There’s certainly no fun going on in ex-cop/PI Jackson Donne’s life, and any freewheeling taking place is of the acting in desperation to stay alive variety rather than the footloose and fancy-free type.
After watching his life implode over a series of decisions gone from bad to worse, Donne finally gave in and accepted the fact he could no longer stay one step ahead of the avalanche that had been bearing down on him for so long.
To atone for the sins he’d committed over the years, at the conclusion of An Empty Hell, the previous outing in the Jackson Donne series, Donne allowed himself to be taken in and sent to prison, ready to at least attempt to cleanse his soul through the penance of doing hard time.
His decision was affected in no small part by his association with Matt Herrick, another NJ private investigator, one who seemed to do everything right, and with the right motive, in the same situations where Donne had found himself so adrift.
In prison, Donne is taken under the wing of Matt’s father, Kenneth, a career criminal in for a bank job gone wrong. While Donne’s busy keeping an eye on his conscience and contemplating his place in life, Kennth keeps an eye on Donne’s back and breaks the necks of anyone who tries to mess with Donne. Things take a turn for the interesting when, years ahead of their respective release dates, Kenneth and Donne are sprung from prison by one of Kenneth’s old partners in crime, Elliot Cole. Seems enough money and not enough morals are the perfect combination to buy an official, under the table pardon.
Lest Donne think they were sprung out of the goodness of Cole’s heart, it’s quickly made clear to them their services for a job are not only expected, they’re required. And not just any job, one that is a guaranteed fast track back to prison, if they’re not killed in the process. Making matters even more complicated, Cole insists that Kenneth bring Matt in on the job, and uses Matt’s mother, Kenneth’s ex-wife, as the hook. Seems she’s gravely ill, and the only place she can get the lifesaving treatment she needs is in Cuba, and it won’t be cheap. And with that, Blind to Sin is off to the races, as both Matt and Donne are put in positions that force them to reevaluate and question everything about themselves and what they stand for.
In this fifth entry in the Jackson Donne series, Derringer Award-winning author Dave White manages a nifty trick—flipping the switch and resetting the playing field. Up until this point in the proceedings, the reader has known Donne as a flawed but basically good man, one who has spent every entry in the series trying to make up for the horrendous events that occurred off stage during Donne’s time as a less than stellar police officer. After making mistakes that cost him his career, his fiancée and, for a time, his sobriety, Donne has since fought tooth and nail not backslide into the things that once dragged him down: corruption, moral bankruptcy, alcohol and violence.
Now, freed from his self-imposed prison, Donne is placed yet again squarely on the horns of a moral dilemma, one that causes him to doubt the decisions he’s made and question whether there really is such a thing as the moral high ground. It’s a bold move to take a character who has been steadily moving in one direction, yank the rug out from under him, and put him in the position of seemingly being willing to once again embrace everything he fought so hard to get out from under. White does just that, and to great effect, keeping both Donne and readers on their toes and raising the stakes in an already high-octane series.
Blind to Sin is available now from Polis Books.