Gray Justice is the story of a man who has lost everything, all because of the selfish actions of a joy rider. What he cannot tolerate is the fact that this joy rider seems to feel no guilt for his crimes – and, along with a vast number of similar criminals, nothing stops him from re-offending. The sentences handed out are risible, and it would appear that the government is going to do nothing to impose harsher sentences or develop strategies to reduce the number of recidivists. So Tom Gray comes up with an ingenious plan which involves the whole population of the UK, and requires some definite and positive action from the government. What he fails to realise, though, is that one of his clever strategies results in a conclusion that he had never anticipated.
The plot, characters and pace – 4.4
This is an ingenious plot, with some surprising but well thought out twists and turns. The pace is good, and all aspects of the book appear to be well researched – so much so that you might wonder if the author had himself been a member of the SAS. Gritty and brutal in places, McDermott paints very strong visual images throughout the story. I loved the idea of Tom Gray being more than just your average vigilante – an option that was perhaps open to him after he lost his family.
Any reservations that I have are minor, and do not detract from the overall story. Personally I thought that the proposed punishment was a little harsh for the crimes, and there are other offenders who were maybe more deserving of Gray’s justice. I also completely understood the motives of the protagonist, but I would have liked to have understood more of what he was feeling. After all, this was a pretty significant undertaking, and I didn’t get much of a feel for Tom Gray ‘the man’ and how this mission was affecting him. Some of the other characters were also a little indistinct and it would have been good to recognise a number of strong and individual personalities. But these are a trivial reservations in an extremely gripping story.
The quality of the experience – grammar, formatting, etc – 3.8
There was a slight formatting issue that ran through my Kindle copy of the book, and I found that a bit of a distraction. I did contact the author about this, and I understand that he has not had this issue reported before – so I have not marked the book down on this basis. However, I did find quite a number of errors – particularly towards the end of the book. They are not major and just need some tight copy editing, but they do stop me from classing it as excellent in this category.
Value for money – 4.8
It’s an exceptionally good book for the price.