Alex Cross's Trial (Alex Cross Series #15)by James Patterson, Richard DiLallo
The year is 1906, and America is segregated. Hatred and discrimination plague the streets, the classroom, and the courts. But in Washington, D.C., Ben Corbett, a smart and courageous lawyer, makes it his mission to confront injustice at every turn. He represents those who nobody else dares defend, merely because of the color of their skin. When President Roosevelt, under whom Ben served in the Spanish-American war, asks Ben to investigate rumors of the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in his hometown in Mississippi, he cannot refuse.
The details of Ben's harrowing story -- and his experiences with a remarkable man named Abraham Cross -- were passed from generation to generation, until they were finally recounted to Alex Cross by his grandmother, Nana Mama. From the first time he heard the story, Alex was unable to forget the unimaginable events Ben witnessed in Eudora and pledged to tell it to the world. Alex Cross's Trial is unlike any story Patterson has ever told, but offers the astounding action and breakneck speed of any Alex Cross novel.
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Alex Cross's TRIAL
By Patterson, James
Grand Central PublishingCopyright © 2010 Patterson, James
All right reserved.
A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND
“LET HER HANG until she’s dead!”
“Take her out and hang her now! I’ll do it myself!”
Bam! Bam! Bam!
Judge Otis L. Warren wielded his gavel with such fury I thought he might smash a hole in the top of his bench.
“Quiet in the court!” the judge shouted. “Settle down, or by God I will hold every last one of you sons of bitches in contempt.”
Bam! Bam! Bam!
It was no use. Warren’s courtroom was overflowing with disgruntled white citizens who wanted nothing more than to see my client hang. Two of them on the left side began a chant that was soon taken up by others:
We don’t care where. We don’t care how.
We just wanna hang Gracie Johnson now!
The shouts from some among the white majority sent such a shiver of fear through the colored balcony that one woman fainted and had to be carried out.
Another bang of the gavel. Judge Warren stood and shouted, “Mr. Loomis, escort all those in the colored section out of my courtroom and out of the building.”
I couldn’t hold my tongue another second.
“Your Honor, I object! I don’t see any of the colored folks being rowdy or disrespectful. The ones making the fuss are the white men in front.”
Judge Warren glared over his glasses at me. His expression intimidated the room into silence.
“Mr. Corbett, it is my job to decide how to keep order in my court. It is your job to counsel your client—and let me tell you, from where I sit, she needs all the help she can get.”
I couldn’t disagree.
What I once thought would be an easy victory in the case of District of Columbia v. Johnson was swiftly turning into a disaster for Gracie and her increasingly helpless attorney, Benjamin E. Corbett: that being myself.
Gracie Johnson was on trial for the murder of Lydia Davenport, a wealthy white woman who was active in Washington society at a level high enough to cause a nosebleed. Worse, Gracie was a black woman accused of killing her wealthy white employer.
The year was 1906. Before it was all over, I was afraid they were going to hang Gracie.
I had to be careful they didn’t hang me while they were at it.
Excerpted from Alex Cross's TRIAL by Patterson, James Copyright © 2010 by Patterson, James. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.
- Palm Beach, Florida
- Date of Birth:
- March 22, 1947
- Place of Birth:
- Newburgh, New York
- B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971
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