Book review: Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery

Cell 7
Author: Kerry Drewery
Publisher: Hit Key Books
Pages: 400 pages
R.R.P: $19.99
Death is Justice is the only reality TV show where the power to save the innocent and execute the guilty lies in your hands.

A world where justice and the fate of those accused of murder is decided by the public, but has moved on from the Roman Gladiator 'thumbs up or thumbs down' public vote, to a public vote by telephone. If you are voted innocent you are set free; if you are voted guilty you are committed to death by electric chair. Those awaiting their sentence reside in ever decreasing cells, getting smaller each day, until Day 7 and Cell 7, where they hear their fate.

For the first time a teenager is in Cell 7. Sixteen-year-old Martha has confessed to killing a famous celebrity. But has she done it? And if not, why has she claimed the murder? Perhaps she wants to show up the flawed and brutal system of sacrificing herself in the hope of a better world...

My review
Thoughts on the book: Cell 7 you blew me away. I'm fighting to find the words to describe how truly fabulous this book is. I felt a real connection to this book and can't really explain why but I instantly fell in love with it. Cell 7 is broken up into seven main areas with each being a different Cell, Cell 1, Cell 2 etc and within each of these main areas we have different parts written with different points of view, interviews, past tenses which all lead to a fascinating tale which will stay with you long after the last word is read.

For those of you who haven't heard of Cell 7 it is set in the future where our normal jail system has been disbanded and a new system has been out in place. There are no more court rooms or lawyers there is just a place where you get put in different cells and then on day 7, cell 7 your fate is determined by the public. All they have to go off to determine your guilt or innocence is a 24 hour tv show called An Eye for an Eye and a reality show called Death is Justice and when they have made up their mind they ring either the guilty or innocent number. Everything seems to be going smoothly for this system until the first teenager is placed in Cell 1. Martha is found beside the body, holding the gun and admitting to the crime. But as we delve deeper and deeper into the story all is not so black and white and as this becomes clear we see faults in this new system. What if innocent until proven guilty was the right course of action all along? Now it's a race in time to save Martha from a fate it seems she doesn't actually deserve.

The concept behind this book is truly amazing. Cell 7 shows the faults with what we are shown and what actually happens and how these are two very different things and along the way things can get very misconstrued. This is what happens in the case of Martha, who is accused of murdering Jackson Paige but knows that no one will believe her innocence because she is found standing over the body with the gun in her hand. But as we read further and further into Cell 7 we realise that there is a lot of backstory to Martha and Jackson Paige's relationship that the public aren't actually getting to see and without it, it would seem that the public will make the wrong decision and vote her guilty. (It's hard to write this review without going into too much detail but I'm trying). I for one hope that this system is never brought into excistence in my time as I believe it is very wrong and has so many holes in it and that seven days is just not enough time to prove your innocence.

Rating: 5/5 but deserves so much more