They Only Wear Black Hats

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There is an old maxim that begins with “justice is blind.” However, when justice proves inefficient, recourse to avenging wrongs comes from other sources. Detroit has been noted for its crime rate for quite some time, most recently being ranked as the “Most Dangerous City in America” (CBS News, November 2020). And so it goes… A young woman goes to get refreshments for herself and friends during a high school football game. She is never seen alive again, her bruised and battered body left in the wake of a murderous sexual assault under the bleachers. A key suspect is apprehended, but the investigation gets botched, leading to the release of the alleged killer. His celebration is short-lived, however, as he is savagely murdered outside a gentlemen’s club. The only clue at the scene is a black bowler hat.

Detective Mike Palazzola is a seasoned detective, a good father raising his two girls in the wake of his wife’s recent passing. Upon learning the news of the suspect’s murder, his antenna is up. Yet, the unyielding criminal underbelly doesn’t cease when a body turns up. The world goes on and the depravity continues. A twelve-year-old boy is abducted and murdered, and a custodian who is also a convicted sex offender is implicated in the crime. However, a violation of his rights results in his being let go. The custodian is found dead shortly after hitting the streets, another bowler hat left mockingly at the scene.

Palazzola and his partner are witnessing a dual killing field, the wicked being inflicted on the innocent and the purging of the alleged perpetrators. Outside of the hats, forensic evidence is virtually nil. The detectives are unaware of the machinations of a secret society that has been taking out the underworld trash for nearly a century. The members of this group function as avenging angels, doling out retribution where the courts and law enforcement flounder. However, as the bodies and black hats add up, Palazzola and an intrepid journalist have taken notice. The Society of Malice risks becoming unmasked, and this they cannot allow, no matter who they might need to take out.

They Only Wear Black Hats is the latest ripping yarn from Edward Izzi (The Buzz Boys). A clever melding of mystery and morality forms the crux of this spellbinding release. The ideas of justice and righteousness harken back to the Bible; however, the gray area that vigilantism inhabits has never seemed as relevant. When do we leave justice to the courts? Is an eye for an eye for outside parties to determine? They Only Wear Black Hats will leave the reader pondering those questions well after finishing this excellent novel. A+ work.

Reviewed By:

Author Edward Izzi
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 330 pages
Publisher Self-published
Publish Date 25-Nov-2021
ISBN 9798764831244 Buy this Book
Issue January 2022
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller