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Reviewed by Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers' Favorite
A Rainy Night in Georgia by AJ Basinski will keep you glued to the pages as Private Frank Grabowski takes on his first court case for murder. The Army promotes Frank to Lieutenant, so he has the freedom to pursue clues, question witnesses, and converse with his client, Private Perry Morrocco. They accuse Perry of murdering his drill sergeant, Eustice Benson. Sergeant Benson was unusually cruel to Private Perry, who was an antiwar protestor. Studying law and passing the bar exam could not have prepared Frank for the way the Army did things. Frank was continually blocked from information that should have been available. He didn’t have the freedom to visit his client as expected. Just before the trial, Frank is commissioned to Vietnam. Frank and his partner, Lieutenant Karen Farrell, overcome incredible odds just to get Perry to court. With witnesses dying and death threats hinted, will Frank come out of this unscathed?
I found AJ Basinski a very compelling author. The twists in A Rainy Night in Georgia were unexpectedly cunning and cleverly engineered. Legal thrillers are always fascinating, but I love how the author incorporated the military into this novel. The unique rule the military uses makes this an intriguing read. Frank and Karen work well together, but Frank dominates the case and strategically selects the pace and direction it takes. The outcome of the story was interesting. When the verdict was announced, everyone’s life was changed and there was no going back. Overall, the author puts a persuasive edge on his plot, with complex characters that leave the reader mesmerized with what the outcome will be.