Silent Retribution Man by J. Sato introduces us to the character of Lionel Seaver. Life has dealt Lionel a tough hand; he has lost his wife and child and he discovered his chosen career was not exactly what he had signed up for. As a lawyer, he realized the scales of justice were inexorably tipped in favour of the rich, the powerful, the famous and it was less about what you did but more about who you knew when it came to dispensing justice. Almost as bad as the criminals getting off with light sentences or worse, “scott-free” were the a-holes who were just obnoxious people and seemed to make it their mission to taunt and torment the weak, the powerless, and the defenceless; bullies and rude people were almost as offensive to Lionel as the out and out crooks. Considering he had little left to lose in his life, Lionel made it his mission to deliver his own form of silent retribution wherever he saw injustice, rudeness, or suffering victims. It was a mission that could only end up in one place, eventually, but Lionel was determined to brings as many of these miscreants to justice before he might indeed need to face his own.
The premise of Silent Retribution Man was clever and had real potential. I felt author J. Sato did an excellent job of exploring and discussing the ramifications of this “vigilante” style justice being meted out by the character. The “pop culture” movie and television references, also I felt added to the narrative in some instances and although I did enjoy them, the author clearly overdid them, in my opinion but even more tricky from a reader’s perspective, failed to obviously delineate changes from the narrative into the movie or television reference, which often brought me to a jarring halt in my read as I tried to figure out what was happening. A simple box quote, italics, or bolding for this would certainly vastly improve the readability of this book. That being said, this was a thoughtful read with plenty of moral issues to consider by a reader and I love a book that asks me to question societies’ as well as my own morals and come to a conclusion. I thought the author did an exceptional job of building the character of Lionel and without any spoilers, his final dilemma was well executed. This is a book that makes you think, makes you question and there are too few of those around, so I do recommend this.