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Three days before a key election, US Senator Diane Cragin is electrocuted on her own doorstep—a shocking twist in an already brutal political race. Cragin’s chief of staff is quick to blame rival Joey Green, a city development director who’s had his hand in every till in town for over 20 years.

Maggie and Jack have their own theories, especially after discovering a fortune in cash in the senator’s safe. But as they follow the money through the treacherous landscape of Cleveland politics, they find many more millions in play—and more suspects.

As Jack says, “Anyone can be dangerous, when they have what they think is a good reason.” He should know. Now a Herald reporter is perilously close to discovering the truth about Jack’s penchant for acting as both detective and executioner. With each passing hour, the stresses of the impending election expose new fractures and corruption at the city’s highest levels. And as one murder leads to another, and another, Maggie and Jack’s only hope of stopping a killer is an alliance that’s growing ever more fragile.

The Big Thrill caught up to New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black to learn more about her latest thriller, LET JUSTICE DESCEND:

Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?

The setting—a political campaign—took place first, since I, like the rest of the country, have gotten so annoyed and alarmed at the polarization. In this book I focus on the party structure—not current issues, personalities, or administrations, but the continuing, underlying structure.

What attracts you to this book’s genre?

I’ve always written murder mysteries. At times they delve into thriller or psychological suspense or police procedural or action and intrigue, but there’s always a murder at the heart.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

Alistair MacLean taught me to keep things moving and that the heroine doesn’t have to spend a lot of time navel-gazing and that romance doesn’t need a lot of spelling out. Lisa Gardner taught me to start with a question on the first page. P. D. James taught me that detail doesn’t have to be boring. Tess Gerritsen taught me that a female hero will always have female friends for support and occasional venting.


Lisa Black spent the five happiest years of her life in a morgue. As a forensic scientist at the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office, she analyzed many forms of trace evidence as well as crime scenes. Now she’s a certified latent print examiner and CSI in Florida and is the author of 14 traditionally published novels. Some have been translated into six other languages, one reached the New York Times bestsellers list, and one has been optioned for film.

To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.


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