[ARC] Review #51: The Justice Project


The Justice Project
by Michael Betcherman
Published by Orca Book Publishers
Released on October 1st, 2019
YOUNG ADULT—Mystery, ContemporaryBelle's2

High-school football star Matt Barnes was on the top of the world until a freak snowboarding accident ending his promising sports career and left him with a permanent limp. As he struggles to accept his changed body, Matt becomes depressed and isolated. Instead of a college football camp, he faces a summer job at the local golf club. Then by chance, Matt lands an internship at the Justice Project, an organization that defends the wrongly convicted. The other intern is his high-school nemesis, Sonya Livingstone, a quick-witted social activist with little time for jock culture. The two slowly develop a friendship as they investigate the case of Ray Richardson, who was convicted of murdering his parents twenty-one years ago. Matt and Sonya are soon convinced that Ray is innocent–but how will they prove it? Unraveling the cold case takes them on a journey filled with twists, turns, deception, and danger. It will take dedication, perseverance, and courage to unmask the real murderer. Can those same qualities help Matt move on to a life not defined by football?



Have you ever felt like a book was just ok? Have you ever felt like it was just going through the motions and barely keeping your attention?

That’s how this book felt to me.

The synopsis of this book did a bit in capturing my attention and interest in this book. I’m a sucker for crime fiction, and I was really hoping this one would impress me. However, that is the one thing it didn’t do, and in finishing it, I felt less than satisfied.

The characters of this novel were satisfactory. They did their job in the necessity of moving the book forward, but that was about it.

The entirety of this book, though, felt dry. On more than one occasion, I was left bored and wanting for something to happen in spots that could’ve used more attention. I was unimpressed with specific scenes that dealt with the “mystery” of this novel, and I feel like the falling action definitely lacked.

For that, I rate this novel 2 stars. I had mediocre hopes for this book, and even those weren’t met. On that revelation, I wouldn’t suggest this book.



71m9v3mkjl._us230_.jpgMichael Betcherman is an author and screenwriter. He has written two young adult novels, BREAKAWAY, which was shortlisted for the John Spray Mystery Award, and FACE-OFF, which was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Mystery Award. Both books were published by Penguin Canada. He is also the author of the romantic comedy SUZANNE, and the co-author, with David Diamond, of the mystery, THE DAUGHTERS OF FREYA. Michael also has numerous screenwriting credits in both dramatic and documentary television. In previous incarnations, he was an entertainment lawyer, and before that he was a professional basketball player in Israel. Michael lives in Toronto.

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