Sunday, September 06, 2009
Reviewing: "Defending Violet" by Jennifer Louise Jefferson
Ginger Rae Reddy practices law in the city of Port Grace, located somewhere along the northeastern seaboard hard against the Atlantic. A city that, like herself, has seen tough times and still sees them and yet survives despite all odds. Ginger Rae is practicing Family Law these days which is primarily about the final collapse of a family during divorce proceedings. She also takes the occasional misdemeanor case such as a marijuana charge or underage drinking. A baby in the hospital in a coma implies a major criminal case and one that Ginger Rae should avoid for her own mental health.
But, the baby mother’s is Violet and a former client. Ginger Rae got a restraining order several months ago against AJ, Violet’s boyfriend, the baby’s father, and a married man with a history of violence. Violet should have let the order do its work, forgot about AJ, and tried to change her life for her own sake and the baby, Teddy. However, as Ginger Rae knows, the cycle of domestic violence is hard to break. Violet loves AJ, is convinced he loves her and their baby, and that if she just makes him happy everything will be fine.
Things are far from fine. The baby, Teddy, is in the hospital in a coma probably induced by being violently shaken. Violet is in jail, charged with the crime, and the only suspect as far as the police and the D.A.’s office is concerned. Ginger Rae believes the teenage mother is not responsible and sets out to prove it.
Billed as a “legal thriller” in the jacket copy, “Defending Violet” is more of a psychological one. The law is a constant theme but personal relationships are the prominent hard hitting theme and take precedence over everything else. Not just the relationship between Ginger Rea and Violet, but Ginger Rae and her family and Ginger Rae and her assistant, Marco. Nothing is easy for Ginger Rae with others and her own self destructive streak runs wide and deep. Others make allowances for that, but, there are limits and she constantly tests them. Written from the perspective of time after the events in the book have run their course, the novel is constantly looking back at how relationships evolve and change and what outside forces can do to them.
Featuring fully formed realistic characters that are flawed, in some cases very seriously, the novel winds through the legal cases in criminal and family court with Violet. Along the way with some social commentary, is a tale of repercussions, consequences, and ultimately acceptance and survival. While this isn’t light escapist reading by any means, it is a very good book and this is one author worth keeping an eye on.
Jennifer Louise Jefferson
Five Star Mysteries Series
Review copy provided by publicist PJ Nunn, owner of “Breakthrough Promotions” in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2009