In a small Georgia town where racial tensions run high and lives are at stake, can one lawyer stand up for justice against the tide of prejudice on every side?
Adisa Johnson, a young African-American attorney, is living her dream of practicing law with a prestigious firm in downtown Atlanta. Then a split-second mistake changes the course of her career.
Left with no other options, Adisa returns to her hometown where a few days earlier a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen who is now lying comatose in the hospital.
Adisa is itching to jump into the fight as a special prosecutor, but feels pulled to do what she considers unthinkable—defend the officer.
As the court case unfolds, everyone in the small community must confront their own prejudices. Caught in the middle, Adisa also tries to chart her way along a path complicated by her budding relationship with a charismatic young preacher who leads the local movement demanding the police officer answer for his crime.
This highly relevant and gripping novel challenges us to ask what it means to forgive while seeking justice and to pursue reconciliation while loving others as ourselves.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Robert Whitlow is the bestselling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. He received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. Website: robertwhitlow.com; Twitter: @whitlowwriter; Facebook: robertwhitlowbooks.
Read an Excerpt
Stanley Jackson watched the six young men milling around in front of the drink coolers at the Westside Quik Mart. The convenience store clerk often worked the third shift alone. At six foot three and 245 pounds, he was only ten pounds heavier than when he'd wreaked havoc as a defensive lineman for the Campbellton High Colonels. Stan had received scholarship offers from a handful of small colleges, but he'd injured his right knee in a motorcycle wreck the summer after graduating from high school, and the opportunity to play football in return for a free education evaporated like the mist on a May morning in Georgia.
The store clerk glanced up at the surveillance camera that was aimed at the back of the store. The video feed linked directly to the security company headquarters in Atlanta. The unblinking eyes of the cameras recorded a twenty-four-hour-a-day reality show boring enough to cure insomnia. There were two cameras inside the store and one outside. The camera that was supposed to cover the cash register hadn't worked in over a month.
Stan recognized two of the teenagers: Deshaun Hamlin, a quick and agile point guard on the high school basketball team; and Greg Ott, a regular customer who often came into the store with his stepmother. The other young men were strangers. One of the strangers opened the door of the cooler and took out a thirty-ounce bottle of malt liquor.
"You have to be twenty-one to buy beer!" Stan called out. "And that means a valid ID!"
Deshaun left the group and placed a plastic bottle filled with orange sports drink on the counter in front of the cash register.
"What you up to, Deshaun?" Stan asked. "I haven't seen you down at the rec center recently."
"I'm trying out for a summer league AAU team next month if my left shoulder is healed up by then," he said.
"What happened to your shoulder?" Stan asked.
"Dislocated it going up for a rebound a couple of weeks ago. Worst injury I've had since I broke my arm when I was a kid."
"You're still a kid," Stan answered with a smile. "And I can dunk on you anytime I want to."
"Only if I didn't steal the ball first," Deshaun replied. "Wait a second. I need to pick up a snack for my grandmother."
Deshaun stepped over to the nut rack. The other four young men had scattered, making it impossible for Stan to keep an eye on what they were doing. The oldest of the strangers approached with the bottle of malt liquor. Tall and lanky with a small goatee, he appeared to be in his midtwenties. He placed the alcohol on the counter with a five-dollar bill beside it.
"Ring it up," he said in a slow, deep voice. "You can keep the change."
"That's not how it works," Stan replied. "You show me an ID, and you keep the change."
Stan glanced past the man as two of the other teenagers came together in front of the meat snacks. Petty shoplifting was a constant problem at the store, and the expensive meat products were a popular item to steal. The man at the cash register took a battered wallet from the rear pocket of his jeans and fumbled through it. Stan could see a thick stack of twenty-dollar bills.
"Dude, I must have left it at Greg's house," he said. "We walked over here together. That's where my car is parked."
Greg Ott came over to the counter. "He's cool, Stan," Greg said. "He works for a trucking company hauling freight to Birmingham. He's got his CDL license. You know I wouldn't lie to you."
"Maybe so," Stan replied. "But I still need to see his license if he wants to buy this bottle."
Deshaun returned to pay for his sports drink and a bag of pistachios.
"Let me know when the season starts," Stan said as Deshaun gave him a ten-dollar bill. "I'd like to come watch a game."
"We'll be playing our home games at the Franklin Gym."
"Cool. Did you walk over here?"
"You'd better get going. A storm is coming."
"Remember, I'm fast," Deshaun replied with a grin. "I can outrun lightning."
"Get outta here," Stan said.
When Deshaun moved out of Stan's line of sight, the clerk saw one of the unfamiliar teenagers slip a pack of premium beef jerky into a pocket of his baggy black pants.
"You have to pay for that!" Stan called out.
"Calm down," the man with the goatee said, raising his hand. "Bring that up here, son. I'll pay for it even if this clown isn't going to sell me anything to drink."
"Watch your mouth," Stan said.
"Listen, brother," the lanky man said with a smile. "Customer service is important."
The teenager placed the beef jerky on the counter and backed away. Deshaun moved toward the door.
"I'm taking off," Deshaun said to Greg. "Will I see you later at my grandma's house?"
"Swing by my place first," Greg replied. "There's something I want to show you."
Stan scanned the package of beef jerky. "That will be $8.29," he said.
"What a rip-off," the stranger replied as he reopened his wallet and placed a crumpled ten-dollar bill on the counter. He picked up the jerky and tossed it to the boy.
"Get, before I make jerky out of you!" he said to the teenager.
Greg and the other three young men left. Stan could see them standing in front of the store, where they huddled on the sidewalk before moving away. Stan touched the bottle of malt liquor.
"Put that back in the cooler where you found it," he said to the man with the goatee.
"That's your job, boss. And make sure you do it soon. It's no good if it isn't ice cold. I'll come back later to pick it up."
"With an ID. And leave your attitude in the parking lot," Stan responded, his temper rising.
Stan opened the cash register so he could count out the change from the purchase of the beef jerky. He picked up a quarter and reached for the smaller coins he needed.
"Don't stop," the man said. "I want it all."
Stan glanced up as the stranger shattered the malt liquor bottle. Amber-colored liquid spewed all over the counter. The man leaned over the counter and slashed the right side of Stan's neck with the jagged remains of the bottle. Blood spurted from the wound.
His eyes wide, Stan reached forward to grab the robber with his left arm, but the man slammed the remains of the bottle into the top of the clerk's hand. Stan cried out in pain and staggered backward. The stranger leaned over the counter and snatched all the twenties, tens, and fives from the drawer. Stan pressed his bleeding hand against the wound on his neck. The room began to spin, and he passed out. As he fell, Stan knocked over a rack of cigarettes behind the counter.
Officer Luke Nelson slowed to a stop as the traffic light turned red. He glanced down at the picture of Jane that he kept on the console when he patrolled alone. The photograph had been taken on a breezy evening at Hilton Head during their honeymoon. Wearing a peach-colored sundress, Jane stood barefoot in the sand. Her blond hair swirled away from her face, and her blue eyes shone with new love and the promise of future joy. When Luke glanced at the picture it also reminded him that Jane would be praying for him.
Luke moved the seat of the new police cruiser so that his feet comfortably rested on the gas and brake pedals. The vehicle still had a new-car smell, and Luke took in a deep breath. He was surprised when the chief offered to let him use the car for the night. As the city of Campbellton's newest officer, Luke usually drove a car whose next destination was the auto auction barn on Highway 29 south of town.
The state-of-the-art vehicle was equipped with an onboard computer and a dash camera, but Luke hadn't received the password for the computer, which controlled the camera. When he radioed the third-shift dispatcher for the code, she curtly informed him that she didn't know it, and he'd have to call the chief at home. Disturbing Chief Lockhart on a Saturday night wasn't on Luke's agenda for the evening.
Five feet ten inches tall and in good physical condition, Luke adjusted the rearview mirror slightly to the right. As he did, he saw the reflection of his closely cut brown hair, brown eyes, and square jaw softened by a dimple to the left side of his mouth. After high school, Luke had attended a community college where he majored in criminal justice. He paid the rent and bought groceries by driving a forklift on third shift at a warehouse. Upon graduation, he worked three years as a private security guard at a shopping mall before landing a job with the Atlanta Police Department. Initially thrilled with a real job in law enforcement, Luke was thrown into a high-stress environment that quickly became an emotionally draining grind. He began looking for a job in a suburban area. Campbellton was a small town, not suburbia, but when a position opened up, Jane encouraged him to accept it. The salary was much less than what Luke had earned in downtown Atlanta, but with their first child on the way, Luke gave in to his pregnant wife's wishes. Now, after a year and a half on the job, he was glad he'd listened to her.
Settling in with the Campbellton Police Department, Luke began to thrive. He loved his job. Over the past eighteen months, he'd written more traffic tickets than any other officer on the force. He was never late for work, and before baby Ashley's arrival, he was always the first man to volunteer for extra duty. His long-term goal was to become a sergeant, and Chief Lockhart had recently authorized Luke's attendance at a three-week law enforcement management program in Orlando. The voice of the third-shift dispatcher came over the radio, interrupting Luke's thoughts.
"All units respond to a possible 211 at the Westside Quik Mart. Fire and medic are in transit."
A 211 meant an armed robbery. Armed robberies were an every-week occurrence in Atlanta, but this was the first 211 call Luke had received since moving to Campbellton. His mind flashed back to tense situations he'd experienced in the inner city, and he transitioned into high-alert mode. His heart started beating faster.
There were three patrol cars on duty. Luke was the farthest away from the convenience store. He turned on his siren and blue lights and pressed down on the accelerator. At this time of night, the few cars in his path pulled over as he sped past. The female dispatcher's voice again came over the radio.
"Be advised, primary suspects in the 211 are two young black males, Gregory Ott and Deshaun Hamlin; both live on East Nixon Street."
In addition to the city police, two Nash County Sheriff's Department vehicles were en route to the convenience store location. Luke entered the east part of town. The wind was blowing hard, causing the overhead traffic lights to sway from side to side.
"This is city police car 304," Luke said. "Unless needed at the scene of the 211, I'm requesting permission to go to East Nixon Street."
The dispatcher was silent for a moment. Luke slowed to normal speed as he approached the best place to turn off the highway if given permission to do so.
"10-4, car 304," the dispatcher said. "Proceed to East Nixon Street. Suspects potentially armed and dangerous. Hamlin, age sixteen, is six feet tall and weighs one hundred and sixty-five pounds. No physical description for Ott."
"10-4," Luke replied as his heart rate kicked up even more.
He hoped both the suspects were teenagers. Luke could wrestle to the ground men who outweighed him by seventy-five to a hundred pounds. With youngsters, words often did the job.
He turned onto a side street and debated whether to turn off his flashing blue lights to avoid letting Hamlin or Ott know that an officer was in the area. He chose to keep them on. Reaching the intersection for East Nixon Street, he made a right-hand turn. As he did, Luke flipped off the siren but kept the blue lights flashing. He drove slowly for two blocks. Then, just beyond the glow of a distant streetlight, he saw a figure run across the street. Luke pressed down hard on the accelerator, and the car shot forward another three hundred feet. He slammed on the brakes and pulled close to the curb.
"Dispatch, this is car 304," he said, keeping his voice calm and professional. "I'm in the 400 block of East Nixon Street with a possible sighting of one of the suspects. Request assistance."
"10-4. Will advise."
The dispatcher radioed Bruce Alverez, an officer with fifteen years' prior experience serving on the Miami Police Department. Gruff and prickly, the older officer had moved to Campbellton after going through a nasty divorce. Because he was fluent in Spanish, Alverez was a huge asset in working with the growing Latino community in the area. Luke left his blue lights flashing and stared intently down the street at the spot where the person had crossed the road.
Suddenly, a figure wearing dark clothes appeared in the light of a streetlamp. He was wearing a loose-fitting shirt that was pressed against his body by the stiff breeze. Luke turned on the loudspeaker.
"You! Under the streetlight! Walk forward slowly!"
The figure beneath the light fit the description of the tall, slender suspect. The young man glanced to his right and began jogging toward the police car. Luke pressed the button for the transmitter.
"Slower!" he called out. "Put your hands over your head!"
The teenager put his hands on top of his head but didn't slow down. Luke tensed. The young man glanced again to the side where several houses were closely packed together. Luke couldn't see anyone else in the glow cast by the streetlight or the headlamps of the police car. He opened the door of his vehicle and got out. The gusty wind was blowing directly into his face, and he had to squint. He placed one hand on his service weapon, a Glock 17. A flash of light far to the east signaled the approach of a storm.
"Deshaun Hamlin?" Luke called out when the young man was about 150 feet away.
"Yeah! I'm Deshaun!" the young man replied.
"Where's Ott?" Luke called out.
The young man slowed and turned sideways for a moment. Then he faced Luke and ran faster toward him.
"Don't shoot!" Deshaun cried out.
"Stop!" Luke commanded.
Instead of slowing down, Deshaun ran even faster. Adrenaline coursing through his veins, Luke pulled his weapon from his holster and held it in front of him as he'd done hundreds of times at the firing range. When the young man was about a hundred feet away, he passed through a deep shadow caused by a large tree that blocked the streetlight. Luke saw the teenager stick his right hand in the front pocket of his pants. Hearing a loud pop, Luke fired four shots in rapid succession. As the sound shattered the silence of the night, the young man fell to the ground in the middle of the roadway.
Luke began to shake uncontrollably. He managed to return his weapon to his holster. Even patrolling a beat in downtown Atlanta, he'd never had to fire his weapon. The threat of lethal force or the skillful use of his physical skills had always been enough. Hearing the sound of a siren, he turned as a police car, its blue lights flashing, sped around the corner and down the street. Luke's whole torso was now quivering. The car screeched to a halt, and Officer Alverez jumped out of the vehicle and ran past him. Alverez knelt by the body on the pavement and placed his hand on the man's neck, feeling for a carotid artery.
"Did you call for an ambulance?" Alverez yelled.
"Do it! Now!"
Luke reached through the door of his car and pressed the button on his radio. "We need an ambulance on East Nixon Street!" he shouted.
"What's your status?" the dispatcher demanded.
"Suspect is wounded."
Luke dropped the radio transmitter on the seat of the car. "Ambulance on the way!" he called out to Alverez. "Did you cuff him?"
"Where's the gun?" Alverez called out, turning his head toward Luke.
"Check underneath him! He took it from the front pocket of his pants and fired at me," Luke replied shakily.
A closer lightning strike released a clap of thunder that made Luke jump. He approached Alverez and the robbery suspect. The young man's face was turned away from him. The trembling that had threatened to take over Luke's chest lessened. The teenager made an odd sound. Alverez was applying pressure to a wound on the young man's chest. Luke took out his flashlight and shined it around on the pavement.
"He fired at least one shot," Luke said.
Something glistened on the pavement on the other side of the wounded man. Luke walked around Alverez and squatted down. It was metal. He started to pick it up.
"Leave that for later," Alverez said. "Help me here."
Before Luke could join Alverez, an ambulance came careening onto the street. Within seconds, the paramedics were on their knees beside the unconscious young man. Alverez stood and faced Luke. "How many shots did you fire?" Alverez asked.
Excerpted from "A Time To Stand"
Copyright © 2017 Robert Whitlow.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Just finished this book. All I can say is wow!! It is a must read for everyone. Relevant for the times we are living in and powerful in its message.
Very timely book
This author always leaves me thinking in a good way—beyond the obvious and superficial.
Loved it. Each of the main characters was well drawn and believable. Each acted in harmony with their convictions. Faith, honor and charity are necessary for healing our fractured society. Another great story by Robert Whitlow.
A Time to Stand has some very pertinent themes which could have been taken straight from todays newspaper headlines. When a white cop is accused of shooting a unarmed African American teen, a town begins to fracture as each side positions itself for the fight ahead. Both believing that they are searching for justice and the truth but can each truly handle the truth when it is finally revealed? Robert Whitlow pits age old racism and bigotry by having the police officer’s attorney a young fiery African American prosecutor who wasn’t planning on taking on that side of the case at all. I had mixed feeling about this book. While the premise was great - I did find that the story dragged somewhat to get to the expected court case and resolution. While there is a lot of issues to ponder and dwell on - the overall plot seemed slightly lacking. It definitely didn’t feel as fast-paced as previous books I have read. That being said - it was still a highly thought provoking read. I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher as part of the Thomas Nelson/ Zondervan Fiction Guild. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
Your heart breaks for Officer Luke Nelson as he struggles with the hopelessness of a trial. His family is trying to maintain an appearance of normalcy, yet how can an officer of the law move forward when there are so many voices in opposition to his quick response on that near fatal night. His wife Jane is standing in faith that Matthew 10:26 will bring forth the truth and clear her husband's name. Is there any doubt that a mother's heart can pray a child through the darkest moments of life? Well for Mrs. Armistead it will be a grandmother's heart who will be praying her grandchild, Deshaun, through. As a mighty prayer warrior, this seasoned warrior will give witness to the truth of forgiveness. Aunt Josie is in the hospital and Adisa will be answering the call to be at her bedside even though she is in the middle of negotiating a legal case for her law firm. What Adisa was unaware of was that her law firm would be changing and she would be representing Officer Luke Nelson. For Adisa, this change will usher in her heritage. She will face the truth of about prejudices, the truth about her Christian roots, and the truth that God's hand at work is mightier than any deception. Campbellton is a town that becomes torn between the races. It will need prayer intercessors who have strong roots in faith to keep from becoming one of those towns consumed with hatred. Those cloaked in faith will need to "suit" up for the battle that is brewing. Will false-hooded deceivers bring an innocent man to "justice?" Or, will the town have the scales removed from their eyes by the hand of God? With a scenario we witness all over our nation, these characters are so well defined they become real life prayer warriors that you would want on your side! MrsK
** “The only part of the world we can change is the part we touch. … Your biggest job in life is to show God’s unconditional love to a world that desperately needs to see it.” ** Robert Whitlow’s latest novel, “A Time to Stand,” could be a story ripped right off of today’s front pages — a story of racial division, reconciliation versus retaliation, and finding forgiveness and hope. When Police Officer Luke Nelson, who happens to be white, shoots the seemingly unarmed teen Deshaun Hamlin, who is African American, racial divisions quickly pop up in their small town near Atlanta. And when hometown girl Adisa Johnson, who is also African American, returns to care for her sickly aunt and is then brought onto the police officer’s defense team, even more division rises. While Luke must learn to trust that Adisa has his best interest at heart, Adisa must also overcome her predisposed assumption about his intentions in the unfortunate shooting. What follows is an intense battle, not only on the legal front, but also on the spiritual, personal and emotional fronts. The author does such a great job of moving this story along that the reader feels like he is right in the story himself. The reader will feel the tension the characters feel, as well as the hope and the defeat. It also encourages us to delve into our roots, as Adisa searches into her family’s history, all the way back to slaves and sharecroppers. “A Time to Stand” moves beyond just an entertaining story and becomes a personal journey for the reader. Whitlow brings so much more than just good storytelling. He offers amazing life lessons with this novel, including reminding us to be strong and full in our faiths; how God intervenes in our lives and on our behalf; we can be confident in knowing who holds our future; we are the sons and daughters of the King; we all have a spiritual inheritance; and it reminds us of the promise found in Romans 8:28. But more than spiritual lessons, he also reminds us of lessons we all need in today’s society to bridge the gap between our perceived differences. As Adisa learns, we must all work towards breaking down the barriers and that those barriers weaken through unity. With this story, Whitlow challenges us to be the change. If we all work toward being the change and being unified, we can be such a better world. You will love these characters, from the strong and courageous Adisa and Luke, to the supportive pastor Reggie she meets, as well as Adisa’s plucky Great Aunt Josie who is recovering from a stroke. Fans of authors like John Grisham and novels like “To Kill a Mockingbird” will enjoy “A Time to Stand.” Five stars out of five. Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow Adisa Johnson, a young African-American attorney finds herself back in her hometown in the center of a crisis as a young man from her community lies in a hospital fighting for his life. The white police officer who shot him needs legal representation and Adisa must confront her prejudices and those of her community to help him. Her budding relationship with the out-spoken preacher who demands justice in the situation, only complicates matters. This timely novel demands that we put aside our prejudices and pursue justice, love and reconciliation—no easy task. For the most part, I thought the plot was interesting though predictable. It did have a satisfying twist at the end, which surprised me. The results played out in the community a little too perfectly, but it made for a great ending. The characters were grew and developed within the story. Aunt Josie was well-written and familiar. Adisa was a little harder for me to relate to. I think the characters could support a sequel, especially if the author developed the relationship between Adisa and Reggie. Fans of Robert Whitlow will enjoy this even if it is a bit predictable. I received a free copy from the publisher for my honest review.
Luke Nelson, a white police officer, shot a black teen by the name of Deshun Hamlin. No weapon is found on the teen, who is in a coma and unable to state his side of things. Is the officer guilty or not-guilty of murder? Adisa Johnson is a young African-American attorney who is asked to be the defendants attorney. Is she doing the right thing? I really liked how all the events were woven together to reach a satisfactory end.
3.5 stars- I live in St. Louis and it goes without saying that over the past couple of years my city has been in the national spotlight for events very similar to those in this book. Recent events in our country have forced a majority of us to confront many of our preconceived opinions of one another. There has been a lot of discussion in my community on the topic of race relations. My son’s elementary school, which is 53% black and 37% white, has started a book club for parents on this topic in the hopes of tearing down racial barriers and bringing about real change in our school and our city. I was intrigued by the book’s storyline and was eager to read it. I was curious to see how the author dealt with the issues at hand. I think he dealt with them in a believable way. I have learned over recent months that no matter how much I would like to think that I can truly attempt to empathize and imagine myself in the shoes of a person of another race, I cannot. We may all be the same on the inside but sadly, history has made sure that we are not treated the same because of how we look on the outside. One thing I liked about this story was how the author didn’t try to sugar coat the problems with our society when it comes to race and America’s racial history. He strove to show that even though we can’t change the past, we can work together to change the future. I admit this story was at times hard to get into for me. I found myself skimming in parts and I felt that it took a bit too long to set things up. That’s the main reason for my rating. There were several scenes though that I thought were very thought provoking. For example, I felt Dr. Cartwright’s comments to Luke at the end of the support rally really spoke to the main theme of the book. This story was about more than a white police officer shooting an unarmed black teenager. It was about confronting and dealing with unacknowledged biases and truly trying to understand a different perspective. Centuries of wrongs have helped mold our current world. Rather than try and erase them we should strive to learn from them, so the future will be different. The author created many strong and believable characters. They may not have all been strong in body but were all strong of mind. It was interesting to view situations from their points of view. All of these characters dealt with life and their circumstances in many different ways. I appreciated that he worked to uncover biases in the characters but always kept a thread of hope that those biases could be worked on and changed. Overall, this story was a bit different than what I was expecting. There are some avenues I would have liked to have seen explored further but the characters were believable and relatable and I enjoyed reading a Christian viewpoint of such a timely, sensitive topic. The ending was very emotional, very well written and will stick with you after you finish the book. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
I found this book very appropriate in light of recent events in our country. Personally, I thought it was a bit more interesting than his last 2 books, especially the first half. It did drag just a little in the second half, but the ending was great! Not an easy topic to tackle, and I was not sure exactly how everything would come together, but Robert Whitlow did a great job of it, I think. Thanks to the Fiction Guild for giving me the book! All opinions are my own.
A Time To Stand what a dynamic, Prolific, entertaining, phenomenal story. This one starts off in the past to lay the ground work to your story and may I say - well done - it was awesome. Then comes Chapter One and then you are off and running and that ain't no lie. You have a convenient store, a high school jock, an obstinate customer, and a group of ne'er do wells and something happens and then the ball keeps rolling from there and it is incredible. The author brings the LORD in at just the right points and that means a lot to me;. It is so enjoyable and may I say it is so totally worth your time. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions expressed in the review are all my own.
Adisa Johnson, a young African-American lawyer, never expected that conversing with a reporter would lead to losing her job. Luke Nelson, a white police officer, never planned to shoot an unarmed African-American youth. When their split-second decisions alter Adisa and Luke's lives, they find themselves uncomfortably situated together. Adisa, as a reluctant and loyalty-divided defense lawyer, and Luke, as a suspicious but desperate client. Their tenuous relationship serves as an example of their respective communities and the racial tensions that exist far after slavery's abolition. As circumstances escalate and Luke's hope of exoneration diminishes, the future seems dark. Everyone involved, white and black, must confront their own prejudices. Only then can light, hope, and life arise. A Time to Stand is the first novel I've read by Robert Whitlow. The plot was engaging, but not captivating to where I felt I couldn't put it down. Adisa's relationships, spiritual growth and the preparing of a legal defense were the most interesting aspects of the story to me. As expected, the challenging issue of racial prejudice spans this entire novel. The author attempted to address multiple sides of the issue, but I'd be interested in hearing the thoughts of an African-American reader as to how authentic this book reads. While the main issue of the book is racial prejudice, there are other thought-provoking nuggets throughout the book including a most encouraging one: Our actions and prayers matter more than we'll ever know. I recommend A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow to readers looking for a thought-provoking read with elements of suspense and drama. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I received this copy from The Fiction Guild. I was not required to give a favorable review. This was another stand out book from Robert. It hits on everything that is going on in the world & US today. And makes you think about what would you do. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good intriguing book.
This novel could be taken right from the headlines, A Time To Stand tells a real and modern story about race division, prejudice and how we are too quick to judge others without all the facts. We are all created by Jesus, to not judge, to look past differences, to love, to come together. Ecclesiastes 3- there’s a time for everything under the sun, time to love- A Time To Stand! Can we all learn to ultimately forgive? A Pastor says this in the middle of the storm, “It’s time to stand! To look past differences the Lord created and come together in the unity of God’s spirit! To stand in agreement that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. To stand together on earth as we will one glorious day…...” After a white police officer shoots a black teen who is not armed in Campbellton, Georgia leaves the community in an uproar. A powerful message, sides drawn, anger boiling over and Adisa Johnson, a young black lawyer caught in the middle. Her loyalty lies with the teen who was shot, but she was hired to defend Luke, the police officer and the African American community feels like Adisa turned away from her “own people.” A Time To Stand will teach us to not judge others before we have all the facts, that race/color should not matter. Heart wrenching, but yet hopeful book that shows how God can intervene in our lives if we let him. If we all pray and let God move in our lives, miracles can happen, hearts change no matter what we face. This was my first book by the author and will be reading more of Robert Whitlow. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The new fall book releases are quite good this year. And Robert Whitlow has a new story. Interesting how an author will write a fiction story about a current event in our world. I think authors like to voice their opinions through a story. In any event, this is quite an tine resting story. Adisa Johnson is a young African-American attorney who enjoys living her dream of practicing law in Atlanta. However, Adisa returns to her small Georgia hometown where racial tensions are flying high because a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen who is comatose in a hospital. But Adisa must consider what she believes/stands for because she is to defend the police officer who shot the teen. And she is in a budding romance with a charismatic young preacher who is demanding that the local police officers make this a crime and punish the police office who shot the black teen. This story is more about emotions and how people, no matter what the skin color, can be racist. This is a think.about.it.read . . . what one really values and what one really believes is right no matter what ones skin color may be. *This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild*
When the media today seems to be highlighting problems in race relations, especially in the way police relate to citizens, Whitlow's book is is very timely. It explores prejudices of both blacks and whites. When a young black attorney is called on to defend a white police officer accused of shooting a young black man, racial tensions run high in a small Georgia town. Lots of prayers are said for the truth to be revealed and for mercy and grace to be given. What they learn is summed up in this quote: "There is only one definitive, all-encompassing answer to what divides us, isolates, us and causes us to mistrust -- transformation of the human heart through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ...It's more people loving God with all their heart and loving their neighbor, regardless of skin color or culture, as they love themselves."
Many people will say they are not prejudiced toward people of other ethnicities. However, if put to the test, they might discover some things about themselves that they never realized. A number of the characters in this book find themselves at just such a crossroads as scenes similar to those we have seen on the evening news are played out. A young white police officer, responding to a burglary at a convenience store, shoots a black teenager who is running down the street towards him, even after the officer has told him to stop. A young black female attorney finds herself unemployed and moving back to the home of the great-aunt who raised her and her sister, while the great-aunt is in the hospital struggling to recover from a stroke. The young black pastor of the church the teenager attends with his grandmother is drawn into the movement to seek justice for the teenager. While the teenager is lying in the hospital in a coma and the police officer is seeking legal counsel to try to keep him from going to prison and leaving his wife and baby girl for years, we find two special women who are busy doing God’s work. Aunt Josie is a prayer walker, known for walking all over the city and praying for the people who live in the homes and work in the businesses she passes. Even as she is confined to a hospital bed during her recovery, she is busy praying. The grandmother of the teenager who is clinging to life is also a woman of prayer. As they pray and follow God’s leading, things start to happen. The book is compelling and challenging. I believe this story will cause you to evaluate your own prejudices and prayer life and hopefully help us all move closer to where God wants us.
In A Time to Stand, Whitlow shows that when it comes to pursuing what is right it should be as easy as black and white. The book takes us through a series of events that seems that they could be taken from today’s headlines. A white police officer shoots an unarmed black teenager; but with Whitlow, there is always more than meets the eye. Enter, Adisa Johnson, a young African American Attorney who has been working on Corporate Law for several years since graduating law school. Through a series of ill-fated circumstances, she now finds herself out of work. She’s smart and has many layers to her own story that lead her down a path she probably never expected for herself. Her grandmother is in the hospital so she returns to her small-town home to take care of her; when she gets there she discovers the town in turmoil over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager. She is approached with a job offer from the local law firm, with strings attached. Not only will she do some corporate law, but they want her to assist with the defense of the white police officer. This will cause quite a stir in the community and with her family. In the middle of the turmoil of the shooting, there is also the issues of trusting law enforcement, how race will play a part in the officer's fate, as well as the issue of forgiveness. When faith and the law come together, will they be able to overcome the anger and frustrations that are rising? The story is delivered in a way that keeps you reading and hoping for ways to address the social ills that many are grappling with. A Time to Stand works in all the major details you would want to learn about this type of event: the feelings of the Black Community; the local Black Pastor, who sees it as his duty to speak out for the Black Community; the feelings of the white police officer and his family and their worries, fears, anxieties and struggles as they go through this trial. There are great themes of racial injustice, prejudice, forgiveness, mercy, grace, and redemption that are all worked through the story. Add to that the young attorney who is caught in the middle and her struggle to come to terms with her own feelings and with her relationship with God and you have a very interesting story. If you like police dramas with a little romance this is for you. For my review, I received a copy of this book from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program.
This is truly a book for this time in America. Robert Whitlow takes on the topic of racial unrest, and sets it in the deep south where it has the deepest roots. He works his plot around the shooting of an unarmed, black teenaged male by a white policeman. Whitlow surrounds the story with strong, Christian characters on either side of this legal drama. Right in the middle he places a young, black female attorney who is part of the police officer’s defense council. Whitlow deals with the difficulty humans of any color have distinguishing between their idea of how they view the world, and how they are truly seeing it through their personal lens, a lens formed by personal experience, collective experience, the media, and the depth of their relationship with the Author of love. He places this hand in hand with the assumptions each person makes about how others see them. Ultimately through the acts of love of mature saints, the reader comes to realize the impact of seeing ourselves and others through God’s eyes. Well-known pastor Chip Ingram would say we need an accurate view of God and an accurate view of ourselves. A Time to Stand would be a great book club book, and provides thoughtful questions for discussion. It is also a great book for individual reading and personal reflection. It is one of those stories that can be enjoyed on a surface level for the entertaining, legal thriller that it is, but begs not to be read on such a shallow level. It is a story that won’t be forgotten once the covers are closed for the final time. While readers will be reminded of Deshaun Hamlin and Luke Nelson as they watch the evening news, I hope that A Time to Stand will be a catalyst to taking a stand of their own, a stand for love, forgiveness, reconciliation and unity. I thank NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for providing me with a copy of A Time to Stand in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for providing this review.
Robert Whitlow is a master at legal suspense and just legal books. This one is straight from the headlines. Seemingly with no good ending, but he manages to do it well again., * I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My opinion is entirely my own.
A TIME TO STAND. by Robert Whitlow Interesting plot of prejudice in the South. A mistake changes the course of a young lawyer. The courtroom and the people in town had to confront their own issues as well. Cultural issues of the south are brought to life, what brought about the white policeman shooting a young black. The story was not so much on the characters as most of his books are, this is about living the happenings of the south. Given ARC by Net Galley for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow is the perfect book to curl up with and read! This contemporary fiction takes place in Georgia. Adisa Johnson, a young African-American attorney is working in Atlanta when she loses her job. At the same time her great aunt, who raised her, suffers from a stroke and needs some one to care for her. Adisa returns home to Campbellton to be near her great aunt. She takes a temporary job with a law firm under the condition she represent the white police officer that shot a black youth. If you enjoy legal dramas you will totally enjoy this story. The story is very well written and focuses on forgiveness and doing what is right. The story feels like it could be taken from today's newspapers, very current and very real. The things that stands out to me is Aunt Josie walking through the town praying for members of the community. I also respect the character of Thelma Armistead, having the strength to stand in front of her church and forgive those involved in the shooting of her grandson. I felt frustrated with the pastor's position, I wished he would have had more forgiveness and less demand for justice. Overall this is a very good story, it is not so fast moving that the reader struggles to keep up with the story. The characters are very well introduced with background information so they are easy to follow. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and BookLook Bloggers. This is my honest review.
Another book by Robert Whitlow that I can recommend to the readers in the library I oversee. I love it when I can do that. In this new book, Adisa Johnson, a young African American attorney, is living her dream of practicing law with a prestigious firm in downtown Atlanta when a split-second mistake changes the course of her career. Left with no other options, Adisa returns to her hometown where a few days earlier a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen who is now lying comatose in the hospital. Adisa is itching to jump into the fight as a special prosecutor, but feels pulled to do what she considers unthinkable—defend the officer. The book depicts a lot of the prejudice that we still find in our country and how we are eager to blame people sometimes without all the facts. In this case, Adisa faces much and she even puts herself in harm’s way when she decides to be the officer’s lawyer. Even the officer has trust issues with her as an African American. But, as this books exhibits, we can all learn forgiveness. But the book carefully depicts what can happen when people step out in faith. And when they handle things with much prayer on both sides of the color spectrum. There is much to be learned from this book. The book has it all—suspense, current events and even a love story as Adisa is drawn to the pastor of a local church. For some reason, I don’t think of church pastors as being single. So I really wasn’t prepared for the romance to go down that path. But it did and it was handled very appropriately in the book. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The comments are my own.
Note: Currently Amazon will not let me review the title until it releases. I have just posted to CBD and Goodreads as well as Facebook and my blog. I am just including the blog link. Campbellton, GA is the setting for Robert Whitlow's timely legal thriller. The relationships between its black and white citizens go back generation to share cropper days and even to slavery. When one of Campbellton's young black male's is shot by a new-to-the-city white police officer, the town divides its loyalties. Just minutes after receiving a dispatch call that Deshaun Hamlin is a suspect in the robbery at the QuikMart, Officer Luke Nelson approaches Hamlin on a nearby street. Sure that the young man is reaching for a gun when the youth puts his hand in a pocket, Nelson shoots. As Deshaun teeters between life and death, it is learned that he never had a gun and probably was not involved in the robbery. Luke is placed on leave and waits to learn if he will be indicted. A family man, he is supported by his church and others in the community, while at the same time, dozens of others, especially the church members of Deshaun's grandmother's church, demand justice for the boy. Meanwhile, a perfect storm of life events brings African-American attorney Adisa Johnson back to her hometown of Campbellton. At first, Adisa's race and loyalty to her neighborhood have her leaning toward supporting those who want Nelson tried for assault and attempted murder, but her legal experience pushes her to see that the officer must get fair treatment. Never did she consider defending him, but that is what happens. Robert Whitlow is one of my favorite authors for legal fiction, and he does not disappoint in this timely novel. He fleshes out the town, making its history almost a distinct character in the book, and that helped me see that "place" is an important part of the stories behind the headlines of today's news. There is prejudice at every turn in this book, but Whitlow shows that even strongly held prejudices can come down when a few people take a stand for fairness, forgiveness, and the truth. I received an e-copy of this book from Netgalley. I was not required to write a review and all opinions are mine.