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Blind Justice by Bruce Alexander

Blind Justice by Bruce Alexander

He watched as the mob killed his father slowly and perfectly legally. Mr. Proctor sat in the stocks day after day as neighbors spat on him and pitched rotten fruit and rocks and his body broke down but never his spirit. What was the villain’s crime? He was a printer who dared to publish a tract that angered the local authorities. It was enough to doom him and change his young son’s destiny. In Bruce Alexander‘s Blind Justice, thirteen-year-old Jeremy heeds his dying father’s last words to flee to safety.

And so the apprentice printer goes to London—inexperienced and nearly penniless. His first adventure turns to misadventure when a notorious thief taker traps him and presents him before a London justice. Depending on what this man decides, Jeremy could face prison, deportment to Australia where he would be virtually a slave, or death itself for thievery can be punished by any of these measures. The situation is disturbing in and of itself, but when the prisoner goes before his judge he becomes aware that across Judge Fielding’s face is curtain of black fabric. For Sir John Fielding is blind.

But as Jeremy is soon to discover, Judge Fielding “sees” more with his other senses and wide-ranging mind than most other men. He takes Jeremy under his temporary guardianship, but before he can hand him over to his friend, dictionary-maker and publisher Samuel Johnson, a mysterious death proves the lad’s worth as an able assistant in detection for it is his keen eyes that notice a detail proving that a powerful lord did not commit suicide.

The author has recreated mid-18th-century London with entertaining as well as realistic touches. Blind Justice is the start of a mystery series in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes that features entertaining characters, both historical and imaginary.