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FATAL JUDGMENT BOOK ONE (GUARDIANS OF JUSTICE), BY IRENE HANNON

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...massaged her temples with trembling fingers. She waited outside the emergency room for news ...

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Check out Library Thing, Seattle, WA Fiction. However for an excellent new mystery series consider Fatal Judgment. http://www.librarything.com/subject/Seattle+(Wash.)%09Fiction

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Fatal Judgment, (Guardians of Justice, Book 1),by Irene Hannon, Revell, January 2011, 330 Pages, ISBN-13: 978-0800734565, $14.99

Judge Liz Michaels, newly appointed to the Federal bench, massaged her temples with trembling fingers. She waited outside the emergency room for news of her sister. It has to be Stephanie's husband, she thought.

Her sister had left him when Stephanie found she was pregnant for fear he might hurt their unborn baby in an angry rage. She had learned his promises were empty words. Suitcases in hand, she came to her sister's. They had planned a quiet dinner to celebrate new beginnings after she rested. Now instead of a celebration, Liz waited to learn if Stephanie would survive the gunshot wound to her head.

Down the hall, US Marshall Jake Taylor, only hours back from Iraq met his brother, Detective Cole from the St. Louis police department who waited to brief him on the Judge's protection detail. Unlike Liz, they considered the gunmen's target might have been her instead of her sister. After a warm welcome and general kidding, Cole told Jake what little they knew.

Judge Michaels had checked on her sister when she arrived home from the courthouse, learned a FedEx package had been left at a neighbor's and went to retrieve it. She returned ten minutes later only to find "...her sister slumped on the couch...shot in the head...at close range."

Thus begins Fatal Judgment, book one in the new Guardians of Justice series that could be drawn from a news headline story anywhere in the nation, aka Gabriella Gifford. Add a volatile "unknown assailant" incapable of fear, addictions, failing marriages, death, repressed guilt and the reader is compelled to turn the pages.

Realistic descriptions of the FBI and Marshall Services, combine with local police procedures for added drama and tension. Complicated relationships between Jake and Liz offer interesting depth and complexity, as well as romance and suspense. Faith interweaves with prayer for an underlying spiritual thread.

Although listed as romantic suspense I felt the romance was well-developed while the suspense was under-developed. Jake and Liz were more concerned with personal feelings for one another than the growing threat to the Judge's life. However, I still enjoyed it and recommend it to readers who like television shows such as CSI, Law and Order, or Criminal Intent.

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