Thursday, July 24, 2008

And Justice For All

I find myself muddling through questions about 'Justice' these days. And maybe it's just justice systems that have me muddled.

It started with a book called Child 44 by Tom Smith (Hachette). The story is about a serial killer in the time of Stalin's rule in Russia. It is roughly based on the real serial killer, Andrei Chikatilo, and is set in the 1950's. What could be just another serial killer story line (how jaded we've become) is wound around the horrors of the Stalinist concept of society and 'justice'. There was no crime in the perfect Russian state. So how could there be a serial killer!
But all citizens were treated as criminals. The hero and heroine find themselves on the wrong side of this very warped system and are hunted as if they were the killers, not the person they were pursuing.

In the midst of this novel, to relieve the stress , I picked up The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi (Grand Central Publishing). Not quite the light reading I imagined. It seems that Mr. Preston and family decided to move to Florence early in the new century so he could write his next novel.
He found himself more interested in an old unsolved serial murder case and investigated and wrote about it with the help of his co-author, an Italian journalist. During the course of their investigating and interviewing, they themselves came under the scrutiny of the Italian justice system. Preston was jailed, and upon release, hustled out of the country. Spezi was then hassled and ultimately arrested for the murders! It took an international effort to get him released.

Again, all citizens are treated as criminals. And this in a 'modern democratic' society!

I'm still looking for a little light reading!

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