Thursday, September 11, 2014

What a Brilliant Concept for a Series! Debut--Patchwork Man by D. B. Martin...




This tunic was made out of various patches of animal fur and would be much like Native and Early Americans might have worn, as well as in other places across the world... But have you ever thought about how each of us is made up via the patchwork happenings of our lives? When  I read the blurb, I immediately thought that this would be good! What it actually is was a perfect psychological thriller that will hold you throughout the story, but will also crawl into your mind about all those secrets that you, too, carry--about your past, about your own inner life, and most importantly, who you really are when you say "this is me..."

Lawrence Juste is a Patchwork Man... You wouldn't know it if you met him in his regular habitat... Do we always have to face our pasts? I don't think so, thankfully... But Lawrence not only had to face it--he had to go back into a past he thought he'd never know again...

I had to finally and irrevocably grow up and leave the past I'd thought I'd left behind with my childhood fears. I allowed the insidious creeping dark of the past into full view and there, with only the shadows for company, I took a long look at the man Kenny had become--and the child he'd grown out of.
He was a strange mix, that man--pieces together from a ragbag of life--the feelings I'd avoided and the outward trappings I'd adopted. Maybe we're all patchworks, slowing adding to the pattern, piece by piece--some frayed, some neatly sewn, some brightly colored and some dull and faded from overuse. I'd shied away from the unraveling edges of part of my patchwork--the tattered sense of loss and failure in childhood--and focused only on the pristine right-angled squares; the years of control and success being the man I wanted to be Lawrence Juste, QC. But those symmetrical squares, nevertheless, bordered the rough and ragged. One day, without further sutures, they would become unstitched and lost, and the needlework had already been unraveling for decades.
~~~

Patchwork Man
By D. B. Martin

Kenny had many reasons to want to escape his past, especially, when he and several other siblings were taken away from their home and were never brought back... Maybe it could have worked out if his brother had been different. While Kenny was somewhat shy, Win had been set to win---at anything he'd tried. Even forcing Kenny to join his gang, which would have been bad enough, except Win's instructions had not been followed and Kenny had endured an initiation that was far beyond what anybody else had! It was only afterward--after he'd been selected by the biggest bully in town to play a sort of joke on Win. Kenny had decided to do it after the guy had ensure his punishment was given first...

It was fascinating to me that Kenny chose to go into the law profession, especially since he had to have a sponsor to pay for it...and served his time as "companion" to a judge to get it...
His mentor and...more...

Lawrence Juste had changed his name, became a successful law officer and a QC who was being consider for a higher court position...

Then his wife was killed in an accident...

From my reading, I decided that his wife was really trying to help. After all, if she hadn't been killed, what followed would not have happened...

probably...

But that wasn't how Lawrence saw it, and as you see what she had done, you may decide to go along with Lawrence... That's OK, because personally, I think he needed to face his worse fears, more so than anybody else in my opinion... Perhaps, however, he would have preferred never knowing...what he discovered...

"Weren't me. Weren't there. Didn't do it." He folded his arms across his chest and very defiance in his small bony face and East Long twang made me want to slap him. It was our first defense case conference--a fact-finding mission, with him offering no facts. I forced the irritation down beneath a smoothly reasoned response. My clerk glanced at me nervously. I would rather not have brought him with me. He was a standing joke and I understood now why my partners in Chambers--Francis, Jeremy and Heather--had passed him on to me with such alacrity. He was pathetically keen to please, but pathetic. He needed toughening up. Less of the clerk, more of the bastard. Perhaps I should encourage him to cut his teeth on this, depending on the likelihood of controversy. It was only a kid involved, so surely, he could hold his own against a child, and perhaps relieve me of some of the more tedious aspects of the case. For now, though, I had to get the little tyke to break and actually tell me something--anything.
"You were caught red-handed by the police, so you can hardly claim you weren't there. I have it here." My clerk obediently passed the statement to me, all fingers and thumbs, and I wafted it light in front of the child's mutinous faced. I thought of the stolen video that had been found in his rucksack--a ridiculous concoction based around a street gange who'd discovered they had supernatural powers that allowed them to slip between parallel universes. Slipping the chains, it was called. "Or maybe you want me to believe you were universe-jumping and it was your alter ego there beating the living daylights out of Mrs. Harris?" I knew the sarcasm was inappropriate but I had better things to do than waste my time on a vicious little thug --things like ordering the wreath for Margaret's coffin and choosing the hymns for the service, or seeing what progress the plod had made in tracking down the driver of the hit and run. A[art from which, this was the very last situation I wanted to be confronting again. Margaret had been right about one thing though, and she'd made the point very clearly with all her own good works. Altruism was for putting on a show when a show was needed...
"That's crap really. No-one can jump universes. You're jarring me man. Don't yer know nuthin?  And I weren't there anyway.

And then his social worker spoke up, trying to get Danny, her client, to understand that Mr. Juste was very high up in the courts...and could help him...

Right there, sitting beside them, was one of the reasons he was even willing to talk to his little thug... Not only was she really trying to expedite the process...she...was...beautiful... Their peek-a-boo interest in each other was so obvious that Danny even picked up on it and started teasing them... But that was much further along before Danny was even willing to start talking to him at all!

Now, if everything was going along routinely, Lawrence might have begun to consider how he could break through the boy's shields...he might have even begun to see that there was
something about the case he was caught in that was very similar! Instead, the social worker was working too hard to try to get him to take the case...and let something slip...

I didn't mean you were alike, but he's only a kid and you are a figure of authority that's actually trying to help him, not shut him down. He's already had a touch life and he's barely ten... He's used to being part of a group so I guess that's why he joined the gang... Haven't you ever felt lonely or lost? She paused whilst I battled remembered vulnerabilities, unprepared for her final shot. "Your wife said you'd understand when I told her Danny's story. She said you'd appreciate what this meant for him.
The shock of the statement battled with outrage at her gall in making it. Neither she, nor the boy were invited into my private life, whatever Margaret might have thought...It made me angry with the plump brown Madonna who'd prompted it.
"My wife's not here anymore, so she's somewhat irrelevant, whatever she may have said..."
I set the case notes aside for the rest of the week, reluctant to stir the hornet's nest again. Margaret's maneuvering felt like betrayal as surely as being left in the children's home had felt forty years ago

But that was only the beginning! Remember the old program..."This is Your Life..." Imagine if you were soon to be up for a higher court judge position, your wife has just been killed in an accident. You are finding daily things what she has been doing to dig into his past life, meet with those people, and, worse, with the one man who had haunted him throughout his childhood... It had started when Win, his older brother had come to see him. Win had been in jail, convicted of a case that had been setup almost identically to that of this young boy, Danny... It had been Lawrence (Kenny) who had helped convict him for the actual death, just like Danny was being accused...

When your whole world is being torn apart, what you have built up say, during the last 20 years, doesn't really mean a thing...but why was it happening and who was doing this? I hope I haven't given too much away. Just about everything I've shared is provided one way or another in the early part of the book. Believe me, what I've shared is merely the first layer... A layer of a life that had been eliminated both formally via a legal change of name, and by action of total separation from a family who had long ago moved him out of its center and never once came back to find him...

Why did his wife accumulate information on all the garbage that had destroyed Kenny?

While this is definitely a thriller unlike any other, there is also a heartwarming story evolving through all the hidden secrets that are being revealed, now coming back to haunt him...or to destroy his present and future life unlike anything could. Would he ever have the courage to stand up and say, yeah, that was me...but now look at what I'm doing with my life!?!

Whew! Nothing prepares you to face a book of your life based upon all the horrors, lies, and secrets that were kept in order for you to one day walk away and go to college... Highly recommended!


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About the author:

I people watch. I always have.

Whatever I’m doing and whoever I’m with, a little part of me is watching and secretly wondering - what did that mean? Why did they do that? What might happen next? It was inevitable I would eventually put all those observations together into stories; but what happened next, and why, is never quite what you expect – as in real life, of course...

Born in leafy Surrey, I moved to the forests and shores of Hampshire as a child and I’m now people-watching amongst the dreaming spires of Oxford and its surrounding countryside. And I still have much, much more to put into words …