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A Case of Wild Justice?    by Yvonne Jerrold order for
Case of Wild Justice?
by Yvonne Jerrold
Order:  USA  Can
Troubador, 2008 (2008)

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Hannah, a soft, gentle older woman with a peculiar liking for hats, becomes angry with her troublesome thirteen-year-old grandson. He had seemed very introverted since birth. He liked to torture and kill small defenseless creatures such as mice and birds and insects. His mother only sees him as a misunderstood boy not the little monster he has become.

Billy has gathered a group of hangers-on around him and is wreaking havoc on the older citizens of their small town people who can no longer fight back. Hannah thinks she might join the silver bees, a group of pensioners who carry small bombs with them. If molested, they are determined to set off the bomb, killing not only themselves, but also the molesters. The oldsters feel that they only have a limited time left to them, so why not go out with a bang and do some good for their own little world?

The back story to A Wild Case of Justice?, set outside of London, is beautifully wrought. The characters involved are very carefully analyzed and become real before your reading eyes: Hannah; her sister Jessie; her neighbor Declan (who has a crush on Billy's sister Veronica); Hannah's two children Peter and Caroline; and her grandchildren Veronica, Helen, and the abusive Billy. And let's not forget Rupert, Jessie's ex-husband whom Hannah has good reason to avoid.

This novel is basically a narrative, with little dialogue. And it works! It works very well. Getting to know the characters so intimately makes this a treasure. Their thoughts and reflections bound off the pages. In so doing, these musings also act to create some reflection on readers' parts about their own lives and how they could put some of the advice to good use. The build-up to the finale of this carefully plotted story is absorbingly brilliant. A Case of Wild Justice? is a work of art, which will easily earn the praise it shall undoubtedly receive.

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