Freed from prison when a new round of DNA testing casts doubt on his guilt, Quentin Price is about to confront a figure from his past who will make him an offer difficult to refuse: the chance to help solve the crime that put him behind bars. There is only one problem. What if Quentin is guilty? And what if the person he is about to meet appears the unlikeliest ally of all? In Record Of Wrongs, a thriller that crackles with a palpable sense of loss, Price, a former college security guard, balks when asked to join in a search for the real killer by the white mother of the student he was convicted of raping and murdering.
"A brisk page turner of a beginning." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Highly recommended. A story that grips you. I dare you to tell me I'm wrong." -- Michael Connelly
"A taut suspense thriller that raises compelling questions about redemption and justice." -- USA Today and International Bestselling author Jeff Abbott
"Shamus-award winner Andy Straka's latest delivers relentless tension, intriguing plot and characters you feel in your bones. Record of Wrongs is a compulsively readable, gripping thriller." -- Julia Spencer- Julia Spencer-Fleming, Edgar finalist and author of All Mortal Flesh
"Straka's elegant, understated prose perfectly fits his story of buried rage, imprisoned lives, and the evil that lies at the heart of quiet places." -- SJ Rozan, multi-award winning author of In This Rain
Record of Wrongs by Andy Straka
Quentin Price was a college security guard near Binghamton, NY, when he was accused of raping and murdering coed Gwen Crawford. After ten years in prison, DNA proves him innocent. Ironically, Gwen's mother Ruth wants to team up with Quentin to find Gwen's real killer, though her ex-husband, retired cop Jack Crawford, still believes in Quentin's guilt. Complicating the situation is the fact that Quentin is black and the victim white. Even in a quiet place like Binghamton, justice is not colorblind. Racial prejudice played a role in Quentin's quick conviction and still feeds Jack's blind hatred of him. The court system, in a belated attempt to do the right thing, summons black NYC detective Garnell Harris back to his hometown to look into the case with fresh eyes. As Ruth, Quentin, and Garnell investigate, lots of questions arise that need answering. The biggest--whether Quentin could really be guilty after all. Meanwhile, Jack sets in motion his own secret plan to put Quentin back behind bars. The question of whether Jack is harassing an innocent man or exacting a father's justice will churn at readers' insides. Record of Wrongs represents a change in direction from the author's creditable Frank Pavlicek series, and Straka may have found his real strength. A few rough spots near the conclusion aren't enough to spoil the suspense in this first-rate thriller.
This review appeared in the Winter 2008 issue -- Mystery Scene Magazine
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