Fiction - Mystery - Murder
266 Pages
Reviewed on 03/20/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

S.A. Dymond is a practicing appellate attorney, focusing predominantly on the representation of victims inflicted with terminal cancer. ​Exonerated - his first novel - evolved from his prior experience handling appeals in both the civil and criminal realms. Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, he now lives in the New York City area with his amazing wife and children.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Carol Coetzee for Readers' Favorite

In Exonerated by S.A. Dymond, Ed Roletti is a police officer. One day he is on duty when a call comes over the radio about a murder scene. Ed double checks the address and then races over there. He knows this address! His younger sister, Mary, lives there! His panic is evident when he reaches the scene to find it wrapped in tape and surrounded by police officers. His frenzied and frantic efforts to reach his sister are stopped by his fellow officers and friends. He breaks down when he learns that she has been brutally murdered and mutilated. The race is on to find out who killed Mary. Exonerated starts off with a brief view of the crime, moves on to the police investigation, and then on to the trial. What happens next will leave you gasping in surprise. A must-read!

Exonerated by S.A. Dymond is fast paced reading, with very little down time. You need to keep reading, and end up racing through the book at breakneck speed. "Did he or didn't he?" rolls around in your mind as you read, and it is nail biting. You question police procedures, the speed at which cases are closed and prosecuted, then start wondering if the police really have their man. The court proceedings lead to a surprising twist, with more twists that follow, leaving you wondering and somewhat shell shocked. A wonderful, gripping story filled with suspense and mystery. An amazing read. The plot was really well planned, the story intriguing, and the book was well paced. I was surprised by the writing style, which used some lovely words and expressions not often seen in today's books. There are some graphic scenes, but nothing that does not support the storyline. I will be looking out for further books from this author.

Ray Simmons

Exonerated is a very well written murder mystery by S.A. Dymond. It is actually one of the best murder mysteries I've ever read. In this age of so many crime dramas on television, shows like the various CSI series, Criminal Minds, and Cold Case, a book has to have something special to compete. What Exonerated has is a great portrayal of small town American life and a vivid description of the characters of that town under pressure when one of their own is killed. This is a murder mystery so I don’t want to give away too much, but I think it’s safe to tell you that the victim is the daughter and sister of policemen, and this matters a lot. Her brother Ed is the one most wounded by her death.

I have occasionally come across the name Schenectady, New York in my reading, but now I feel I know this city and its people intimately. S.A. Dymond has a talent for portraying the quirks and foibles of small town characters as well as their nobility and courage. He starts with the murder itself, then through the investigation shows us the victim, the police force, and the town itself. It can be depressing at times, but it always reads as accurate and truthful. If you love a good murder mystery and love reading about life in small town USA, then you should get this book. Rarely have I seen characters, plot, and setting so meticulously woven together to tell a haunting tale. S.A. Dymond is definitely a name to watch in the murder mystery genre.

Tshombye K. Ware

Exonerated by S.A. Dymond is a mysterious cat and mouse game in which a detective’s sister is murdered. The book starts off with a horrific and brutal crime - the death of a young woman. As the detectives surveyed the crime scene, looking to find any traces of DNA, to their surprise two forms of evidence surfaced and made them rethink the perpetrator of the crime. From the hunt to the trial, the story moves at such a pace that you’ll become absorbed in the scenes. After leaving the bar, Ed, the victim’s brother, makes it home with the help of another officer. Shortly afterwards, the unexpected happens that will change the case and all those involved. The brother of the victim is no longer an outsider looking in, but finds himself now at the mercy of the court.

The opening pages drop you right into the scene of the crime. Nice descriptions of the scene pull you into the story at a dazzling pace. The details the author added to the story really grabbed me from page one. As I read along, I assumed one thing and, before that thought could expand, the story went another way. Bravo to the author for great story telling. Just when you think you’ve figured everything out, the “revenge” will stop you dead in your tracks. The description of events in detail left me speechless and provided answers to some internal questions. This is one of those mysteries that will leave you guessing and assuming until the end — which is really the beginning. I recommend this to anyone who loves mysteries and plot driven stories.

Jack Magnus

Exonerated is a legal thriller written by S.A. Dymond. Police Officer Ed Roletti was horrified when he recognized the address the dispatcher had broadcasted on his police car's radio. It was only natural to recognize the address of the house he had grown up in, and he instantly knew the victim was his younger sister, Mary. She was all he had left since his policeman father died ten years ago from a heart attack, and his mother was suffering from advanced Alzheimer's and in a nursing home. When he rushed to the house, it was surrounded by police and emergency vehicles, and his efforts to storm into the house were prevented by his friend, Ray, and Police Chief Byron Stadmore. There was no way that any of his fellow officers would allow him to see what had been done to Mary, and they were all determined to find the man who did the horrific act. While Ed could not be a part of the investigation, he was fully aware of what had happened in the interview room at the precinct, and it was all he could do to keep from slaughtering the monster with his bare hands.

S.A. Dymond's murder mystery, Exonerated, is a first-class police procedural and gripping legal thriller all at once, and it's one of those books you just can't put down until you get to the last page. The author takes his readers right into the action, from the crime scene to the coroner's office to the police precinct and finally the courtroom. I was initially put off by the wry comments and forced levity of the police and forensic investigator's staff until I realized that such humor often serves a stress alleviating purpose. I couldn't help but wonder about the expedient way one of the suspects was selected to be charged with the crime, but this too felt authentic and sadly realistic. Dymond peoples his work with unforgettable characters, especially the newly promoted Detective Ernesto Suarez, the methodical Detective Bill Watkins who works so hard to be expressive, and Officer Ray Lucen who can only watch as his friend deteriorates before his eyes. Exonerated is filled with twists and turns, villains and heroes, and some genuinely inspired courtroom drama. It's highly recommended.

Ica Iova

Exonerated by S.A. Dymond is a brilliantly clever crime thriller. Ed Roletti is a cop working for the Police Department in Schenectady, New York. When Ed’s sister, Mary, is stabbed and strangled to death in her home, her body badly mutilated, everyone in the department is shocked - not only by the brutality of the murder but by “why her?” Detectives have little evidence to work with — no fingerprints, no DNA on the body. Emotions run high. This investigation can’t fall through the cracks. The murder cannot go unsolved; Ed is one of their own. As the pressure to solve the case soars, the investigating team gets a break. Charles Dericardo — a man who used to date the victim — is a positive match for fingerprints found at the scene. Convinced that they have their killer, they decide to prosecute. But John Upton — a well-known criminal defense lawyer — steps in to represent the defendant, and the story takes a new and unexpected turn.

An intriguing web of lies, secrets, and suspense, Exonerated by S.A. Dymond, is a page-turning thriller packed with suspense. Dymond’s words fly like bullets from one page to the next, making the non-stop action and suspense addictive. With a nicely thought out plot and characters that are tremendously complex and intriguing, I found the writing tight, evocative, and enthralling. The twists and turns thrown in to keep the reader off balance kept me guessing and on edge. When I thought I had it all figured out, WHAM!!!! The ending blew me away.