Dead Wrong (Jason Justice Mystery Book 2) by Ralph Zeta

Reviewed by Chris Phillips

Dead WrongJason Justice is a “simple” divorce attorney in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is content with his position and his status. However, he seems to have a predilection toward getting involved in some more mysterious intrigue than would be thought for a divorce lawyer.

He goes to meet a potential client who happens to be a celebrity of note in the area. He doesn’t know what it is about, but assumes Milton Lowry wanted to discuss a divorce as that was his specialty. When he arrives at the designated location, he finds a BMW in front of an old mansion in the middle of the Okeechobee Lake region. There is music playing but nothing else to indicate other people are present.

Naturally, Jason investigates. He comes upon the apparent murder of Mr. Lowry but is knocked unconscious before he can aid.

Thus, begins a great mystery. It is neither obvious nor easy to determine who did what to whom and for what reason.

Jason is an unlikely investigator, but with the help of his private investigator, Sammy Raj, and a few other unlikely participants he seeks justice for Mr. Lowry.

Mr. Lowry comes from money, lots of money, from land investments all over southern Florida. His father was “Bull” Lowry. Apparently, the nickname was more than just a convenient shortening of a name. “Bull” spent a lot of time spreading his genes among many women in the area. The speculation is that there are upwards of 20 offspring that do not fall under the legitimate inheritance laws. Then the story gets more convoluted with the illegitimate children and their mothers getting involved.

Mr. Zeta can develop characters rapidly and creates full-fleshed people that anyone might encounter if they were in the right place at the right time. The plot is fast paced, but the twists are unexpected and give depth to an already fascinating mystery. This is a unique mystery with new twists that nevertheless follow a tried-and-true genre path, without pretention and with large amounts of intrigue and excitement.

Besides these characters, there is the straight-by-the-book Sheriff Powell. He is brought in, finds little evidence and then proceeds to deal with the biggest crime of his professional life. Lowry’s wife comes up quickly, as is always the case when a married man is murdered. Gabriela Benitez Lowry is a very busy and prosperous woman. She is also not above a little self-gratifying mishandling of money.

Jason lives the life of ease in a boat he bought from his father’s estate. He has military experience, legal experience and an investigative nose that will not stop. He seems to find plenty to do and plenty to get involved in throughout the book.

This reviewer was unable to put the book down and read it very quickly. It is thoroughly enjoyable and will be rewarding for any mystery enthusiast, but also any reading of quality writing. This is the second in what is hoped to be a long standing and long lasting series of mysteries.
5/5 stars.

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