Book: No Justice (A Michael Sykora Novel) by Darcia Hellecategories: Book, Justice, Assassin, Hit Man, Revenge, Series, Vengeance, Florida, Murder, Gangs, Prostitution, Suspense Thriller
Darcia Helleabout this book: The Inspiration Behind No Justice
Some time ago, I served on a jury for the murder trial of a man accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend. While I had known that our justice system had flaws, this was a close-up view of those injustices behind our justice system. We, the jury, were not allowed to hear anything about the plaintiff's past. His life was a locked box. The victim, however, had no such privacy. The defense attorney gleefully flaunted the victim's past, including her sexual history from as far back as her teen years. I will never forget the look of anguish on her parents' faces.
The defense did a great job of spinning the tale and making the victim out to be less than virtuous. After a week of this, when we were sent to deliberate, only two of the 12 jurors initially voted for murder one. I was one of them. The other 10 wanted involuntary manslaughter, citing her behavior and his cocaine use as "excuses". I should mention here that the man had left his dead girlfriend in his bed, while he went out and partied with friends all night. Also, according to witnesses, he was quite sober at the time of the murder.
The other juror and I fought for, and eventually won, a murder one conviction. Before we left the courthouse, the judge spoke to us privately. She congratulated and thanked us for the conviction. At that time, she was able to tell us what had been carefully kept from us throughout the trial; the man we'd just convicted had a long history of abusing women. He'd already been convicted of several assaults and had been charged but not convicted of one rape. An involuntary manslaughter charge would have been little more than a slap on the wrist. He'd have been out in no time, free to rape and murder yet another woman.
My husband and I were discussing this one day, that case specifically and the justice system in general. That's when the character Michael Sykora was born. In many ways, the main character is my husband's alter ego. (But, to be clear, my husband does not moonlight as a hit man!)
As for the specific plot, that developed from a combination of the characters' voices and the conversation with my husband. I don't write from an outline. I start with a character and a vague idea. Then I listen and follow where that leads me. About midway through writing No Justice, I realized that I had way too many plots and subplots going on. At that point, I knew that Michael Sykora needed to be a series. He wasn't happy with one book. I stripped down that initial manuscript and told the story of where I thought the series needed to begin.
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