This is another great novel from one of my favorite authors.
The action takes place in Justice, Mississippi, and consists of two murder trials fifty years apart. In 1964 a college aged black man is accused or murdering a high school aged white girl. The conviction seems a done deal in the racially charged town.
Cooper Lindsay, son of the pastor of Justice Methodist Church and recently returned to the town as a lawyer, is approached by the boy's mother. Convinced he is innocent, she asks Coop to represent him. Coop struggles with the decision, knowing it would put himself and his wife and children in danger and would effectively end his career in his hometown. Remembering his deceased father's sermons on the Good Samaritan, he takes the case.
The situation does turn deadly as tempers flare and old hurts are resurrected. We readers are not privy to all the results of the violence until another trial takes place in Justice, fifty years later.
I really liked this novel. Collins has really laid bare the racial tension in the town. I really liked Coop as a character. He is a man who struggles with doing the right thing, knowing it might bring harm to his family. Yet his father's sermons ring in his ears, inspiring him to see that justice is done.
I have never lived in the south and this book is an eye opener to the prejudice that can still reside in the hearts of people. As we find out in the book, that prejudice can originate in a lie and needlessly hurt many people.
Collins has given us a well thought out plot that spans half a century and reveals the darker side of mankind, yet encourages us with those determined to right the wrong that dark side causes. I recommend it.
Ace Collins has authored more than twenty five books having sold more than two million copies. He lives in Arkansas. You can find out more at AceCollins.com.
Abingdon Press, 320 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.