NetGalley: The One-Eyed Judge by Michael Ponsor
Title: The One-Eyed Judge
Author: Michael Ponsor
Published: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media
Genre: Thriller, Legal
Review: ebook provided by NetGalley and publisher
When FBI agents barge into Sidney Cranmer’s home accusing him of a heinous crime, the respected literature professor’s life becomes a nightmare. Cranmer insists the illicit material found by the agents isn’t his, but the charge against him appears airtight, and his academic specialty—the life and work of controversial author Lewis Carroll, creator of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland—convinces investigators he’s lying.
Presiding over the case against Professor Cranmer, U.S. District Judge David Norcross fears his daily confrontation with evil has made him too jaded to become a husband and father. His girlfriend, Claire Lindemann, teaches in the same department as the defendant and is convinced of his innocence. Soon, she will take matters into her own hands. Meanwhile—with his love life in turmoil and his plans for the future on hold—a personal tragedy leaves Norcross responsible for his two young nieces. Unbeknownst to him, a vengeful child predator hovers over his new family, preparing to strike.
Michael Ponsor’s debut novel, The Hanging Judge, was praised by retired Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens for reminding readers “that the judicial process is not infallible” and by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tracy Kidder for bearing “the heft of authenticity.” The One-Eyed Judge again draws on Ponsor’s thirty years as a US district judge, offering readers an insider’s view of one of the most harrowing kinds of cases faced by the courts. Fast-paced, thrilling, and thought-provoking, this is legal fiction at its most realistic and compelling.
The One-Eyed Judge is the 2nd book in the Judge Norcross Novels, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.
We are introduced to the case of Sid Crammer who has been accused of having child pornography, though he doesn't remember looking at anything like that or ordering anything that deals with that crime. Judge Norcross has to listen to all that is given to him from the government who is pursuing Crammer to Crammer's lawyer who is trying to defend him. This isn't just a open shut case, it seems that there is more there than meets the eye. While Judge Norcross is trying to do his job he is dealing with things being thrown his way. From his nieces who need him to his girlfriend who wants to start a family. We see how Norcross deals with all this going on while trying to make sure that he handles this case with carefully dotted t's and i's. At first it seems that Crammer is guilty of what he is being accused of, but what happens when someone can actually give evidence that will set him free, and is he truly free?
We do get to see how child predators work via the internet and it is scary! I think the author did a wonderful job with doing his research and bringing this story to life. As far as characters go I felt they were well developed.
Michael Ponsor graduated from Harvard, received a Rhodes Scholarship, and studied for two years at Pembroke College, Oxford. As an undergraduate, he spent a year teaching in Kabete, Kenya, just outside Nairobi. After taking his law degree from Yale and clerking in federal court in Boston, he began his legal career, specializing in criminal defense. He moved to Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1978, where he practiced as a trial attorney in his own firm until his appointment in 1984 as a US magistrate judge in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed him a life-tenured US district judge. From 2000 to 2001, he presided over a five-month death penalty trial, the first in Massachusetts in over fifty years. Judge Ponsor continues to serve as a senior US district judge in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Western Division, with responsibility for federal criminal and civil cases in the four counties of western Massachusetts. The One-Eyed Judge is his second novel featuring Judge Norcross.