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Night Is the Hunter: A Harlan Donnally Novel…
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Night Is the Hunter: A Harlan Donnally Novel (Harlan Donnally Novels)

by Steven Gore

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Judge McMillan contacts Harlan Donnelly, a retired detective, to look into the case which appears to be a shooting between rival gangs involving drugs. The judge wants to make sure that no mistakes were made and that the convicted man had a fair trial. As Donnelly digs into the case, it appears that witnesses had lied, there may not have been a gang war but fighting within one gang. Was evidence withheld? Will he solve the case before the State Supreme court decides on the appeal?

Gore takes us through the points of law involved in the trail. Implied malice seems uncomplicated, but not as clearcut when the case is picked apart.

I really enjoyed this book, especially review of the fine legal points. Gore holds your attention through the whole book. I plan to read his other books. ( )
  LeHack | Feb 21, 2015 |
It’s time to come clean. For Judge Ray McMullin, that means confiding in his friend Harlan Donnally about a judgment he made from the bench twenty years ago. The convicted man, Israel Dominguez, is still on death row with time running out. He’s reached out in a letter to McMullin. Donnally is a former San Francisco homicide detective. The Judge wants him to review the investigation. On the night of the Edgar Rojo Sr’s murder, Rojo had received a phone call, walked to his apartment window on the second floor, and was fatally shot from ground level. But from where Dominguez was standing, was the shot even possible at that extreme angle? They were members of rival gangs — Rojo for the Norteños and Dominguez for the Sureños.

Another reason the Judge wants to revisit this case is his own health. He’s showing signs of alzheimers and just needs confirmation – was the conviction valid; was the sentencing fair? Donnally is facing alzheimers in his own family as well. His father, Donald Harlan, a well-known film director, is desperately trying to complete one more film. But, he’s very hush-hush about the film. Will it turn out to be a jumbled mess, or a masterpiece?

I liked the character of Harlan Donnally and his longtime girlfriend, Janie Nguyen, who is a Psychiatrist. They are both portrayed as very mature and responsible. The gang members and gang rivalry was described very realistically. Donnally had himself been caught in gang cross-fire just months before the Rojo shooting. But, pacing of the story falls off with the amount of detail provided in his research as well as the by-stories of the Judge’s and Donald Harlan’s alzheimers. I rated Night is the Hunter at 3.5 out of 5. ( )
  FictionZeal | Feb 19, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Neither my husband nor I could finish this book, though both of us enjoy books set in SF and have personal knowledge of far Northwest California. It's difficult to explain what is wrong with this book, probably because it's hard to tell what the book is intended to be. Hard to believe this is by an established author; it feels like scraps of unrelated manuscripts by an inexperienced author, stitched together.
  cherilove | Jan 19, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I do apologize that it has taken me so long to review this book, due to the holiday it was very busy.After finishing it tonight it was very worth the time, this may have been my first Steven Gore but it will not be my last ... two thumbs up ( )
  JJKING | Jan 12, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It took me much longer to read this book than it should have. I would occasionally find myself drawn in, but would quickly lose interest in a storyline that wandered all over. ( )
  chgstrom | Jan 7, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062025090, Paperback)

They call it pulling the trigger. Not by a killer in the night, but by a judge on the bench.

Twenty years ago, Judge Ray McMullin proved to the people of San Francisco he could pull that trigger by sentencing Israel Dominguez to death for a gangland murder. But it meant suppressing his own doubts about whether the punishment really did fit the crime.

As the execution date nears, the conscience-wracked judge confesses his unease to former homicide detective Harlan Donnally on a riverbank in far Northern California. And after immersing himself in the Norteño and Sureño gang wars that left trails of bullets and blood crisscrossing the state and in the betrayals of both cops and crooks alike, Donnally is forced to question not only whether the penalty was undeserved, but the conviction itself.

Soon those doubts and questions double back, for in the aging judge's panic, in his lapses of memory and in his confusions, Donnally begins to wonder whether he's chasing facts of the case or just phantoms of a failing mind. But there's no turning back, for the edge of night is fast closing in on Dominguez, on McMullin, and on Donnally himself.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:35 -0400)

After a aging judge tells former detective Harlan Donnally about his guilt over a man whom he sentenced for murder twenty years earlier and who is now scheduled for execution, Harlan discovers facts that put the man's conviction in doubt.

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