Book Case #23 – Criminal Decisions

Criminal Decision

Book and Author Details:
Criminal Decision on GoodReads
Criminal Decision on Amazon
Jill Kramer’s Website

Description from Author:

Divorced mother Gina Seymour fights a corrupt family court to protect her three-year-old from abuse at the hands of the child’s wealthy and powerful grandfather.

Suspecting that her little girl is being molested when she spends the night at the grandfather’s house, Gina throws herself into a court battle to change the custody-sharing agreement. But the judge, in cahoots with the influential old man, believes she is fabricating the charges. Accusing Gina of “parental alienation,” he threatens to place the child in the hands of her alleged molester.

Despite having sworn off men since her disastrous marriage, Gina falls in love with Jack, an old schoolmate of her ex. Now she’s faced with a heartwrenching decision: if the justice system won’t ensure her daughter’s safety, she must leave Jack, break the law and take her little girl on the run.

My Review:
** Triggers **
Emotional and sexual abuse.
Bleak, stark, and disturbing, but an eye opener just the same. This book grabbed me by the guts, gripped tightly and never let go. This is not a book with “happy endings.” It is not a book of Hollywood/Media contrived thoughts and feelings of safety, security and the “good guys always win.” This book is real, raw, and very traumatic.  It reads like an episode of Law & Order: SVU, but even in those programs the good guy usually wins.

Gina has a three year old daughter who is being messed with by her wealthy, disgusting, slovenly grandfather. Gina has no money and no attorney to fight the attorney hired by the grandfather. This douche-bag, Ryan Cocker, is apart of the  Rancheria County Family Court and apart of the “FLEAS” (Family Law Elite Attorneys). Gina has no other option. She has never fought the courts for child support, but he does his best to make it seem like it’s a monetary greed on her behalf. He paints her as this horrible, gold-digger, ex-wife. She’s just a woman who’s trying to protect her daughter.

The most gut wrenching moment in the book that made me physically ill:

‘“Wait, Mommy, I’ll take off my pajamas.” Emily lifted her hips and pulled down her pajama bottoms.
“Why are you doing that, honey?”
“So we can play. I don’t like it with Pop-Pop, but I love you, Mommy.”
Struck speechless for a moment, Gina stifled a sob. “No, baby, no. Put your pajamas back on. We don’t play like that.”
She gathered Emily in her arms and held her close, silent tears running down her cheeks. All doubt was replaced by an iron resolve that now settled in the pit of her stomach.”

This sealed the decision to disappear with her daughter. Roller coaster ride of a book with both emotions and truths of our court system.  Jill Kramer, the author, does a fine job of adding in actual accounts of statistics surrounding real life court cases with abuse involved. Our Family Courts are corrupt, and have been for years. “Honorable” Judge Hannity is just as dirty as the rest of the “elite” lawyers he hob-nobs with. 

The ending of the book is harsh. It hurt to turn the last page. I was plagued with the ideas and thoughts that Emily would get to come home. I was hopeful, just as Gina was every time she stood before the judges, that her little girl would be safe. I was let down, just as Emily was throughout the book. I was left with thoughts of, “Is she going to turn out like Doree?”

Inspired by actual cases covered by award-winning journalist Jill Kramer, CRIMINAL DECISION exposes the tragic failings of family courts throughout the nation which mistakenly place thousands of children in the homes of their abusers.

Negative Aspect:
It’s all fine and good that both Gina and her ex-husband come from money. It is nice that she had the resources to disappear. But what about woman, and men, who are of a lower income fighting these very same battles? 

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