From David L. Robbins, bestselling author of The End of War and War of the
Rats, comes a novel of searing intensity and uncompromising vision. Part mystery, part legal thriller, it is a story of crime and punishment set in a small
southern town during one brutal, hot, and unforgiving summer that lays bare thepotential of the human heart to hateand, ultimately, to heal.
The inhabitants of Good Hope, Virginia, haven't felt the cooling effects of
rain in weeks. The crops are withering. The ground is parched. There is no
relief in sight. With the town a tinderbox waiting to explode, all it takes is a
spark to ignite all the prejudice, the rage, and the secrets that are so
carefully kept hidden. And then, in the midst of the terrible heat, a tragedy
occurs. A baby is born and dies in her mother's arms. The child, Nora Carol,
is buried quickly and quietly the next day in a church graveyard. It should have
ended right therebut it didn't, for Nora Carol is of mixed race.
The white deacons of Good Hope's Victory Baptist Church, trying to protect the
centuries-old traditions of their cemetery, have the body exhumed. That night
the church is set ablaze, and the sole witness is the only suspectElijah
Waddell, Nora Carol's father.
Nat Deeds, a former prosecutor and an exile of Good Hope, is pressed into
service as Elijah's attorney. With a politically savvy prosecutor and a
vindictive sheriff aligned against him, Nat knows it will be nearly impossible
to get Elijah acquitted. But Elijah refuses to accept a plea.
As the evidence mounts, Nat begins to suspect there is something his client isn't
telling him, and the next revelation turns Good Hope into a powder keg: a body
is found in the ashes of the church. Now Elijah is accused of murder, and the
case is no longer a matter of winning or losing, but of life or death.
The only way Nat can save his client is to scratch and claw for any shred of
evidence, even if he has to bend the law to find it. As the summer heat
intensifies and passions reach their boiling point, Nat must navigate through
the incendiary secrets kept by friends and neighbors, by the guilty and the
innocent, to an act of justice that has nothing to do with the law.
Robbins (The End of the War, 2000, etc.) is an able
storyteller, but this time out the overactive plot twists away from him.
After the outsized War of the Rats, a tragedy that is more personal but just as
weighty; white parishioners in a small Virginia town demand that the body of a
mixed-race baby be exhumed from their graveyard.
Starred Review. Intricately plotted, insightful and deeply affecting, this novel by the
author of the bestselling The End of War probes the malignancy of racial
prejudice among the self-righteous citizens of a tightly knit Southern
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
<<The following review was edited for plot spoilers>>
Ok... I really enjoyed this book. I thought the plot clever and thought provoking. But I have a problem with the ending. I felt that <<edited>> was a nice twist... Read More
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