April 10, 2024

A Calamity of Souls

"Law is blind if you colored, honey. It don't see us, no how, no way." ~ pg. 48

Set in the south 1968, a racially-charged murder case brings a duo of white and Black lawyers against an unfair justice system to defend a wrongfully-accused Black man. A wealthy white couple is found brutally murdered in their home. Jerome Washington, a Black man, is found at the scene and immediately arrested. 

Jack Lee, a white lawyer, has never handled a murder case let alone fought racism but decides to represent Jerome. Desiree DuBose is a Black lawyer from Chicago that has argued in the Supreme Court. She has the experience and attention of the media to partner with Lee in a legal battle against the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The stage is set and the hard-to-read novel really begins. What follows is a string of events and revelations far greater than the outcome of a murder trial. Baldacci revisits the Civil Rights era in this fictional mystery. Interestingly published during a sensitive time in real life.

"You let coloreds start thinkin' they're equal to us, then where are we white folks?" ~ pg. 98

David Baldacci is one of those authors that I will read whatever he releases. Auto-add to TBR! I know a good read awaits. I know the mystery will grip me from beginning to end. However, A Calamity of Souls is unlike his other novels. A little too To Kill a Mockingbird-ish.

Given the topic, I expected to feel empathetic toward the main Black character but never quite connected. The sub-characters were almost more developed. The courtroom drama was underwhelming. The ending way too predictable. I understand A Calamity of Souls was over a decade in the writing but it could have been fine tuned a bit more.

Happy Early Pub Day, David Baldacci! A Calamity of Souls will be available Tuesday, April 16.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins. ~LiteraryMarie

Title: A Calamity of Souls
Author: David Baldacci
Published: April 2024
Pages: 438
Edition: Galley
Genre: Historical Mystery
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 

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