Title: Monument Road by Michael Wiley
Franky Dast Mystery Series Book One
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 256 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Introducing former death-row inmate turned private investigator Franky Dast in the first of an intriguing new crime noir series.
Having spent eight years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit, Franky Dast now works as an investigator for the Justice Now Initiative, seeking to help others in the same situation. But when he learns that Bill Higby, the detective whose testimony helped convict him, is facing his own murder charge, Franky is torn. Should he help the man he hates more than any other, the man who remains convinced of Franky’s guilt to this day?
As Franky delves further, he comes to realize that in order to prove Higby’s innocence, he must also prove his own. Unless he finds out what happened that fateful night eight years before, the night 15-year-old Duane Bronson and his 13-year-old brother were murdered, Franky will always be under suspicion, and the real killer will remain free. What really happened that dark, wet night on Monument Road? And is Franky prepared for the shocking truth?
Will appeal to fans of GREG ILES and MICHAEL CONNELLY
Monument Road by Michael Wiley is a riveting mystery which features a former death row inmate who is struggling to reintegrate to society while at the same time working as a investigator for the nonprofit that helped overturn his conviction.
After stopping to help brothers Duane and Steven Bronson late one night, Franky Dast is eventually arrested, convicted and sent to death row for their horrific murders. Eight years later, after his tireless work on his appeals and aided by the Justice Now Iniative, his conviction has been overturned and Franky has been released from prison. Franky might be no longer incarcerated, but many people, including his brother Jared and Bill Higby, the detective who arrested him, have no doubt that he killed the teenagers. After Bill is arrested for shooting and killing Joshua Skooner, his neighbor and son of prominent judge Eric Skooner, Franky is gleeful about his nemesis’s plight. However, he quickly comes to the conclusion that Bill might be innocent and Franky’s subsequent investigation unexpectedly leads back to the Bronson brothers’ murders.
Franky might no longer be physically in prison, but he is not exactly free from the effects of his incarceration. He vacillates between the highest of highs and the lowest of lows as he tries to adjust to his new life. Despite his adjustment issues, he jumps headlong into working for the Justice Now Iniative where he goes to extreme lengths to help exonerate prisoners who have been wrongly convicted. Franky is highly intelligent and relentless in his pursuit of the truth but his impulsivity and volatility do not always result in the best decisions. He refuses to take no for an answer in his zeal to find answers and Franky frequently skirts the boundaries of respectable behavior when confronted with recalcitrant witnesses.
Monument Road is a well-executed mystery that takes a stunning turn when Franky uncovers evidence that hints at shocking corruption and wrongdoing at the highest level in the justice system. Franky is a complex character who is surprisingly sympathetic despite his erratic behavior and ill-thought out decisions. The plot is engaging and Michael Wiley brings the novel to an action packed conclusion. This first installment in the Franky Dast Mystery series is sure to be a hit with fans of the genre.