Sunday, August 13, 2023

Blindsided Justice by Daniel Romanello Blog Tour Book Review

 Blindsided Justice

by Daniel Romanello

July 31 - September 8, 2023 Virtual Book Tour



Dylan Tomassi returns in this sequel to the original coming of age thriller, PAPERBOY. Having grown up poor, Dylan is now a successful private investor, wealthy beyond his wildest dreams and living an idyllic lifestyle on Florida’s gulf coast. Cognizant of his humble beginnings, he is committed to paying it forward as he prepares for the opening of his charitable foundation’s crown jewel.

But crime is raging out of control following the election of an opportunistic carpetbagger and Dylan and those closest to him become victims of a broken system that places them in grave danger. He utilizes his considerable resources to protect those he holds dear, but everyone and everything are not what they appear to be.

An exhilarating action thriller, BLINDSIDED JUSTICE drops you in the middle of an epic battle between justice and subversion.

My Review:

This is not your typical thriller. Romanello's writing style is very descriptive. New characters and events are described in detail. There are long passages of prose. We follow the everyday life of wealthy Dylan for the most part as he manages his investments and plans a youth center. He is a decent guy but is flawed in his judging the character of women with respect to potential romance.

Interspersed into that record of Dylan's life are several scenes that really emphasize the darker side of people. Some of them center on crooked politicians, making decisions to further their own careers at the expense of upholding the law. Other scenes feature thugs fleecing some people and killing others. Many of the scenes are sexual in nature. There are too many of what I consider explicit sexual scenes of various combinations of people and activities. After a while I skipped reading those scenes entirely.

I did learn a bit about banking practices and how banks might work with insurance companies to offer special services to their customers. I was also given a good example of how a person's persona can be created for media exploitation.

This is a novel for readers who like long sections of prose and detailed descriptions and don't mind sex scenes. While this novel is described as an action thriller, I would not call it one. It is rather a methodical exploration of the character of mankind, good and bad.

 My rating: 4/5 stars.

You can read my review of the first book in this series, Paperboy.

Book Details:

Genre: Contemporary Thriller
Published by: Sanitas Publishing
Publication Date: August 2023
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 979-8-9863151-2-6
Series: Dylan Tomassi Novels, Book 2
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:


A seventy-two-year-old Hispanic man living alone in an old bungalow-style house in Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood awoke in a cold sweat and turned toward the digital clock on the nightstand. It read 2:38 a.m. He had been depressingly lonely and experiencing trouble sleeping since his wife of forty-eight years passed away six months ago. Deciding to get dressed and take a stroll, he left his house, alone in his thoughts, and began walking in the direction of Nebraska Avenue. Half a block from the main thoroughfare, he was suddenly rushed by a pack of young people, ages fifteen to twenty-two, dressed in dark clothes and hoodies. They knocked the old man to the ground and took turns punching and kicking him until he lay motionless on the side of the road.

After a few moments of laughing and taunting his inert body, the youngest hoodlum sifted through the man’s pockets. “Nothing,” she exclaimed as she took a couple steps back and simulated a football placekicker attempting a game-winning field goal. Her right black army boot connected solidly with his skull, and his head bounced off the curb and struck the pavement with a loud thud before blood began pooling beneath him. The sound of police sirens could be heard in the distance as the group scattered, running in different directions.


Seven years ago, a civil rights lawyer had run for district attorney in Philadelphia. The attorney, Calvin Radner, ran on a platform of prosecutorial criminal justice reform. The tenants of the platform included a no cash bail policy, a reduction in the prison population with a review of prior convictions and sentences, and a mandate to aggressively prosecute all allegations of police misconduct. Dark money organizations were a major contributor to Radner’s campaign.

Shortly after being elected, Radner fired most of the long-term career prosecutors, including the entire homicide division, and replaced them with attorneys who had backgrounds in the public defender’s office and civil rights litigation. At his first press conference, he announced that his office would no longer prosecute theft or other property crimes where the amount at issue was less than a thousand dollars. Additionally, all drug use was decriminalized. Radner was instrumental in establishing safe injection sites around the city where drug users could obtain free heroin and sterile needles. Drugs were injected under the supervision of nurses or other medical professionals.

To carry out his policies, Radner established a new division known as the Conviction Integrity Unit. The division was the largest in the office in terms of budget, number of lawyers, and support staff. He hired Troy Eads, a former defense attorney, to run the CIU, making him the highest paid assistant DA in the office.

Violent crime, including homicide, increased in Philadelphia in each of Radner’s first four years in office. Two years ago, when he sought reelection, a well-respected criminal defense lawyer ran an ostensibly effective campaign against him, highlighted by television commercials featuring family members whose loved ones were homicide victims under Radner’s policies. Notwithstanding, Radner won reelection with 68 percent of the vote. Last year, Philadelphia set a record with 524 homicides, 30 percent more than New York City, which has three times the population. A disproportionate majority of the victims were Black.

After three years on the job, Troy Eads had advised Radner that his elderly mother, who lived in Tampa, was in poor health and he needed to relocate to assist her. Eads explained his desire to run for the top prosecutor job in Tampa with the goal of duplicating Radner’s policies. Radner had agreed to introduce him to the money machine that financed his campaigns.

Eads settled in Tampa, and one year later ran for office. The position was known officially as the State Attorney for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit and covered Hillsborough County, which included the city of Tampa.

Despite being a newcomer, Eads had run a well-financed, well-organized campaign against the sitting state attorney who had historically shunned publicity. He was a quiet, unassuming man with little name recognition. The incumbent prosecutor had been completely blindsided by the outsider from Philadelphia and was outspent by a margin of fifty to one. The state attorney race was held in an election off-year and the crime rate had been relatively low at the time. Consequently, it did not generate much attention. With just a 23 percent voter turnout, Troy Eads was elected state attorney by a six percent margin.

Eads had instituted policies similar to those of his former boss in Philadelphia. As his first order of business, he fired most of the career prosecutors and hired lawyers committed to his criminal justice reform agenda. He formed his own Conviction Integrity Unit to review past convictions and sentences. Duty prosecutors were instructed to request release on recognizance with no cash bail for most arrestees, and Eads announced a new firm policy of declining to pursue the death penalty regardless of circumstances.

Shortly after taking office, Eads had advised the Tampa Police Department and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office that his office would no longer prosecute property crimes where no gun violence was involved. After two years, crime surged in Hillsborough County, particularly in Tampa. Homicides increased from twenty-one the year prior to Eads taking office, to forty-two last year and fifty-four so far this year. Further, violent crime, including muggings, robberies, carjackings, and burglaries, had increased by 150 percent. Hours earlier, an elderly Ybor City resident had been the most recent murder victim.

Last year, Tampa police had responded to a domestic call. The female complainant advised the 9-1-1 operator that a man with a restraining order against him was trying to break into her house and threatened to kill her. When police arrived, the man was pounding on the front door and screaming that he was going “to gut her like a pig.” The man ignored the officers’ commands and turned his fury toward them. A scuffle ensued, and after the man brandished a hunting knife and stabbed one of the officers, his partner shot and killed the assailant. The entire incident was captured on a doorbell camera.

Pursuant to Florida law, police-involved shootings were investigated by an independent outside office. In this case, the task had been assigned to Grant Adams, the longtime law-and-order state attorney for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, which included Saint Petersburg and Pinellas County. Adams had completed his investigation and found that the police shooting was justified. Following the decision, several days of riots and looting ensued in Tampa and Saint Petersburg. The Florida governor, Michelle Chen, suspended Adams and cited her authority under the Florida constitution, which allowed her to suspend state officials for reasons of malfeasance, neglect of duty, and incompetence. Governor Chen appointed Tampa prosecutor, Roland Beeks, to serve as state attorney in Adams’s place. Beeks was the chief assistant to Troy Eads.

Although Adams was appealing his suspension, Beeks’s appointment had caused a mass exodus of career prosecutors from the office after he announced the institution of policies that mirrored those in Tampa. In the past several months, violent crime in Pinellas County was on the rise.


Excerpt from Blindsided Justice by Daniel Romanello. Copyright 2023 by Daniel Romanello. Reproduced with permission from Daniel Romanello. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

Dan Romanello worked in the newspaper industry before attending law school at the University of Florida. After serving as an assistant state attorney, he spent more than 20 years as a partner in a boutique firm, running the trial practice group. An accomplished trial lawyer, he has litigated cases in courtrooms throughout the state of Florida. After retiring from the active practice of law, he wrote the first book in the Dylan Tomassi series, PAPERBOY. He resides on Florida’s gulf coast.

Catch Up With Daniel Romanello:
BookBub - @authordanromanello
Twitter - @TheDanRomanello
Facebook - @thedanromanello


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I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Book Tours.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

1 comment:

Dan Romanello said...

Thank you for taking the time to read and review my first two books and for the thoughtful insight and perspective. I checked out your blog. You are certainly a voracious reader!