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Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite
The first thing I liked about Jack Gold and Marc Debbaudt’s Jurisdiction Denied is that it focuses on a topic that arouses much controversy. A sequel of Jurisdiction Terminated, it has been published after California has passed laws that make it difficult, almost impossible, to discipline kids who commit crimes. The cases of Jurisdiction Denied are fictional, but the general picture is realistic. Judge Marty Goldstein, the protagonist and the narrator, wonders if it is still possible to guarantee public safety under the present circumstances. At the same time, the arrival in Los Angeles of a dangerous woman named Hilda spices up the story.
Gold and Debbaudt have previous experience in the criminal justice system, and their deep knowledge is no surprise. I was afraid this book might be too technical for the general reader, but it turns out it is not. Its primary aim is to popularize legal topics and to make people reflect. Jurisdiction Denied is very good at it. Some explanations are necessary, of course, but the tone is lively. Judge Goldstein enlightens readers on the consequences of a system that is not working anymore with sarcastic criticism. I really like that it is a judge who tells the story. This is rare as judges often remain silent while lawyers have the lion’s share. I regard this as an innovative viewpoint. As for Hilda’s intrigue, it adds mystery and suspense and reminds readers of spy stories. Jurisdiction Denied is a very enjoyable and educational book for those who are concerned about their safety.