(Reviewed by JD Jung)
“…Justitia, the symbol of equity in our society, her eyes covered, a broadsword in one hand and a set of scales in the other, stood by mutely while I took a posterior augering. That’s when it finally dawned on me that the expression, “justice is blind” was true. Justitia misses a hell of a lot of things. From that day on, I took the law into my own hands, and it felt really good.”
Meet John Sharp, who has learned how to use the justice system to his advantage. Whether it’s a philandering husband or crooked accountant or businessman, he gets paid well to keep secrets. Yes John, or “One Eyed Jack”, makes his money as an extortionist and has learned never to miss an opportunity. He doesn’t entice people into doing wrong; he simply waits for them to do it and then catches them in the act. Of course, he solicits the help of others who owe him in exchange for keeping their own secrets.
However one stakeout where he expected to catch the usual cheating husband, turned out to be almost more than he could handle. This particular target was a pastor, and being squeezed by Jack would be the least of his problems. A mega church was trying to take over his church and those involved would do anything to accomplish their goals.
Religion, politics and quest for power intertwine and something in Jack wants to bring the big, bad guys to justice. For those of you who have read the previous two “One-Eyed Jack” novels, you will learn more about our favorite blackmailer, like what led him to the career he has chosen. ,Also, like the others, Sin Tax is not the typical “good versus evil” story. It’s more about shades of evil and lack of character in people.
That said, I continue to scratch my head wondering what motivated Jack to risk everything including his own life for this cause. Author Christopher Lynch tried to explain it to me, but it still didn’t fit into my perception of Jack. I know he’s Lynch’s character and not mine, but after reading the previous novels in the series, somehow I feel that I know him. That says a lot when a reader becomes invested in a character to that extent.
Sin Tax will keep readers captivated at every page, and will appeal to those who crave a fast-paced thriller. You don’t need to read the others in the series to understand Sin Tax, but each novel is so intriguing, so why not enjoy all three?
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