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Beyond A Drug-smuggling Story

David Rabin Author Interview

In Danger of Judgment follows two Chicago police detectives that are investigating a series of heroin deaths and stumble into an assassination plot. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I’ve been interested in the so-called “Golden Triangle” and its role in heroin production and smuggling ever since I watched the Miami Vice series in the 80s, which featured it in a couple of episodes. The history behind it is fascinating, and I delve into it in the book. But I wanted to go beyond a drug-smuggling story by wrapping it into a larger conspiracy. The Vietnam War provided the perfect context for that larger story, both geographically and in terms of the era, so events in Vietnam became the spark for the plot.

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the characters personalities grow organically as you were writing?

I thought about the characters and the plot for 20+ years before I started writing the story. It’s not a very efficient way to create a book, but it did give me an opportunity to think about the characters for a good long while. By the time I started typing, the characters were fully formed, and I was so familiar with them that in any given situation, I knew what they’d say and how they’d act. Sometimes, I felt like the dialogue wrote itself.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

For me, the principal theme is the importance of friendship. The secondary theme is: when is it morally justifiable to kill someone?

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m working on a sequel to In Danger of Judgment. It will be set in Chicago and, perhaps, elsewhere. I can’t predict when it’ll be finished because I won’t release it until I’m sure it’s as good as I can make it, but I’ll try to produce it a lot faster than I did with my first book!

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When a covert operation during the Vietnam War ends in tragedy, one of its members resolves to kill the man who betrayed it to the enemy. Now, fifteen years later, he’ll finally get his chance.

Chicago, 1987. Home of mediocre baseball teams, gangs that rule the streets, and a Mexican drug cartel that supplies the city with heroin. Chicago Police Detective Marcelle DeSantis and her partner, Bernie Bernardelli, are working a series of heroin-related murders, and their job just got more complicated. The man who sabotaged the Vietnam operation, Robert Thornton, is now the chief enforcer for a Southeast Asian heroin cartel, and after fifteen years overseas he’s arrived in Chicago to eliminate the reigning cartel and seize control of the city’s heroin trade.

Racing to stop a drug war, Marcelle and Bernie don’t realize they’re about to be caught in a deadly crossfire: another man is circling in the wings, one of Thornton’s soldiers from Vietnam, who’s preparing to exact his long-sought revenge against his former mentor. He’s the last person anyone would ever suspect, and when he finally makes his move, the paths of these four people will explosively converge.

In Danger of Judgment

Gang rivalries and drug wars are rife as the Chicago Police seek to crack down on crime in the area. After a series of suspicious murders occur, seasoned detective Bernie Bernardelli is paired with socially awkward yet highly intelligent accountant John Shepard to get the job done. Alongside the strong-minded Marcelle DeSantis and superior officer Commander Mike Kozinski, Bernie and John seek to unravel the truth behind these murders, which seem to be more than the result of common gang violence. Former military instructor Thornton lies at the heart of the case, as whispers of professional assassinations and past betrayal suggest these crimes run far deeper than the Chicago Police ever anticipated.

David Rabin’s In Danger of Judgment is a turbulent, exciting and, occasionally, violent thriller which delves into various flavors of society. Questions are raised surrounding the acceptability of murder in the military and civilian sphere, and whether one is morally permissible. The novel contains a host of dynamic characters with varying depth. I enjoyed following our main characters on this intriguing murder mystery, but other characters have interesting qualities as well. Marcelle is a female police officer with model-level attractiveness, who breezily combats sexism in the force by punching men in the face. Diagnosed with generalized anxiety, John Shepard displays constant tics and an aversion to eye contact which alludes to some type of disorder. John’s social cluelessness is sometimes played for comedic effect; while competent in action his personality is rigid as he takes a black-and-white approach to life.

Characters aside, this is a riveting police procedural. The author does a great job of showing the relationships and camaraderie between members of the force and I would have loved to have seen more of that throughout the story. The plot is gripping, with an intriguing mystery at its core, which makes this a novel that is perfect for fans of crime fiction.

In Danger of Judgment is an intelligent and edgy crime thriller. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a slow-burning mystery which builds to an action-filled final sequence.

Pages: 375 | ASIN: B09ZVPW2NN

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