A Time To Stand
After a brief prelude involving field workers in the South in the years immediately following the civil war, the book opens with the robbery of a local convenience store. That robbery set a sequence of events in motion that would result in Officer Luke Nelson, a local, white, policeman being charged for assault of a local, and apparently innocent, black young man.
The officer's defense would fall into the in the hands of the very white and credentialed Theo Grayson, Esquire. At his side would stand Adisa Johnson, a relatively new attorney who had just won her first big case in the city of Atlanta. But Adisa’s credentials were less than stellar - she had been fired shortly after winning her case because of a less than outstanding interview with a local reporter. And she was black.
The story revolves around the motives and circumstances which drove Officer Nelson to shoot the young man. But at the same time, it explores the thoughts and feelings of those living in the deep South as black, white, rich, and poor, interact on a daily basis. Can the law, in the face of community challenges, remain neutral and focus on finding the truth in spite of the cultural preconceptions which lie within the small town of Campbellton?
As in the past, Whitlow writes a compelling story that will hold the reader’s interest from beginning to end. It will draw those interested in the practice of law, the cultural struggles of the South, and the personal struggles of men and women living in that environment. As is typical, Whitlow weaves the personal faith of the characters into the story - some with no faith, some with a growing faith, and some with strong faith challenged by the circumstances of this case. Whitlow does not tend to pick up characters and further develop their stories in future books (he has done this, but it is not his usual practice), but I would love to see how this particular set of characters continue to develop over time. We get a glimpse of life in Campbellton a year after the main story’s closure - I would like to see how these characters have challenged their community two to five to ten years into the future. Alas, that will probably take our own imagination.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.