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With Prejudice - a mystery thriller that reveals how bias and prejudice impact our legal system.

Melina Mora, a young, free-spirited woman has gone missing. No murder weapon or body have been found. Evidence of sexual assault and possible murder point to Gabriel Soto, a loner who lives on a secluded part of a farm in Homestead, Fla. Strands of Mora’s hair were found at Soto’s residence. Sandy Grunwald is the ambitious prosecutor of the Miami-based case, which is set in 2011. Before the trial, new evidence emerges that puts the case in jeopardy for the prosecution.

Author Robin Peguero, in his debut, brings a unique perspective to this fast-paced, engaging legal thriller. With Prejudice focuses heavily on the jury. We learn how each juror brings a lifetime of experiences and biases to the case, which impacts their decision as to whether Soto is guilty or not. Peguero, formerly a homicide prosecutor in Miami, has the real-life experience to tell this interesting story. I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes aspect of the book, making this much more than a standard courtroom drama. We get to see people lying and doing whatever it takes to win. This includes witnesses, detectives, the prosecutor and the defense attorney. The jury ignores instructions not to discuss the case amongst themselves. Makes you wonder how many people get a truly fair trial.

There’s a lot going on here and it requires paying careful attention to know what is taking place in the present and what is told as a flashback. Characters have surprising connections. The story’s twists and turns were very effective. Peguero’s powerful book, which is his debut novel, shows the impact of prejudice on our legal system and it is clearly a concern.

Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing | Hachette Book Group and Novel Suspects Insiders for the opportunity to read With Prejudice in advance of its release.

Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Legal Mystery / Thriller.

Publication Date: May 17, 2022.

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