Free of Malice
by Liz Lazarus
My rating: 4 stars
Publisher: Mitchell Cove Publishing LLC
Publication Date: February 18, 2016
Print Length: 276 pages
Available from: Amazon
Laura Holland awakes in the middle of the night to see a stranger standing in her bedroom doorway. She manages to defend herself from the would-be rapist, though he threatens to return as he retreats. Traumatized with recurring nightmares, Laura seeks therapy and is exposed to a unique treatment called EMDR. She also seeks self-protection— buying a gun against the wishes of her husband. When Laura learns she could have gone to prison had she shot her fleeing assailant, she decides to write a hypothetical legal case using the details of that night. She enlists the help of criminal defense lawyer, Thomas Bennett, who proves to be well versed in the justice system but has an uncanny resemblance to her attacker. As the two work together to develop the story, Laura’s discomfort escalates particularly when Thomas seems to know more about that night than he should. Reality and fiction soon merge as her real life drama begins to mirror the fiction she’s trying to create.
Free of Malice by Liz Lazarus
No one knows how they will be affected after a home invasion and attempted rape. Your personal space has been violated; the sanctity of the safety you feel in your home has been shredded. Laura could not get over the attack, and the attacker had promised to return, the once confident woman was afraid of every sound, every shadow as she slowly imploded on herself. After therapy, the endless support of her husband and a neighbor, she went as far as buying a gun, which brought up a myriad of questions in the freelance reporter’s mind.
Would it be possible to exorcise her demons through investigating every angle of the attack through the eyes of law enforcement as well as a criminal defense attorney? Step by painful step, she creates the perfect defense, but is it therapy or just another dark tunnel she is falling into? Do her “experts” know more about her actual attack than they should? How can she become suspicious of every man around her? Why does everyone remind her of the attacker she barely saw? The greatest unknown is will the attacker follow through on his threat to return? What if he does? What will Laura do? Who will it be? Has he been tracking her all along under the guise of friendship or is he a total stranger? Her mind reels, her fear has become paranoia, even her nightmares bring screaming hysteria as she waits and waits…
Free of Malice by Liz Lazarus is more than edge of your seat suspense. Your nerves will fray, you will want Laura to move on, but unless you have lived the heinous nightmare, how can we know this isn’t the perfect portrayal of a woman shattered? Fascinating legal ramifications are explored as well as the legal process itself. Feel the tension, the grit and watch as one woman fights to regain her former self with the powerful writing of Liz Lazarus.
I received a review copy from Mitchell Cove Publishing in exchange for my honest review.