By: Gerard Shirar
Publication Date: December 2017
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Sometimes the law of the land gives way to the law of the jungle; in this gripping crime novel, author Gerard Shirar shows both, up close and at times, very ugly.
Timothy Flaherty and Donny Faye were friends all through elementary and high school, their main link being sports. Timmy knew Donny was different from him – sometimes he had marks on his face, like he’d been hit, and he never talked about his home life. That only seemed to make the bond stronger.
Shirar, as an Army veteran and former attorney, has walked some of the walk he so intently details. He writes with admirable confidence, not a word out of place. His story hinges on the teetering balance between two versions of justice. In the first half of the book, we see how a man can be degraded without becoming a total monster, and in the second, how a man may, when called upon, do the wrong deed for the right reason. The reader can readily visualize the ambience Shirar so vividly depicts, from the gloomy underworld peopled by street thugs to the lofty and sometimes conflicted realms of legal power.
Quill says: Readers will find themselves picturing Shirar’s When the Rules Don’t Apply as a gritty, noire film, and will hope to see more output from this talented wordsmith.