Just Verdicts Review
Joseph Max Lewis
Publisher: Trestle Press
Publication date: 5/2/2013
Literary Short Stories
Amazing! Three stories that are so real, so heart-breaking...reads like ripped from the headlines. Very good, Max! The author's background sizzles and if you don't know him, you'll want to acquaint yourself promptly.
It’s hard not to agree with popular opinion that people who are in a place to make decisions that affect the lives of others, no matter the profession, should always make the right one. But, “right” according to whom? It’s equally hard not to ache with the man in Lewis’s first story who goes after lawyers in public places after the system couldn’t erase his own personal tragedy. Lump them all together, right, laugh at the usual jokes, right? Treat them all the same—until he runs into Stanley Hardy, a criminal defense attorney with a conscience. In the end, “How do you do it?” is a question both men must answer.
In Iraq, an American lawyer on fellowship to assist with legal reforms, Ralph Jackson, meets female judge Isha Hami. It’s unfortunate that the reader assumes nothing good will come of this scenario. She’s trying a case where American soldiers are the only witnesses in a terrorist murder case. But the most resistance comes from a place Jackson least expects.
The third story might be the shortest and is the most cryptic. Steve Burgess, good old boy wallowing in self-pity after an accident that took his family, gets a chance to make good in a way that makes the reader want to read it over just for the simplicity of a good sting.