The Hubley Case, a debut novel from J. Lee starts with an American, Peter Hubley getting shot approximately 30 times from within less than five feet away, at the Sao Paulo International Airport, in Brazil. The shooters within minutes, basically drop dead. From there, characters start being introduced at a very gradual pace. We start with Peter’s wife, Sally Hubley, now a widow with nothing left but her faith. Ben Siebert, a former Marine Officer and a family friend whom Sally asks for help in getting closure on the unforeseen events that took her husband’s life. Nikki Benton, the FBI agent assigned to investigate the murder of Peter. Finally, Dominick Riddle, the mastermind antagonist.
As mentioned, Ben is a former Marine Officer who separated or
resigned as J. Lee put it from the Marines after an unfortunate event involving his wife, Anna. This incident however brought him closer to another Marine officer he went to TBS with, Nick Gordon. Who happened to be Sally’s brother. It’s hard to determine what Ben’s current occupation is, but we know he’s pretty good at making people disappear and has many connections in the espionage world of information and influence among but not limited to judges, police, and even child protective services. Ben reminds me a little bit of Denzel Washington’s character, Robert McCall, in The Equalizer movies. But take away the action or fighting scenes. Ben appears intimidating, formidable and capable, but we simply never see him get into a physical altercation that many protagonists are known to do, so that we may judge just where they stack up against the enemy.
Nikki Benton, the FBI agent assigned to uncover what happened to Peter Hubley. Nikki also comes with some baggage of her own, but her motives are just. I myself joined the Marine Corps due to 9/11, her parents were victims on that tragic day and after some soul searching and crashing, she chooses to clean herself up and joins the FBI. She makes some questionable choices and realizes a tad bit too late that she is being used as a pawn to ensure the bad guys stay ahead of the good guys.
Dominick Riddle, the antagonist mastermind plotting to get rich multiple times over by scheming and influencing people in order to accomplish scams aimed at governments and wealthy people all over the world. Riddle definitely has a few screws loose, at one point while reflecting on his schemes, he shouts and produces a belly laugh while reflecting on his most recent accomplishment in a room by himself. His inevitable confrontation with Ben at the end is very epic.
The Hubley Case is a bit of a slow paced, taking a long time to introduce characters and ultimately lacks in action you’d expect from a thriller with a Marine as the protagonist. If this is indeed a first in a new series by J. Lee I would like to see more intense action that I know Ben Siebert is capable of. Being a Marine Veteran myself, I often get called an Ex-Marine and quickly correct people that there is no such thing, “once a Marine, always a Marine.” As a reader, I cringed every time I read that term, but as I mentioned, many people make that mistake in real life, and many people did that in this book. I was happy to see Ben refer to himself properly, as a “former Marine”. Aside from the military terminology and a little bit of a slow pace, The Hubley Case has potential to become a great series with some minor fine tuning.
Author: J. Lee
Publisher: Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC
Release Date: November 6th, 2018
Lima Charlie Review Rating: 5/10
Author Website: J. Lee
Get To Know Thriller Author J. Lee
I was born and raised in the Midwest, between the Chicago suburbs and rural Southern Illinois. Up through high school, I spent most of my time playing basketball and baseball in a farming community of 2,000 people with no stoplights. So…going from there to Duke University was a life-changing experience for me. I met many brilliant, talented people from all over the world and forged some friendships I’m confident will last for life. As much as I learned in the classroom in those four years, I learned even more outside of it.
After graduating with dual degrees in Engineering and Sociology with a minor in Business, I worked in the Research Triangle Park for a few years before moving back to Chicago. Over the course of my career, I’ve worked in Engineering, Marketing, Product Management, Program Management, Supply Chain and Operations, but writing in my spare time has been the one constant. It started as a hobby, a creative outlet that helped me balance the stress of a day spent in numbers; I never imagined at the time I’d seek publication. Then at some point, it morphed into a passion. The rest is history.
On the personal front, I like to think of myself as down-to-earth and relatively simple. My wife is my biggest fan, and she rigorously edits (and improves) every page I write. In my spare time, I like to take walks, play Frisbee Golf and spend time with my family.