One of the three books i got for my Birthday, Cell 7 was not actually on my TBR, i saw it in the shops and decided from the blurb that it seemed like the book for me. While it had so many interesting concepts about justice and the criminal system, it fell flat in some places that just left me wanting more.
Title: Cell 7
Author: Kerry Drewery
Date published: September 22nd 2016
Page Count: 384
Should she live or die? You decide
An adored celebrity has been killed. Sixteen-year-old Martha Honeydew was found holding a gun, standing over the body.
Now Justice must prevail.
The general public will decide whether Martha is innocent or guilty by viewing daily episodes of the hugely popular TV show Death is Justice, the only TV show that gives the power of life and death decisions – all for the price of a phone call.
Martha has admitted to the crime. But is she guilty? Or is reality sometimes more complicated than the images we are shown on TV?
Kerry Drewery’s book Cell 7 presents such an interesting premise for how the legal and justice system could be changed to allow everyone to have a say in the guilt or innocence of an individual and to further deter people from committing a crime. This is in the form of a 7 day ‘death row’ and the public can vote whether a person is guilty or innocent, with information provided to them through the media and a television show title and ‘Death is Justice’. Of course voting does cost some money, so obviously the caveat of this whole system is that it is obviously rigged towards the wealthy and can be skewed by the media.
Martha is a sixteen year old girl accused and placed on death row for the murder of millionaire playboy philanthropist (could not resist this reference) Jackson Paige. The media is against her, the votes are against her and she herself says she is not guilty. In comes counsellor Eve Stanton and so begins the hard and long path herself, an ex-judge, and Martha’s friends partake to help prove her innocence and shake up the justice system.
While i was instantly excited about this whole concept of justice through the media and public vote, there was something left to be desired in this book. It lacked the detail and depth i was craving-to get more insight into the justice system, into Martha and her history, and to the society and world in general where this takes place. The broader context of the exact society, the time or place and the general ‘state of the world’ is not really explored or mentioned at all, and it made it hard to visualise where all of this is taking place.
The writing style and language was also not for me personally, though that may be because this book may be intended for a slightly younger audience then me, or was just a personal preference.
The switching between people allowed for the story to flow more, and of course it would have been dull if it focused on Martha in her cell for the whole book. The inclusion of transcripts from ‘Death is Justice’ every night broke up the bulk of the story and allowed us to glimpse how the media is spinning certain new revelations or trying to manipulate the public opinion. We also get to hear about some of the other death row cases, but again i wish we got to hear more.
Cell 7 is a quick read (it took me a couple days because i kept picking up the Throne of Glass series) with an interesting concept. However it just lacks that extra something that would have made it a great read.