Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Back Story of "No Justice"

What's the back story on the big story for "No Justice"?
 by Darcia Helle
Some time ago, I served on a jury for the murder trial of a man accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend. While I had known that our justice system had flaws, this was a close-up view of those injustices behind our justice system. We, the jury, were not allowed to hear anything about the plaintiff’s past. His life was a locked box. The victim, however, had no such privacy. The defense attorney gleefully flaunted the victim’s past, including her sexual history from as far back as her teen years. I will never forget the look of anguish on her parents’ faces.

The defense did a great job of spinning the tale and making the victim out to be less than virtuous. After a week of this, when we were sent to deliberate, only two of the 12 jurors initially voted for murder one. I was one of them. The other 10 wanted involuntary manslaughter, citing her behavior and his cocaine use as “excuses”. I should mention here that the man had left his dead girlfriend in his bed, while he went out and partied with friends all night. Also, according to witnesses, he was quite sober at the time of the murder.

The other juror and I fought for, and eventually won, a murder one conviction. Before we left the courthouse, the judge spoke to us privately. She congratulated and thanked us for the conviction. At that time, she was now able to tell us what had been carefully kept from us throughout the trial; the man we’d just convicted had a long history of abusing women. He’d already been convicted of several assaults and one rape. An involuntary manslaughter charge would have been little more than a slap on the wrist. He’d have been out in no time, free to rape and murder yet another woman.

My husband and I were discussing this one-day; that case specifically and the justice system in general. That’s when the character Michael Sykora was born. In many ways, Sykora is my husband’s alter ego. (But, to be clear, my husband does not moonlight as a hit man!) 

As for the specific plot, that developed from a combination of the characters’ voices and the conversation with my husband. I don’t write from an outline. I start with a character and a vague idea. Then I listen and follow where that leads me. About midway through writing No Justice, I realized that I had way too many plots and subplots going on. At that point, I knew that Michael Sykora needed to be a series. He wasn’t happy with one book. I stripped down that initial manuscript and told the story of where I thought the series needed to begin. 

No Justice Blurb:  
How far would you go to right a wrong? 

For Michael Sykora, killing started as blind rage. Then it became something he's 
good at. To most of those who know him, Michael is a software designer, a smart 
but average guy with a workaholic nature. To a chosen few, Michael is a part-time 
hit man whose specialty is eliminating hard-core criminals. 

Michael has managed to keep his two personas separate. Until now. When Nicki, a 
close friend, gets into trouble, Michael steps in to help. Having lost his fiance 
to a brutal crime, Michael will do whatever necessary to keep from losing another 
in his life. 

At one time or another, don't we all wish we could do the things our Justice 
system cannot or will not? What would it take to push you over the edge?
About the author:
Darcía Helle says she writes because, "My head gets cluttered with characters that 
demand their story be written."

A suspense author, she has written 6 novels: Enemies and Playmates, Hit List, No 
Justice, Beyond Salvation, Miami Snow and The Cutting Edge.

Darcía grew up in Massachusetts but has lived in the Tampa Bay area of Florida 
since 2002. She is married and has two sons. An animal lover, Darcía has two very 
spoiled dogs and two equally spoiled cats. 
To learn more about or to follow Darica Helle visit her sites below:

My Website: or

My Blog:


My Amazon Author Page:
My Smashwords Page: 


  1. Thank you for hosting me today, Virginia. :)

  2. Glad to have you here. Just twitted and posted to my other social sites about your guest post.

  3. Darcia, your book sounds intriguing. It's so true and sad what goes on behind the scenes within the judicial system. it seems the criminals have all the rights - it's just crazy.

  4. What an interesting post, Darcia. I love the way writers take individual experiences and turn them into something self-contained and universal. It's always fun to learn the back story of a novel. Thank you for sharing it.

  5. I replied yesterday but cyberspace must have eaten my words. I don't want to repeat myself, in case they are still lingering somewhere, so I'll just say thank you, Karen and Magdalena, for stopping by!

  6. Great tale, sad inspiration. If we're firing on all cylinders as people, we can take something bad (evidence that the legal system is flawed) and burn it into something meaningful (a Murder One conviction). To a lesser degree, we do something similar with the books we write. Maybe "No Justice" will educated WHILE it entertains.

  7. J., I would love for that to be the case!

  8. Maybe someday a person who has read this book will be on a jury and take a stand as Darcia did. This book might make a powerful difference in someone's life.

  9. Incredible "story behind the story". Thanks for taking a stand and educating while entertaining!