St. Martin's, Dec 2001, 23.95, 256 pp.
After years serving as a defense attorney, fifty something Don Robak becomes a circuit judge in a Southern Indiana's County. Don, his wife Jo, and their son are a happy family when their joy is shattered. Jo becomes ill with a dangerous fever that the doctors have no idea what is causing it but Don suspects foul play.
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When the fever finally breaks, Jo is left with brain damage that requires round the clock care taking. He brings Jo back home, but soon places her in a nursing home when someone fires a shot into his house. He sends his son off to live with a friend in another state while Don begins to track down the individual wanting either he or his wife dead, knowing that he has made a wealth of enemies over the years.
Readers feel the love the judge feels for his spouse as this first person narrative turns him into a sympathetic hero though his control rivals that of Job. Between a flaky militia, a local cult, and a powerful family, the investigation leads he investigators down a Byzantine path. ROBAK IN BLACK is a first class amateur sleuth tale because of the Robak relationship before, during, and after the illness.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner