"Power Blind" By V.S. Kemanis: Review/Giveaway

Review  by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

“Writing laws is easy; governing is difficult” —Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace; Epigraph, Power Blind

A year ago Associate Justice Dana Hargrove became a member of the Appellate Division of New York’s State Supreme Court hearing civil and criminal appeals from courts based in Manhattan and the Bronx. She had enjoyed her sole authority as a trial judge on the court, but now she’s part of a team with varied experiences, personalities, and perspectives and where “collegiality and compromise” is valued and heated debate is behind closed doors. Her law clerk, thirty-something Nia Glover, is an excellent sounding board whether concurring or contradicting the judge’s views. She offers her own knowledge and experience to manage the court’s caseload, pre-reads submitted briefs, and assists in drafting the courts affirmed rulings or dissents when Dana is selected to take the lead...all while six-months pregnant.

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Image Source Opus Nine Books
Hargrove’s personal life doesn’t allow her to step too far away from her professional life. Her long-time, live-in partner Evan Goodhue also had a stellar career in law, currently is a well-respected law professor at NYU, and vying for a position on the Court of Appeals based in Albany. Evan and Dana’s, now adult, children are successful in their own right. Travis is an appellate lawyer for NYC Corporation Council representing the Administration for Children’s Services dealing with cases involving abuse and neglect, and with wife Ginger, a substance abuse counselor, is expecting the first grandchild. Natalie is a cognitive scientist working on her doctoral thesis researching perception and memory connected with witnesses and the uses of remote interviews and proceedings. There are also close friends in the DA’s office and long-time colleagues all throughout the law-and-order community, so for Dana, she is not without support and varied perspectives when making her important decisions.

Power Blind Earns 5/5 Legal Briefs…Fascinating & Insightful Drama!

One of Dana Hargrove’s current cases has her revisiting the 2020 case of a cop-on-cop death and her involvement in the court’s ruling. Currently, Citizens for Open Government wishes to reverse a lower court’s ruling that denied the release of Grand Jury testimony in an officer involved shooting of an unarmed black man. They’ve invoked a similar court ruling denying such a request citing the difference in the key issues make their case unique. The 2020 case involves the death of Officer Stokes and the accusation his friend Officer MacBride was responsible. When the Grand Jury declines to indict, calls of “nepotism” are raised since MacBride’s uncle was a former DA. The next case deals with ACS removing a terminally ill teenager from her aunt and guardian. The almost eighteen-year-old declines chemotherapy, against doctors orders, and her aunt supports her niece’s decision. ACS cites the treatment will save the teen’s life and the aunt is failing in her parenting, yet the opposition refers to the teen’s maturity and should have the ability to make her own medical decisions. Diversity in the caseload, but several people, groups, and big government seem blind to the power they wield.

Affirmed! V.S. Kemanis’s sixth book in the Dana Hargrove Legal Mystery series is set in the current environment with the pandemic, lockdowns, remote court proceedings, and issues with law enforcement and advocacy groups ripped from the headlines, and although a legal thriller is out of my “cozy” comfort zone, I was entertained, informed, and totally engaged. Kemanis’s use of legal jargon, explanations, and reasoning along with insights into Grand Jury rules, policies, and proceedings and technical issues conducting a thesis study on the psychology behind witness perceptions were written well so that any reader can easily grasp. The debate on civic duty and public need versus privacy issues and who is best to make medical decisions for older teenagers would make for rousing topics for any group discussion. The 2020 case is presented in flashbacks giving the reader a better understanding through a narrative of the people involved, the incident, and the two witnesses. Hargrove’s interest to seek justice persuades her to hone closer in on the Grand Jury evidence and statements and talk with the DA and one of the investigating officers. Dana’s adult children are not peripheral characters: her son advocates ACS’s authority over the teen’s health prescriptive and her daughter gets involved investigating the 2020 murder case making it a family affair. Kemanis’s writing style, although in some ways technical and informative, is tempered with good humor, a fascinating story, excellent characters, and satisfying closure…Big thumbs up!

Dana Hargrove Legal Mystery

Thursday’s List (2012)

Homicide Chart (2014)

Forsaken Oath ((2016)

Deep Zero (2018)

Seven Shadows (2020)

Be a Big V.S. Kemanis Fan!

Facebook: V.S. Kemanis’s, Author

To enter to win either a print or ebook copy of Power Blind, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "blind,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 16, 2022. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. BE SURE TO STATE IF YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode just went up.

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Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Low a good legal story. this one sounds
    like fun - so many lawyers involved.
    thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. Sounds interesting. Would really like to read. I prefer a print copy.

  3. New author for me, sounds good! tWarner419@aol.com


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