to fully develop all of the characters in just one volume. Therefore, I love it when Bob pulls someone like Louis the Lip into a story line, giving me a different perspective on his motives and personality, demonstrating how even Louis’ questionable actions can lead back to the side of justice.
Every time I finish a new
book, my conversation with Bob usually ends with me saying, “This is my favorite story line yet!” And I mean it every time. So, please trust me when I say,
Lady Justice on the Dark Side
is, yes, another favorite. I hope you enjoy the dark side of justice as much as I did.
Cynthia Butcher, Blue Springs, MO.
Walt Williams, a senior member of the City Retiree Action Patrol retires from serving Lady Justice after a life-threatening ambush.
Is author Robert Thornhill retiring one of our favorite comedy/mystery heroes? Maybe only for about the 3 minutes it takes you to get engrossed in the new direction Williams gets pulled into — after all, there are more angles to serving the Lady than just being a cop!
A great afternoon read with all the familiar characters and plenty of action to keep the story moving right along.
Thornhill has added some new twists and turns, but in the end, Walt is still protecting Truth, Justice and the American Way!
Christina Jones, Independence, MO.
Lady Justice on The Dark Side
is another 5 star hit by Robert Thornhill. At seventy years old and sustaining an injury on the job, Walt Williams decides it is time to retire. But that doesn't seem to be in the cards for Walt. Restless with his retirement and urged on by his brother-in-law, Walt decides to become a Private Investigator.
Laugh out Loud fun as Walt meets the new Lady Justice on the dark side.
The controversial topic of black criminals and police brutality is also addressed in this installment.
Walt faces many decisions and gives great thought to the morality of his choices.
For Walt Williams life is not just black and white as he ponders
Lady Justice on the Dark Side
Sheri Wilkinson, Princeton, IL.
I’ve been following the “Lady Justice” series since it started and was just as excited to read this story as I was the last. Walt and Ox, two police officers, great partners on the force, but most of all…best friends in life. If “Murphy’s Law” is to strike, it finds these two these gentlemen. On a police call, both men get shot by two guys seeking revenge for the loss of their brother. This time, Walt promises his wife (Maggie) he’ll retire. Ox is sad to see his partner go but understands, after all, he is seventy years old.
Walt retires and finds out within the first week he is bored to tears and his old partner is assigned a new one, 30 years his junior. Walt’s boredom was seen as an opportunity for his brother-in-law (Kevin) to get some surveillance help on a current case
As a retired and decorated police officer, he thinks about opening his own business, with the support of Maggie and friends “Walt Williams Investigations” is opened. During his first case, he learns more than he ever expected about his own life and who makes up his family. This is a story worth reading.
So, what side of Lady Justice does Walt like playing? The author describes it beautifully, “the lady wearing the flowing white robe and a blindfold” or the lady “wearing a tight skirt, fish-net stockings and high heels.”
Where the end of the game is the same it’s all in the rules.
M. Stanhope, Chesapeake, Virginia
A WALT WILLIAMS
Lady Justice on the Dark Side
Copyright February, 2015 by Robert Thornhill
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any way, by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without prior permission of the author except as provided by USA copyright law.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, incidents and entities included in the story are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, events and entities is entirely coincidental.
Published in the United States of America
Cover design by Peg Thornhill
LADY JUSTICE ON THE DARK SIDE
“Looks quiet for now,” Ox, my partner for the last five years, remarked as we patrolled the Midtown neighborhood in our old black and white.
In the last week, there had been two drive-by shootings resulting in the deaths of two young girls, ages six and ten. Understandably, the community was incensed by these tragic murders. One local pastor labeled the shooters as ‘terrorists’ and compared them to the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden.
The chief had pulled out all the stops, cancelling vacations and authorizing overtime, to put as many officers on the street as possible to calm the jittery residents and discourage any further shooting sprees.
Ox and I had pulled a rare evening assignment on top of our regular daily patrol.
As we cruised by the site of one of the attacks, we saw the memorial that had been erected for the ten-year-old victim. The flowers, teddy bears and candles brought back bitter memories of similar memorials for two young black men that had been slain by Kansas City police officers just a few short weeks earlier.
Those two officers were Ox and me.
While both of those incidents had been ruled ‘justified,’ there still remained an undercurrent of unrest in the black community.
“Still having nightmares?” Ox asked, referring to the recurring dreams of being burned at the stake by the brother of one of the victims which had haunted me in the wee hours of the morning.
“Now and then,” I replied, “but they’re getting farther apart. How about you?”
“Not really nightmares, but I still wake up in the middle of the night and replay the incident with Tyrell Jackson over and over again, wondering if there was something I could have done differently, but it always comes out the same way. I’m trying to make peace with myself, but it’s hard to do.”
Suddenly, the radio came to life. “Car 54, shots fired in the 3200 block of Myrtle. Please respond.”
I keyed the mike. “Car 54 responding. We’re two blocks away.”
Ox flipped on the lights and siren, made a U-turn and sped down 31
Turning onto Myrtle, we spotted a black van a block away and heard the crack-crack of an automatic pistol.
We were a half block away when the van pulled from the curb, burned rubber and fish-tailed down the street.
Ox stepped on the gas and as we passed by the house that had been riddled with bullet holes, I noticed that it was a board-up.
“Why would someone shoot up an abandoned house?”
“Damned if I know why these creeps do anything they do,” Ox replied. “Maybe somebody they were chasing is holed up in there.”
The van headed down Linwood, turned onto Benton and headed north.
A few blocks later, the van pulled to the curb, two guys bailed out and sprinted into the courtyard of the old Victorian Apartments.
Ox pulled in behind the van and I called in our location and requested back-up.
The Victorian Apartments had once been a grand old structure, undoubtedly the home of many of Kansas City’s elite back in the forties and early fifties. As the demographics of the neighborhood changed over the years, the affluent moved away and the building was sold to an out of town investor who turned it into Section 8 rentals.
The once manicured lawn was now bare dirt and graffiti covered the walls. There was a low brick retaining wall that separated the courtyard from the street. Once inside, the buildings themselves formed a horseshoe around the courtyard, and in the center were the remains of what was once a beautiful fountain.
We stepped out of the cruiser and cautiously approached the entrance to the property. Peering in, we saw one of the shooters enter the door of the center building.
“There!” Ox said, pointing. “Let’s get him!”
“Shouldn’t we wait for back-up?” I asked, grabbing his arm.
“No telling how long until they get here. Let’s at least get the guy trapped inside the building. I’ll go around back, you watch the front and when help comes, we’ll find the guy.”
Just then, a green dot appeared on my chest. Ox and I saw it at the same time.
“Laser sight!” he shouted, pushing me to the ground.
A second later, I heard the report of a rifle and felt the slug whiz past my head.
“Quick! The fountain!” Ox said, helping me to my feet.
We sprinted to the edge of the concrete wall that had once held sparkling water in a pool and crawled inside just as another volley bit into the statue behind us.
Once inside, we found ourselves in about a foot of disgusting water that was most likely deposited there by the last rain. Trash and garbage floated on top and I could only guess what was lying underneath.
We had just hunkered down, out of the line of sight from the shooter, when another volley slammed into the pool from the other direction.
“Holy Crap!” Ox muttered. “They’ve got us in a cross-fire.”
Then I remembered the old board-up house on Myrtle. “That wasn’t a drive-by shooting. That was a decoy to lure us into a trap and we fell for it. They were hunting cops all along.”
Ox peeked over the wall drawing another round of fire that was close enough to pelt us with chips of concrete.
“We’ve got to get them to back off or it’s just a matter of time until one of them gets lucky,” Ox said pulling his .45. “You fire some rounds at the shooter on the south and I’ll fire at the guy on the north. Maybe we can keep them busy until help arrives.”
I pulled my revolver and fired a few rounds and Ox did the same. I breathed a sigh of relief when there was no return fire.
Then, there it was again --- the green dot on Ox’s back, and it was coming from the east building. They had us surrounded on three sides.
I pushed Ox to the side, heard the crack of the rifle and felt the searing pain as the bullet pierced my skin.
There was another shot, and the last thing I remembered before passing out was hearing my partner scream over the sound of approaching sirens, and feeling his warm blood splatter against my face.