Cover art for Iain Kelly’s novel “A Justified State”
I’ve been following Iain Kelly‘s writing online for a few years now. He and I (along with a bunch of other folks) met while participating in a series of internet writing challenges such as this one. That’s where I found out that he’s the undisputed master of murder mysteries, only in his case, he actually created a series of novels in that genre to prove it.
Finally (given my meager budget), I was able to download a free promotional copy of A Justified State, the first novel in his “The State Trilogy”.
It was amazing.
The story is set slightly in the future in the UK, known as the nameless “state.” The nation is in a conflict with unrevealed adversaries in “The First Strike War,” which is the backdrop for everything that follows.
Police Detective Danny Samson, who lost his twin newborns soon after birth, and his wife a year later by suicide, is mysteriously assigned to investigate the murder of a local politician, who was the victim of a professional assassination.
From the 1981 film “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.
The two men were sitting at a table in the back of a bar in Marrakech. It was hot. It was late. The overhead fans spun in lazy circles casting a march of shadows on the two patrons below.
The bartender was cleaning a glass. He got mostly westerners in here, either low life bums down on their luck with no money to get back home, or French, British, and Americans who were doing business and didn’t want to be bothered.
He looked casually at the two men, one French, one American. The Frenchman was in a rumpled white suit. Why white in such heat? The American looked like an oil rigger or longshoreman except for the whip on his belt. It didn’t matter to Hassan. They paid for their drinks. Who cared what else they did.
“I’m tired of chasing you all over the fucking world, René. I find something and you steal it from me. You find something and I steal it from you. Where does it end?”