Book Reviews

In Danger of Judgment

“A stunning debut, David Rabin’s In Danger of Judgment is an engrossing page-turner. Shocking twists barrel full-speed into an action-packed and tense crime thriller readers won’t see coming. . . . In Danger of Judgment builds an intricately-plotted crime thriller that’s cinematic and wildly compelling. The author’s prose is concise and ‘unputdownable,’ skilled at giving a tangible sense of the time period these characters inhabit.”
—IndieReader (IR Approved, 5 Stars)

“Well-developed characters drive Rabin’s taut thriller. . . . the story builds to a lengthy, sensational final act, brimming with well-earned suspense. A sharply defined, engrossing cast elevates this crime caper.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“A well-crafted gangland crime thriller with a fascinating military subplot and a deliciously mysterious villain. . . . While typical gangland crime fiction focuses on those at the tail end of the distribution chain, author David Rabin elevates the genre to new heights in a collision of cultures and global players.”
—BestThrillers.com

“Rabin’s tense and secret-filled story whisks the reader away in a gripping, layered mystery. Rabin displays a brilliant ability to orchestrate a large cast of characters with varying agendas. . . . Clever shifts in time and perspective keep readers on their toes, and a surprising and highly satisfying conclusion ties the story together.”
—Authors Reading

“Rabin explodes out of the gate with his debut thriller, as well-executed as the best in Ludlum’s Bourne series. In Danger of Judgment does a masterful job of juggling multiple, full-blooded characters through high-octane storytelling as they make their way to a shocking, violent ending. David Rabin is a name that is sure to become familiar among lovers of best-selling, full-throttle thrillers.”
—David Shawn Klein, award-winning author of The Money

“Well, I thought I’d read or seen every story involving a drug war in Inner City, USA, between rival street gangs. That was until I read David Rabin’s debut novel, In Danger of Judgment. Mr. Rabin brings a fresh set of characters to the tried-and-true crime drama, and his breezy narrative style and crackling dialogue kept me turning the pages well past my bedtime.

If Mr. Rabin continues on this path, it won’t be long before readers mention his name in a discussion of the genre’s best suspense writers.”
—Ronald Aiken, author of Death Has Its Benefits, and former president of The Atlanta Writers Club

“Debut author David Rabin has crafted an intricate thriller, blending a military techno-thriller with a hard-boiled police procedural. Rabin portrays special forces operations, police investigations, and international assassins with authenticity. His realistic depictions of Chicago drug wars and his accurate technical descriptions of weapons reveal the author’s knowledge and experience. Quirky characters and a twisty plot drive this fast-paced thriller. It’s First Blood meets The Usual Suspects. If you enjoyed The French Connection and the Jack Reacher series, you’ll love In Danger of Judgment.
—Jeffrey James Higgins, award-winning author of Furious and Unseen

“David Rabin’s debut novel, In Danger of Judgment, combines the razor-sharp instincts of a natural story-teller with the fascinating insights of a true expert to create a thrilling face-off between greed and salvation, where unfinished business from an unpopular war echoes through the dark heart of a deadly business.”
—Roger Johns, award-winning author of Dark River Rising and River of Secrets

“Detectives William Bernardelli (Bernie) and Marcelle DeSantis of the Chicago Police Department form a dynamic and engaging team in this fast-paced police procedural set in the late 1980s. This well-written and researched novel ties together a clandestine special ops force from the 1960s in Vietnam and a powerful mercenary who is trying to take over the illegal drug trade in Chicago. David Rabin has expertly created multi-dimensional characters and non-stop action to ensure the reader will not be able to put down the book. This is a fabulous debut novel from an author who is destined to make his mark on crime fiction writing.”
—A.J. McCarthy, award-winning mystery suspense author

“David Rabin’s stunning debut crime thriller, In Danger of Judgment, releases on August 4th with Black Rose Writing, and I had the pleasure and privilege of reading an advanced copy.

Set in Chicago in the nineteen-eighties, this page-turner follows Detectives Marcelle DeSantis and Bernie Bernardelli as they race to get to the bottom of a string of drug-related murders, which they believe were perpetrated by two warring cartels. To their surprise, they learn that Robert Thornton, a man with a shady past as a mercenary in Southeast Asia, is muscling his way into the city’s drug trade, and he intends to kill whoever stands in his way. Assisting Marcelle and Bernie in their hunt for Thornton is John Shepard, Special Agent of the Internal Revenue Service, Narcotics-Related Financial Crimes unit.

Though Marcelle and Bernie suspect John hasn’t told them the entire truth about Thornton’s past, together they scramble to find and stop the man before more dead bodies appear. Unbeknownst to the detectives, another person holds a longstanding grudge against Thornton and also wants him dead. While trying to capture Thornton, Marcelle and Bernie risk their lives and get caught in the crosshairs.

The novel moves deftly from the sassy Marcelle, her partner (Bernie), the socially awkward John Shepard, “Professor” Thornton, and members of Chicago drug gangs in a breathtaking plot that left me compulsively turning pages. The prose is skillful and self-assured, and the dialogue and characters are realistic, well-drawn, and convincing. Marcelle’s feisty spirit contrasts beautifully with Bernie’s steady personality, and I enjoyed the brainstorming and interplay between the two, including the “learning moments” that Bernie shares with his younger partner.

A fascinating subplot involves Bernie’s attempt to befriend John Shepard and teach him basic social skills in advance of a date.

Fans of Barry Eisler, Stephen Hunter, and David Baldacci will enjoy Rabin’s fast-paced plot. Kudos to Mr. Rabin on the high quality of the prose, the thrilling plot with a twist and surprise ending, and the extensive research that went into this novel. I highly recommend it.”
—Jill Caugherty, author of Waltz in Swing Time

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