Ballygally author’s novel asks if the law delivers justice

Roy Blair with his new book, The Barabbas Choice. INLT-05-710-con
Roy Blair with his new book, The Barabbas Choice. INLT-05-710-con

A Ballygally author has released the second in his trilogy of novels, a psychological thriller named ‘The Barabbas Choice’.

Roy Blair, who is a former Larne Grammar School teacher and has lived in Ballygally for the past four decades, revealed that his latest book tells the story of a group of people who “take the law into their own hands”.

“The main character is a student called Justin Wright who has arrived to study languages at Oxford University,” Roy told the Times.

“There is a group called The New Prometheans who believe that the legal system is not fulfilling its duties so they investigate crimes which the legal system has failed to deal with. They punish the perpetrators, such as murderers, even going so far as to shoot them.

“These are thinking people who decide that the law is not serving justice, so they dispense their own brand of justice.”

Roy says that he was motivated to write the book in order to “challenge clichéd thinking” in an interesting way.

“The villain of the piece is named Snoddy, who is the organiser of The New Prometheans,” Roy continued.

“There is an assumption at the beginning of the book that it’s a criminal organisation.

“The question is, is it immoral?

“Do the ends justify the means?

“We think of the law as the means of acquiring justice, but what if the two come into conflict?”

The local author says that the novel’s title hints at the themes within.

“It is called the Barabbas Choice because Pontius Pilate could have opted for justice or for political expediency when it came to crucifying Jesus,” Roy explained.

“He opted for political expediency, for what he thought was an easy choice and he sacrificed his sense of justice for politics. He didn’t want to rock the boat.

“It is a good way to think of the dilemma: do we opt for what is the politically convenient thing to do, or do we do the right thing?”

The novel is available at The Book Nook in Larne, The Spar in Ballygally, The Bank House in Whitehead and Cameron’s in Ballymena. It is also available on Amazon. To purchase a signed copy, email: roy.helenblair@btinternet.com.