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Book By Author:  R. H. King Jr.

Why?  A courtroom drama of self-discovery
 Why? A courtroom drama of self-discovery
 Walden Road Publishing
 Dartmouth professor Dan Jackson did not want to murder his students. Yet, when he finds two pistols perched on top of the mid-term exams in his briefcase, he cannot resist the impulse to pull out the guns and start shooting. Now Dan struggles to find the answer to the question that haunts him: why did he kill fifteen of his students? Danís search for the answer must be pursued through his defense to the criminal charges and possible death penalty. However, his grizzled, pony-tailed lawyer does not want to know why Dan shot his students -- he wants to use Danís ignorance as the basis for an insanity defense. That defense opens the door for prosecution and defense psychiatrists to probe for the answer in Danís troubled past, with seemingly inconclusive results. Dan still holds out hope that the answer will be revealed during a trial that is filled with surprise testimony and withering cross-examinations. But if the answer is discovered, will it provide Dan with the solace he desires?
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An extraordinary and controversial mystery about an ordinary professor from Dartmouth College.



Why? A Courtroom Drama of Self-Discovery by RH King Jr. is going to make you cringe and intrigue you at the same time. Professor Daniel Jackson walks into his classroom, opens his briefcase and looks down at two loaded machine pistols. While he is stunned at the sight, he sees his own hands reach down and pull up both pistols and begin shooting the students until empty. In a trance, he walks out of the classroom and gives himself up to the police out front. This is where the novel gets really controversial because Professor Jackson cannot remember why he shot the students. Is he a master of deception or does he truly not remember what drove him to be a mass murder?

The author, RH King Jr., a lawyer himself, takes us down the pre-trial and trial process with honed skill. The integration, arraignment and twists of the trial have the reader and the professor questioning everything. RH King Jr.’s other skill is how he takes an introspective approach to the main character. The professor becomes a student throughout the novel, a student of the justice system, researching his defenses and options. The professor reaches out to his oldest and seemingly only friend, Tim, who is now a priest. Tim wants him to accept his plight and confess. The professor hires a less than savvy lawyer that he can afford who thinks that he can take the death penalty off the table. The professor wants that also, but he needs wants to know why; why did he do it? More minor characters come into play, a beautiful psychiatric expert for the prosecution, the professor’s ex-wife and her lesbian lover. Professor Jackson’s past boils up quickly during the trial showing his true nature.

The real controversial aspect of this novel is that I for one liked the professor and started hoping that he would get off with an insanity defense almost from the start. As the novel progressed, I began to feel sorry for his circumstances and how the trial was progressing. I also wanted to know why he had done it. RH King Jr. has a knack for drawing you into the professor’s world and then playing with your emotions. I was shocked at the outcome and then doubly shocked at the ending.  I can’t wait for another story from this author.




Author Details

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R. King Jr. Author:  R. H. King Jr.


R.H. (ďBobĒ) King, Jr. is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School. He is a member of the state bars of Illinois, California and Montana, as well as numerous federal district and appellate courts around the country. He is a partner in the law firm of Dentons US LLP, formerly known as Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. He is a member of the Chicago Writers Association. He lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife Robin and dog Legend.