Monday, October 20, 2014

The Color Of Justice-Ace Collins

The Color Of Justice
Ace Collins
Abingdon, Oct 7 2014, $14.99
ISBN 9781426796128

In 1964 Mississippi, Justice HS senior Frank Baird persuades his sixteen year old date Wendy Adams the Homecoming Queen to leave the VFW dance for a big surprise.  She becomes upset when he takes her to Lovers Park and demands he take her home.  While he fumes over wasting his money, Wendy stares at Becky Booth’s bloody corpse.

Fifth generation Justice resident Cooper Lindsay took over his dad’s law practice several months ago.  Now a black person enters his office for the first time.  His father’s former maid Hattie Ross begs Coop to represent her grandson Calvin in court.  The police arrested Calvin for the murder of Becky, a white female from a prominent family.  Coop takes on the case, but immediately confronts the racial divide as blacks refuse to trust him and his own race threatens to harm him, his wife Judy and their small children.  Driven by a sense that Lady Justice should be colorblind, he adamantly and bravely seeks the truth, but he fears most that victory will prove hollow.  

Five decades later in Justice, Coop’s grandchild Clark opens up a practice.  He works a racially divisive case in which the victim is African-American and the accused white while he also looks back to 1964.

With a nod to Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, The Color Of Justice is a profound well-written legal thriller that provides readers with a mesmerizing look at the racial divide during the Civil Rights era and compares it to today.  The audience will appreciate the contrast between the two periods but as Otis Redding’s Dock of the Bay claims: “…Looks like nothing's gonna change everything still remains the same” but with a twist.   

Harriet Klausner

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