Any Man Joe ~ The Retribution Trilogy #2

  • AnyManJoeAuthor: Robert Leigh
  • Published: May 2015 by Screaming Magpie
  • Category: Crime, Suspense
  • five-stars

DI Edwards was called to the scene of a shooting. Four of the deceased were well known to him. The fifth man remained a mystery. 
Until he woke up. 
His name was Joe, a misfit shelf stacker living on the crime ravaged Forest Estate. As the investigation continues, DI Edwards finds himself being drawn deeper into Joe’s world of vigilante revenge. But will the truth of Joe’s actions ever fully be revealed?

The Forest Estate is a rough area, overrun by drug dealers and users, leaving most of the law-abiding residents wary and afraid. Joe lives in one of the maisonettes on the estate, keeping mostly to himself and working at a local supermarket. Another resident, Mrs Winters, has known Joe since he was a boy and Joe looks out for her, helping where he can. Joe is quiet and unassuming until someone he cares for very much is killed and the police do little to nothing about it.

The story opens with Joe, on a living room floor, dying from a gunshot wound, surrounded by four slaughtered local gangland members. As DI Edwards and the forensics team enter the room, there’s no clue as to what provoked the carnage and no obvious suspect. However, bloody footprints show someone has left the scene. 

Darkness.

Just my thoughts in the darkness.

I couldn’t move. I wasn’t even sure I had a body anymore. I thought, is this what death is? Just thoughts in the darkness. 

How long would I be just thoughts? And if the thoughts went, what then? Would that be me done, not even thoughts anymore?

The dual narrative, from the perspectives of Joe and DI Edwards, works brilliantly. The story unfolds continuously throughout with the narrative moving back and forth between the hospital, the police station, the mental facility and Joe’s flashbacks to life on the estate and the events that lead up to the shooting. Continue reading