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Reviewed by Tracy Young for Readers' Favorite
Crueler and More Unusual by Erik Dean is an anthology of stories about the judicial system and how it may develop in the future. Dummy is a chilling tale of how, despite the barrage of information available, there are still people who think it is okay to drink and drive. Robert Holman is such a person and he has consistently offended and chose to ignore the warnings. Many people believe that the punishment should fit the crime. Dummy is a tale of what happens when that belief is adhered to. Early Release is the story of a young man who has been caught up in the justice system but is given the chance to gain his freedom with the Early Release program. His victim’s family have a limited amount of time to exact their punishment, but Kelvin receives help from a most unlikely source.
Public Pool is a story about the crime of passion and greed. Business partners who have overcome many obstacles to make their business successful are halted by a final twist in their relationship. This classic tale is cleverly told with a jaw-dropping finale! Broken Justice is a chilling look into what could happen if the courts were dehumanized. All manners of crimes are dealt with by technology, and justice is meted out swiftly and brutally. What happens though when Mother Nature has taken center stage and threatens to disrupt the system? Can justice compete with Nature or will it be found wanting?
I loved this book! Erik Dean is a storyteller of the highest caliber and I was gripped by Crueler and More Unusual. His vision of a judicial system of the future is especially terrifying as it is so plausible. The subject of capital punishment is a contentious one, whatever your beliefs, and the subject is handled perfectly. I cannot wait to check out Erik Dean's other titles and will highly recommend this book to friends. This is a great read and would look amazing on screen! Watch out for those twists; they will leave you open mouthed!