Monument Road

Monument Road

Introducing former death-row inmate turned private investigator Franky Dast in the first of an intriguing new crime noir series. Having spent eight years on death row for a crime he didn't commit, Franky Dast now works as an investigator for the Justice Now Initiative, seeking to help others in the same situation. But when he learns that Bill Higby, the detective whose te...

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Title:Monument Road
Author:Michael Wiley
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Monument Road Reviews

  • Paromjit

    This is dark and enthralling Crime Noir set in Florida. 18 year old Franky Dast does a good deed, helping teenagers Duane and Steven on a dark night by taking them to a petrol station on Monument Road. The two brothers are gruesomely murdered and raped after he drops them off. In a horrific miscarriage of justice, Franky is convicted of their killing, serving 8 years on Death Row when thanks largely to his own efforts and the Justice Now Initiative, his conviction is overturned. Michael Wiley gi

    This is dark and enthralling Crime Noir set in Florida. 18 year old Franky Dast does a good deed, helping teenagers Duane and Steven on a dark night by taking them to a petrol station on Monument Road. The two brothers are gruesomely murdered and raped after he drops them off. In a horrific miscarriage of justice, Franky is convicted of their killing, serving 8 years on Death Row when thanks largely to his own efforts and the Justice Now Initiative, his conviction is overturned. Michael Wiley gives us one of the most interesting, complex and mesmerising protagonists that I have come across in some time. Whilst Franky is physically free, he is to all intents imprisoned in every other sphere, experiencing serious mental health issues that make him volatile, vulnerable and lost, facing fundamental issues surrounding his identity. He has no family to fall back on, his drunken father is dead and his relationship with his brother, Jared, is fraught offering little support. The cop who forced a false confession from him, Detective Bill Higby, remains convinced he is a murderer and harasses Franky continuously on his release, and he is not alone.

    To pay his rent at the motel he is staying at and buy food, Franky works as a low paid investigator at the Justice Now Initiative, with Jane, Hank and Thelma, looking into freeing innocent men on Death Row. He brings his experience, his street smarts, and his ability to use the computer to look into people, organisations and issues. However, he is plagued by his emotional and mental scars. He is a mix of tough, critical to survive in the deplorable prison system, and off the wall, in that he now crosses boundaries that disturb and unsettle others. He feels real lows that threaten any progress that he makes, although seeing Dr Patel, his psychiatrist, is of some help. After overcoming his initial insecurities, he ends up in a relationship with Cynthia, an outsider with her own issues. He finds himself in the odd position of investigating a shooting incident where Higby is arrested for killing the unarmed Josh Skooner. This case connects Franky back to the killings of Steven and Duane that he served time for. This spooks the killer to murder again. Franky walks the perilous road back into his past, helped by Detective Deborah Holt, and having to face a ruthless and dangerous serial killer.

    I understand this is the first of a series, and I really cannot wait for the next book. Michael Wiley has done impressive research on miscarriages of justice and the psychological states of those Death Row prisoners released, after serving years of torture in an unforgiving prison system. This research has informed the complicated creation and development of Franky Dast. I found myself feeling a range of emotions towards him, from rooting for him, afraid for him and even irritated with him. However, I was never less than compelled and gripped by him and it made sense that he connects with Cynthia, a woman who has her own demons. A unique and superb beginning to this series which I highly recommend. Thanks to Severn House for an ARC.

  • Janebbooks

    Michael Wiley, UNF professor of 18th and early 19th century British literature, steps away from his place at the head of the classroom to bring his readers another tale set among the bridges, the landscape, the beauty of Northeast Florida again.

    Monument Road is titled after a major thoroughfare in the Arlington section of Jacksonville. Arlington is a bedroom community across the St. John's River from downtown Jacksonville, specifically right across from the Gator Bowl, now Everbank Field, home

    Michael Wiley, UNF professor of 18th and early 19th century British literature, steps away from his place at the head of the classroom to bring his readers another tale set among the bridges, the landscape, the beauty of Northeast Florida again.

    Monument Road is titled after a major thoroughfare in the Arlington section of Jacksonville. Arlington is a bedroom community across the St. John's River from downtown Jacksonville, specifically right across from the Gator Bowl, now Everbank Field, home of Jacksonville's NFL team the Jaguars. It's the eastern border of new Arlington, old Arlington and just Arlington. It's the place I called home for many years after moving here with two teenage daughters in 1971.

    I'm hoping for Franky Dast, Wiley's young protagonist, to be fruitful in his quest of clearing his name. I'm hopeful that Professor Wiley can re-construct the wonderful Arlington area we encountered in 1971...our beautiful now desolate Regency Square Mall where we lingered many times with our good friends... the lovely apartment complex at the foot of the Mathews Bridge that we crossed to see our new home so many years ago.

    Franky Dast returns home to Monument Road and Arlington to clear his name. I'm returning to an earlier home to friendly folks and beautiful familiar scenes.

  • Lee

    Having spent eight years on death row for a crime he didn't commit, Franky Dast now works as an investigator for the Justice Now Initiative, seeking to help others in the same situation. But when he learns that Bill Higby, the detective whose testimony helped convict him, is facing his own murder charge, Franky is torn. Should he help the man he hates more than any other, the man who remains convinced of Franky's guilt to this day?

    I really enjoyed this book straight from the beginning. It took a

    Having spent eight years on death row for a crime he didn't commit, Franky Dast now works as an investigator for the Justice Now Initiative, seeking to help others in the same situation. But when he learns that Bill Higby, the detective whose testimony helped convict him, is facing his own murder charge, Franky is torn. Should he help the man he hates more than any other, the man who remains convinced of Franky's guilt to this day?

    I really enjoyed this book straight from the beginning. It took a while initially to warm to the character of Frankie Dash who in the beginning I did not like but as the book moved forward his brash personality grew on me ad really suits the story and makes the book a success. I would highly recommend this and will look out for more from this author. Thanks to Netgalley, the author and publisher for the chance to read this story in exchange for an honest review.

  • Liz

    This book is described as a Florida Noir mystery and the description is apt. Wiley has captured the darkness of being poor and unjustly accused in Florida. He’s also captured the locale, which is so richly described it’s like another character. Franky Dast has just been released after serving 8 years on a murder and rape charge. Thanks to the Justice Now Initiative, DNA has proved him innocent. But PTSD still keeps him a prisoner of sorts. “I still wondered if I was even managing to save myself.

    This book is described as a Florida Noir mystery and the description is apt. Wiley has captured the darkness of being poor and unjustly accused in Florida. He’s also captured the locale, which is so richly described it’s like another character. Franky Dast has just been released after serving 8 years on a murder and rape charge. Thanks to the Justice Now Initiative, DNA has proved him innocent. But PTSD still keeps him a prisoner of sorts. “I still wondered if I was even managing to save myself. Or if I had a self to save.”

    Then when the detective that railroaded him is accused of a crime, Dast is anxious to see Digby get what he thinks of as “his due”. I struggled with Franky. He’s not an easy character to like. Luckily, another reviewer made a similar comment and recommended readers stick with it. I can’t say I even got to like Franky, but I was able to appreciate his motives.

    This isn’t a fast moving book. It moves at a steady pace, spending a lot of time setting up the story. In the end it was an interesting book but a tad too dark for me to truly enjoy.

    My thanks to netgalley and Severn House for an advance copy of this book.

  • William

    I tried very hard to get into this book, but I find the prose to be flat and almost mechanical. The characters and plot are clichéd, and this is DNF for me.

    Thank you, NetGalley for providing this book to me.

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