Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Book Review: 'Presumed Guilty' by Gino Cox

Author Gino Cox made his writing debut with THE BLACK PILL and it proved he is definitely a new talent to watch. Having completed his education at both Rockford University and marketing studies at Northwestern University he now seems to be possibly living in California, associated with Fleshwound Films/Fleshgear/Desert Syndicate Productions in Malibu, California. Combing the Internet trying to find biographical information on Cox' biography offers only that, so instead of knowing his background we must rely solely on his ability to weave a tale. And spin a yarn he certainly does!

Apparently his debut novel was an adaptation of a screenplay he had written, and according to information available, the same is true for GUILTY. Both books are so fine that we can only hope that they will be on the big screen at some point. Until that time we can only admire the intensity of dramatic mystery his works create.

In what is becoming typical Gino Cox style we first meet the characters of the novel that provide the color - Ice and Luigi and Dominic and O'Rourke - and in doing so by the time Gideon Maguire steps on the stage there is depth to the mystery that blooms naturally. But to clarify the plot, the author has provided a seductive introduction: `Two of police Homicide detective Gideon Maguire's partners are murdered in separate incidents less than a week apart. A mob enforcer has a crisis of conscience and turns on his masters. When his wife and daughter are brutally murdered, he kidnaps a drug kingpin's daughter in an intricate plot for revenge. The kidnapping results in a series of attacks on registered sex offenders by gangsters hoping to find the girl and cash in on a huge reward. The incompetence of a mob boss's heir apparent results in palace intrigues to discredit the young man. Vigilante torture and murder, extrajudicial executions, rigged dogfights, teenage sexting, murder, fabricated evidence, a predatory pedophile and a transvestite chanteuse are all part of the investigation. Nobody is innocent. They are all presumed guilty.'

And by the time the story arrives at the climax the reader is left with a feeling of `job well done'. This is an impressive reinforcement that Gino Cox is a man who knows how to write dialogue and pace an action story framed in the confines of a the underworld. It is a `keep the lights on' story with considerably more developed humanity in the ending as Gino progresses as a writer. Grady Harp, July 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.