Judge Axelrood Publishes New Legal Thriller Set in Chicago - ADR Systems

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Hon. Larry G. Axelrood’s, (Ret.) love of writing is far from limited to the submissions he reads as a senior mediator and arbitrator at ADR Systems. He is a published author in his own right and has recently completed his newest novel.  Titled Stealing Justice, Judge Axelrood’s novel follows Chicago prosecutor Marisol Cuellar as she works to exonerate a man whom she believes was wrongfully convicted of murdering a young girl. A seemingly textbook case turns on its head when Cuellar discovers evidence of corruption amongst the ranks of her own office as well as in the police department. Thinking it’s the right thing to do, Cuellar brings up the evidence in court, ultimately putting her life in danger in the process.

“This book is really about the intersection of law, politics, crime, race and greed.  All of these come together to tell a story,” said Judge Axelrood.

Judge Axelrood’s interest in creative writing began, as it has with so many novelists, with his love for reading and storytelling.

“I was an avid reader, I loved reading everything. Sometimes when you’re a big reader you think, ‘I would like an opportunity to tell a story.’ So, I did it.”

Judge Axelrood started his writing career in the 1980’s and published his first novel in 2000. A sequel followed in 2002, and his final book in the trilogy came out in 2004. Collectively called ‘The Darcy Cole Series,’ Judge Axelrood’s first three novels follow Chicago defense attorney Darcy Cole as he navigates the legal landscape of the Windy City and the city’s criminal underworld. Throughout the series, Darcy balances his cases with his personal life.

After he completed the Darcy Cole Series, Judge Axelrood stepped away from writing for about 18 years. When he returned to writing with his most recent novel, Axelrood said that he struggled to find a publisher. He was on the verge of putting the project on hold indefinitely until one of his proofreaders encouraged him to take one more shot at getting it published. It was that last push that ended up securing publishing for the book.

Judge Axelrood writes the characters in his novels without a black-and-white opinion of them.

“There are good people and there are bad people, but there are also people in between,” said Axelrood. “I don’t have any perfect characters; they’re presented with their flaws.”

Along with the human characters, Judge Axelrood likened the city of Chicago to a character in his novels. He described how a friend of his had turned him on to a series of novels that treated Boston as a character. When he wrote his own books, he wanted to capture that feeling as well.

“In all my books, Chicago is a character,” said Judge Axelrood.  “I use real locations and I try to replicate the flavor of Chicago.”

Stealing Justice, the next book from Hon. Larry G. Axelrood, (Ret.) released on September 6, 2023 and is available now here.


Hon. Larry G. Axelrood, (Ret.) has extensive experience with medical malpractice, nursing home, railroad, legal malpractice, premises liability, construction and personal injury matters. Judge Axelrood is known for his ability to easily connect with and understand the interests of all parties.

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