A Case of Wild Justice? by Yvonne Jerrold

Reviewed by Rod Clark on BookReview.com

Yvonne’s Jerrold’s new book, A Case of Wild Justice? unfolds in a British urban setting in which older citizens have been experiencing violence and mischief at the hands of younger men in the neighborhood. The action centers around a grandmother named Hannah and her extended family and friends. Hannah’s grandson is the ringleader of a young group of thugs that periodically rob and beat up old people.

As the tension between generations grows, a startling thing happens: an anonymous group of senior citizens called the “Silver Bees,” begins to strike back with their own bizarre form of vigilante justice. They become suicide bombers, carrying explosives with them in their daily routines and threatening to kill themselves and their attackers when assaults occur.

Framed against this larger canvas is the drama that plays itself out within the circle of Hannah’s family and friends. Hannah is sympathetic with the victims, and contemplates becoming a “Silver Bee” herself. She knows what it is like to be a victim, having experienced rape at the hands of her brother-in-law years earlier, and feels that the assaults must stop. On the other hand, her grandson is one of the perpetrators of the attacks, and the death of him and others would have dire impacts on her extended family and group of friends. What action will she take? Is the counter terrorism of the “Silver Bees” truly justified?

This is an interesting potential conflict with many moral and political implications, although perhaps more could have been done with it. Jerrold spends a great deal of ink describing the tensions within Hannah’s extended family and the painful sources of some of those conflicts. In that focused study, she seems to be trying to shed a little light on the roots of the violence that afflict this (and many other) British urban neighborhoods, and transcend a premise that would otherwise be more sensational than substantive. While she is not entirely successful in that effort, Jerrold has created a piece of fiction here that is pointed and possibly prescient. If better solutions to violence against the elderly are not found, much worse ones may emerge.


About the reviewer: Rod Clark
Rod Clark has been a professional Wisconsin-based writer and editor for most of his sixty years. A graduate of the Writer's Workshop at San Francisco State University, he has garnered many awards including a Schubert Playwriting Fellowship and a Milwaukee Press Club Award. He is the editor and publisher of ROSEBUD MAGAZINE, one of America's leading literary journals .

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A Case of Wild Justice?