Mystery author and former policeman Lou Campanozzi first introduced his Lieutenant Mike Amato in The Killing Cards, a fast-paced thriller about a serial killer who leaves cards on the bodies of the victims. He brought the detective back in Ground Lions, an action-packed mystery that starts with the body of a young man being found in the parking lot behind a Catholic high school. Before he passed away in 2002, Campanozzi completed his last manuscript, Justice.
Someone is murdering children in Rochester, New York. The bodies, when found, are arranged like parts of a showcase on display. The investigation is long and intense. For months Lieutenant Mike Amato and his team of investigators work more than twelve hours a day, seven days a week, aching to catch the killer and to put a stop to the murders.
The stress and nightmares from seeing the results of such horrible crimes is eating away at the entire police department. It looks like all hope is lost when a lead in the case comes through. After the authorities apprehend the killer and get a sworn confession from the monster, the killer's attorney gets the matter thrown out of court on a technicality.
The killer has a story to tell. Once he's back out on the streets, the only way he can see to continue trying to get his story heard is by returning to his old evil ways. The killing starts again, but this time when the police go after him, dangerous questions run through their minds. They are overly cautious; they don't want to risk messing up a second time and letting the killer set free again. But what can they do to make sure he doesn't slip through the judicial cracks a second time?
This heart-poundingly intense police procedural is Campanozzi's finest book. It easily stacks up against books by legends like Ed McBain, Robert Parker and Lawrence Block. It contains emotional and raw courtroom drama parallel to any book written by Scott Turrow or Steve Martini. Campanozzi outdid himself with Justice. Thanks to his daughter and the rest of his family, Justice has been published. I only wish he were here to reap the just rewards of such a fine and memorable crime novel.