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Judgment of Beasts: Author Spotlight!

Judgment of Beasts, by Ed Leahy

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Judgment of Beasts

Judgment of Beasts

“Author Ed Leahy introduces a deep, strong dose of how fragmented humanity can be, whether seeking justice, witnessing crime, or enjoying the simple perverted joy of ruining people’s lives.” –C. Hope Clark, The Edisto Island Mysteries

While Detective Kim Brady is in Bermuda recovering from depression, an aid of the mayor’s arrives with a summons to return to New York to investigate the assassination of Sabrina Dunn, a long-time critic and political opponent of the mayor’s. Although the mayor pledges his full support, Kim can’t ignore the mayor’s potential motive. But she soon learns of others with a potential motive, including Sabrina’s estranged father and a group of investors pushing a major redevelopment project that Sabrina opposed.

The investigation is soon complicated when details are leaked to the press. No sooner does Kim learn the identity of the assassin than his body is found. Shortly after, the assassin’s identity is also leaked, along with a report that the mayor and the assassin had at one time been coworkers, a fact the police did not have. Kim struggles to find the source of the leak, to learn if there is some connection between the redevelopment project and the assassination, and to determine, once and for all, the mayor’s guilt or innocence.

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Excerpt from Judgment of Beasts

Sunday, July 3rd

The enthusiastic crowd that had packed the plaza in front of Brooklyn’s Borough Hall held its collective breath. Sabrina Dunn, the former New York City Public Advocate who had once served for a brief time as its acting mayor, paused before finishing her speech. “I am running as a third-party candidate for governor because the two major parties have sold us out to the moneyed interests that control this city, this state, and this country. And if I’ve taken positions in the past that appeared radical, it was only to drag our government kicking and screaming back to the interests of the people rather than the interests of the favored few. I come to Brooklyn, and I ask for your help.”

The throng surged forward against the police manning the perimeter in front of the entrance, but one man held back. Dunn’s limo was parked on Court Street, and he watched as police forced open a path from the podium to the car.

Just as he’d foreseen.

But he hadn’t foreseen the density of the crowd.

An expectant mother cried out, “We love you, Sabrina!”

All it took was a shove that no one saw. “Help! She fainted. We need a doctor.”

Those nearby clustered around the fallen woman. In the pandemonium, no one heard her assurances that she was all right.

And his own path to Dunn’s limo opened like magic.

No one saw the weapon as he pulled it from under the oversized tee shirt he wore, tucked into the waistband of his cutoffs. The candidate, spooked by the crowd, rushed ahead of her security people to get to the car.

He broke free of the crowd rushing to help the fallen expectant mother.

Two shots.


“Oh, my God,” someone yelled. “She’s down.”

He had a clear path to Court Street.

He turned left onto Joralemon Street, tossing the gun into the shrubbery on the corner, and walked at a brisk pace toward the Borough Hall subway stop. As he reached the stairway, he turned as the rear door opened on a yellow car resembling a cab but without a dome light. He hesitated, surprised to see a fellow employee waiting for him in the back seat.


He exhaled with relief. “Done.”

“Are you certain? We can’t have any screwups.”

“Positive. And the gun is in the shrubbery.” He slid into the back seat and pulled off the flesh-colored gloves he’d been wearing.

The sudden jab of a needle in his left shoulder startled him, and then…


Wednesday, July 6th

After nearly two weeks in St. George, Bermuda, Detective Kim Brady no longer jumped at the sudden blare of a car horn from behind as she ran. She moved off the asphalt of Barry Road and onto the grass, slowing her pace both to watch her footing and to take in the ocean view.

The car zoomed past, and she crossed Grenadier Lane and kicked it into high gear as she tackled the final hill toward the St. Regis Resort. A quick change into one of her new bikinis, and she and her husband, Jake Dudek, would head for the beach for a swim.

This Bermuda trip had been Jake’s idea. Coming four months after Kim’s third miscarriage in as many years and during an extended personal leave to deal with the depression that was no longer just a passing occurrence, it had been as therapeutic as he’d promised.  They’d talked about adopting or fostering; perhaps they’d remain a childless, professional couple, as she’d expected when they’d married. Long walks and ocean swims, and even a return to gentle lovemaking, had all contributed, but nothing had done so much to raise her spirits as returning to running, something she’d stopped when she joined the NYPD twelve years earlier.

She finished hard and was sweating and panting, grateful for the chill of the air conditioning as she entered the lobby of the resort. As she crossed to the elevator bank, she spied a familiar face: Justin Cates, a long-time employee of the current mayor of New York City.

As soon as they made eye contact, he sprang from his seat with a big grin. But as he approached, the grin turned sheepish. Four years earlier, when he’d been tailing her as she pieced together bits of evidence linking a serial killer to the death of her grandfather, she’d learned that once he was a friend, he was totally honest.

She extended a sweaty hand. “I suppose it’s too much to hope this is a coincidence and you and Rick just happened to fly down for a quick getaway.”

He shook her hand, slightly discomfited. Justin could also be finicky. “Can we talk in private?”

Her runner’s high evaporated. “No more private place than a crowded room.” She forced a laugh. “Sorry. Come on up. Jake will be happy to see you.”

Justin’s expression suggested he thought otherwise. “Ricky’s back in New York. He’s just been promoted to executive ADA. We’re both ecstatic, but there won’t be any getaways for us for the foreseeable future.”

“Too bad because they can do wonders, especially in a place like this.” As she opened the door to their room, she called out, “We have company.”

Jake, wearing shorts and a tee shirt displaying the logo of his employer, the Brooklyn Nets, shook Justin’s hand. “Nice to see you.”

Kim broke the mood. “So, why has the mayor sent you to Bermuda?”

Justin turned serious. “I take it you haven’t been following the news from New York. Sabrina Dunn was shot and killed Sunday night after a rally at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Three days earlier your lieutenant went on medical leave, apparently undergoing a series of tests. I’ve come down on a private jet loaned to the mayor by one of his generous donors with instructions to bring you back to the city this afternoon…”

More about Kim Brady … Lead character in Judgment of Beasts

Kim was born in 1988, the daughter of Joseph Francis Xavier Brady, a New York City detective, and the granddaughter of Daniel Patrick Brady, who had been killed on the job in 1963.

Unlike her hero grandfather, Joe Brady was not. He’d worked in narcotics for much of his career and had often broken the rules, both in the job and off. Kim’s mom became increasingly suspicious, until one night when Kim was ten, Joe came home long after the end of his tour. Kim’s mom had had enough, and the fight that followed not only woke Kim from a sound sleep but signaled the end of her parents’ marriage.

After the divorce, Kim’s mom grew bitter and increasingly isolated, setting unbearable limits on Kim. After an initial estrangement, Kim came to an understanding with her dad, although she never knew about the liberties he took on the job, taking drugs seized in arrests and using them to trade for information from other addicts.

Joe was proud of her when she chose to attend John Jay College, but was appalled when, upon graduating, she applied to and was accepted by the New York Police Academy. Not wanting that kind of life for her, he tried to convince her to choose law school instead, but Kim’s mind was made up. When she graduated from the Academy, Joe presented her with the weapon Dan had carried, a long nose .38 caliber pistol that held five rounds made by Smith and Wesson called the Chief’s Special. Kim carries it as her second piece, usually tucked in the waistband of her slacks behind her back. She also lives by the words drilled into her at the Academy by one of her instructors, “The law: learn it, love it, live it, breathe it.”

Kim’s first tour of duty was at the 73rd Precinct in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where she soon earned the sobriquet “the Queen Bee of the Seven-Three.” While there, she earned a citation for Community Service and after five years, made Detective, 3rd Grade. She was ready to apply for a position in Narcotics when Joe begged her to stay away from it, finally telling her of his past. Wrongdoings. He retired from the force in the hope that his bad reputation wouldn’t rub off on his daughter.

Kim instead applied for a position at Manhattan South Homicide, where is where we find her at the beginning of Past Grief. She had just returned to the job after her father’s funeral and caught a mass murder case in which she needed to convince the lone eyewitness, a transgender woman, to testify, and find the mastermind of the crime who was obstructing her investigation and gaslighting her.

Ed Leahy — Author of the Judgment of Beasts

Judgment of BeastsEd Leahy is the author of the Kim Brady Detective Mystery Series and the Dan Brady Detective Mystery Series. He is a past finalist for the Freddie Award for Excellence.

A member of the International Thriller Writers and the Mystery Writers of America, he has also been published by New York Teacher Magazine.

He is a retired International Issue Specialist for the Internal Revenue Service and holds a B. A. and an M. A. from St. John’s University in Government and Politics and served on the Board of Directors of AHRC-NYC, an agency providing services for children and adults with developmental disabilities, from 1998 to 2023.

Born and raised in the New York City Borough of Queens, he lives in Jackson Heights with his wife, Cindy, and serves as Secretary on the board of their co-op.

To learn more about Ed, click on either of the following links: FacebookTwitter

To purchase any of Ed’s previous books, click on the covers. (Including the series books before Judgment of Beasts)

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