Texas based Don Hartshorn is an American author, freelance editor and volunteer mediator who loves to travel. His new book, The Guilty Die Twice, is his first – in what looks likely to be a series of books. This is potentially great news, especially if the follow up books are as riveting as this one!
The Guilty Die Twice is published by TCK Publishing, and I was kindly gifted an e-book version in exchange for providing an honest review.
I was hooked from the very first page and my curiosity kept growing throughout the first chapter, I found it hard to put the book down, repeating to myself, just one more chapter! That’s simply because Hartshorn’s writing is so captivating.
You will see that this book has two storylines, one gradually unfolds the past and is written in italics to easily differentiate the timeline, whilst the other is set in the present time.
An easy read, this legal drama follows two attorney brothers who have been estranged for ten years, due to a different opinion regarding a previous capital murder case they worked on together.
The capital murder criminal, Reilly Wayne Sutton was an out and out nefarious lawbreaker. But when he gets convicted of murdering a local shopkeeper and given the death penalty, the younger brother Travis Lynch could not live with that on his conscience and left his high profile legal job to become a public defender, with ‘pay if you can’ clients.
At the same time his older brother Jake moves on up the political ladder and becomes the District Attorney, continuing the rich and celebrated life his father and forefathers had built up over many years.
However, a potential capital murder case is where the two brothers come face to face after their ten year separation.
Jake is the prosecutor and is being instructed to go for the death penalty, as the hierarchy believe this would help his political career. Travis is to defend the underprivileged Sam Parker, by trying to minimise his sentence to imprisonment and not death row.
The horrific crime in question is that in the early hours of a hot Texas night, a double cross drug deal ends up with two dead and one paralysed high school boys, one of dead was the son of a high profile political fixer.
Sometimes the lines between truth and justice are never that clear, and soon the two brothers Travis and Jake find themselves entangled in a web of corruption and lies.
As well as the legal drama storyline of this book, I also enjoyed reading how the brothers’ relationship along with the extended family changed and grew throughout.
The ending was intriguing and left me wanting to read more about the characters in the book, especially how their relationships evolve.
I really hope there will be a follow up to The Guilty Die Twice as it was such a thrilling and compelling read.