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Law and Vengeance
Publisher: SelectBooks, Inc.

Gina Romano is back in Mike Papantonio's latest legal thriller, Law and Vengeance. Gina is tapped to go after weapons manufacturer Arbalest on the basis that their gun site, Sight-Clops, has a high rate of failure in hot and humid conditions and has actually caused countless deaths, all the while Arbalest and its cronies do their best to cover things up. Lucrative contracts with both the military and the Chicago Police Department are enough reason to keep Arbalest from falling "victim" to a huge lawsuit, but its not just the many people who have been killed by the products' failure that drives Gina on. In an unfortunate turn of events, Gina finds herself the victim of attempted homicide when she is a passenger in the car of the lead counsel on the case, a dear friend and a name known to readers of Papantonio's first book, Law and Disorder, and that person's car is digitally hijacked, causing a deadly crash in which Gina narrowly escapes with her life. From that moment forward, she is determined to figure out who or what was behind the murder, and to make them pay in the most violent way possible, and her boss and mentor, Nick "Deke" Deketomis, is behind her all the way.

As Gina and her fellow team members begin to peel back the layers of deception in Arbalest and focus on a series of blitzkrieg depositions with the primary goal of getting Arbalest CEO Tim Knapp under oath, it seems one of Knapp's lackies, a gun lobbyist named Kendrick Strahan, has been working behind the scenes with (or more specifically, for) Chicago PD union leader Lutz and his hench Thursby to take out the opposition on the case. They've involved a deadly hacker named Ivan Verloc AKA Ivanhoe and he has not only bugged the law offices of Bergman-Deketomis and all pertinent parties, but he's been a bit more proactive in throwing roadblocks in their way.

On the personal front, as Gina is recovering from the car crash, her errant younger brother Peter waltzes back into her life, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, veterinarian and local TV personality Dr. Bryan, a handsome vet who specializes in the more exotic animal varieties. As Gina takes on the Arbalest case even as she is recovering, Peter comes back with lots of personal baggage and not much else, and she is back to having to "mother" her younger irresponsible brother, just as she did during their less than ideal childhood. To make matters worse, Bryan has been asked to go work in Australia for a few weeks and while their relationship doesn't need the break, Gina's workload says sending him off is the wise choice. Thanks to some upsetting digital interference on Bryan's phone at his farewell dinner, their parting is less than perfect, to say the least.

As Gina and her team begin to interview those directly affected by Sight-Clops, the layers of deception surrounding Arbalest become more clear and she zeroes in on her murderous prey. Will she be able to capture him and make him pay for the death of her dear friend, and if so, will she lose herself in the process?

Law and Vengeance is much more action-packed than the previous book, Law and Disorder. There's a lot going on here and a lot of players to keep track of, especially in the beginning, but it eventually boils down to a core group of good and bad guys (and gals). I enjoyed this book a bit more than the last and although I could have done without the politics of the Chicago Police Union and the lobbyists, politics seems to be Mike Papantonio's wheelhouse, so there you have it. If you are looking for a political/legal thriller with a smattering of insidious hacking, check out Law and Vengeance.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins
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