It was the summer of 2008 when 3 year old Caylee Anthony went missing. An intense search in the area yielded nothing and the case against her mother Casey Anthony began to build. Throughout the steady leak of information about the case Central Florida residents initially concerned for this missing child and her mother became angry. As we sat and watched what seemed to be a nightly vigil of ‘what Casey has done now’ we realized that there was so much more to this case than a babysitter named Zenaida Gonzalez.
We learned the Casey was stealing checks and cashing them. We saw pictures of her partying days after she claimed she didn’t know where her daughter was. We heard reports of the smell of a dead body coming from the trunk of a car. The car she stole from her mother the day before. She claimed to work at Universal Studios and was quite adamant about it to the point of letting deputies driver her personally to the Human Resources department at the Studios where she finally admitted she lied to them about having a job there.
As it all came out from internet searches for chloroform to evidence of human decomposition in the trunk to the final discovery in December of that year of Caylee’s badly decomposed body, smothered with chloroform and duct tape. Central Floridians became more angry, seething mad at this woman who had murdered her baby. I was having a chat with a friend about this case and the burning question that haunted me to no end was this: How do lawyers live with themselves knowing that if they succeed, they have released a murderer?
Especially a murderer of a child! My friend used the oft quoted phrase, “Better to release nine guilty than to imprison one innocent.” Idealistic? Sure, but what about the victims of the released nine guilty? What possible justification can a lawyer come home to his family with? How can he hug his nine year old daughter and defend a man who has raped and killed two nine year old girls? What goes on inside his brain?
And it was at that point in the discussion that the concept for my thriller, Fair Play was born. What if? What if someone just couldn’t take it anymore and began to enact justice on not only the guilty party, but the people who did their best to set the guilty free? In Fair Play, an attorney, Doug Lipton, once idealistic and believing in the justice system is now defending the most heinous of clients, Jasper Davis. Were it not for a technicality with Davis’ first trial, he would be on death row. So where is justice? Where is justice for Caylee? Justice for all those children who were raped and murdered and a cocky attorney got them released to do it all over again. In Fair Play, the feelings of the wonderful people of Orlando are explored as the bizarre case of Jasper Davis unfolds. Doug Lipton, the attorney for Jasper Davis gets Davis declared not guilty.
Behind the scenes, the antagonist who calls himself Justice, kidnaps Doug Lipton and forces him to go on trial. With every decision Doug makes he is forced to choose between right and wrong and when he chooses wrong, Justice punishes him. Justice puts him through a living Hell. A Hell of Doug’s own making.
Detective Paul Friedman is the new homicide detective in charge of the case. It was he and his former partner who showed up to arrest Jasper Davis two years earlier. His partner, Glenn Kelley jumped the gun and entered Davis’ apartment without a warrant. Now with a lawyer gone missing, and clues pointing to his ex-partner as the culprit, Detective Friedman is in a race against time to find out who Justice is and rescue the attorney that the entire city has learned to hate.
I finished “Fair Play” in the early summer of 2011 and that is just when the verdict of “Not Guilty” came back on Casey Anthony. It was a verdict that angered us more than the entirety of the dog and pony show trial that it had become. If anything, it leaned more toward helping the reader of my book sympathize with “Justice” and his crusade against the legal system.
“Fair Play” is a fast paced thriller that I wrote to force the readers to ask themselves, ‘Who is the bad guy?’ and I hope I have achieved that end.
About the Author
Gunnar Angel Lawrence is a native Floridian with a love for evoking raw emotions through writing. He writes thrillers, horror and the occasional erotica stories. The Year in Love and Erotica is a 12 volume series taking the reader on a journey through torrid affairs with twister endings. He is single and lives in St Cloud, Florida.
He is the author of Fair Play and The Perfect Day, crime thrillers set in Orlando, Florida. He is the nerd you picked on in high school and he’s going to put you in a book and kill you, if he hasn’t already.