DiscoverMystery & Crime

I Am Justice


Loved it! 😍

Will Coates is a US cop working in Melbourne hunting a killer who seeks to balance the scales of justice by doing what the courts refuse.

First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Lara Coates for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Always eager to try new authors, I turned to Lara Coates and her debut novel, an Australian police procedural. In a story that has a bit of everything, Coates keeps the reader entertained throughout and adds a little twist at every turn. When the body of a young woman is found in a fishing shack outside Melbourne, Detective Sergeant Will Carson is called to the scene. He peers at the mutilated body with ‘Justice’ carved in it and is unsure of what to make of what is before him. With a past in as a profiler in the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division, Carson has seen it all, but there is little on which to begin this investigation, as clues and forensics are sparse. While Carson and his team seek any leads, another body is found, severely mutilated in ways few in the Victorian Police Force could imagine. When the first victim is identified, Carson uses this as a foothold to begin creating a list of plausible suspects. It seems that both victims have recently had their day in court, vindicated for crimes of which they were accused. With the killer lurking in the shadows, seeking to instil justice for those who slipped through the cracks, the next victim is anyone’s guess. An interesting story that reads quickly and keeps the reader guessing throughout, with a curious cliffhanger to end it. Recommended to those who enjoy police procedurals, particularly the reader who enjoys something a little outside the usual American or British settings in this expanding genre. 

This debut novel proved to be a wonderful launching point for me to explore this up and coming novelist. I allowed this blank slate to permit me to opportunity to dive into this book with no preconceived notions or expectations, particularly since I can find no one else who has read and reviewed this book. DS Will Carson has quite the backstory, which is developed in a parallel narrative throughout this piece, including a discussion about how he arrived in Melbourne from the tough streets of Los Angeles. Bringing that history to his new position, Carson is able to work through the nuances of a serial killer with an axe to grind. The reader will surely find some connection to Carson, even if he seems somewhat preachy in the opening chapters. Others complement Carson's work quite well, helping to strengthen the overall reading experience while flavouring the story in unique ways. The story kept moving as the plot evolved, using short chapters and numerous cliffhangers to keep the reader wanting to read ‘just a little more’. Coates pulls the reader in and does not let go until the final reveal. This debut is soon to be followed by two more books, whose blurbs appear at the end and which I am sure to read when they are released. Told in such a way that the story can be read in a single sitting, this is one author not to be missed by those who enjoy this genre.  

Kudos, Madam Coates, for this intriguing piece of work. I will be back to read more and hope others take the plunge!

Reviewed by

I love to read and review all sorts of books. My passion is crime and thrillers, but there are so many other genres that pique my attention.

While I am not a full-time reader, I try to dedicate as much time to my passion as possible, as can be seen on my blog and Goodreads.


About the author

Lara works as a Police Forensic Investigation Officer in Perth, Western Australia. She shares her home with her husband and two dogs and loves nothing more than being outdoors, a good book and a cheeky glass of wine. view profile

Published on February 11, 2020

Published by

50000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Reviewed by