A Final Judgment
By Michael A. Black
Lawyers … Chicago-based Private Detective Ron Shade has a cop’s inherent distrust of them, even though it’s been years since he was relieved of his badge. Still, when his old friend, Rick Walters, who happens to be a member of the bar, needs help doing the legwork for a wrongful death lawsuit, Shade reluctantly agrees. Then he finds out they’ll be going up against the preeminent attorney in Cook County, Mason Gilbert, and his famous detective associate, Big John Flood. Both men are local legends and Shade feels like a novice stepping into the ring for a title shot. To make matters worse, the trial is in only three weeks and there’s a lot of work to do. The first PI that Rick Walters hired committed suicide midway through the preparation. Or did he? Little inconsistencies start to pop up as Shade begins his investigation, and pretty soon he’s hot on the trail of something very elusive in a case like this: The truth. Then an opportunity he’s been dreaming of suddenly materializes: a shot at the world heavyweight kickboxing championship. Finding himself up against seemingly unbeatable opponents, Shade feels like he’s been swept up in a maelstrom as he tries to cover all the bases. But this time Shade finds out that the final judgment just might be death.