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A Calamity of Souls af David Baldacci
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A Calamity of Souls (udgave 2024)

af David Baldacci (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1696162,580 (4.28)1
Fiction. Mystery. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:Set in the tumultuous year of 1968 in southern Virginia, a racially-charged murder case sets a duo of white and Black lawyers against a deeply unfair system as they work to defend their wrongfully-accused Black defendants in this courtroom drama from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci.  
 

Jack Lee is a white lawyer from Freeman County, Virginia, who has never done anything to push back against racism, until he decides to represent Jerome Washington, a Black man charged with brutally killing an elderly and wealthy white couple. Doubting his decision, Lee fears that his legal skills may not be enough to prevail in a case where the odds are already stacked against both him and his client. And he quickly finds himself out of his depth when he realizes that what is at stake is far greater than the outcome of a murder trial. 

Desiree DuBose is a Black lawyer from Chicago who has devoted her life to furthering the causes of justice and equality for everyone. She comes to Freeman County and enters a fractious and unwieldy partnership with Lee in a legal battle against the best prosecutor in the Commonwealth. Yet DuBose is also aware that powerful outside forces are at work to blunt the victories achieved by the Civil Rights era.

Lee and DuBose could not be more dissimilar. On their own, neither one can stop the prosecutions deliberate march towards a guilty verdict and the electric chair.  But together, the pair fight for what once seemed impossible: a chance for a fair trial and true justice. 
Over a decade in the writing, A Calamity of Souls breathes richly imagined and detailed life into a bygone era, taking the reader through a world that will seem both foreign and familiar.
… (mere)
Medlem:DaddyRobz
Titel:A Calamity of Souls
Forfattere:David Baldacci (Forfatter)
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2024), 496 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek, Read And Own EBook
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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A Calamity of Souls af David Baldacci

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Viser 1-5 af 6 (næste | vis alle)
a book I think that everyone should read. I laughed, cried, and was furious, shocked, and sad. The saddest thing is that this still is evident in today's world I am ashamed to say. We need to change and do so much better. Thank you David Baldacci for writing this story and bringing it all out in the light again. ( )
  TrishLittle | May 7, 2024 |
Very good book except for all the extra writing added to the story that did not need to be included. Just seemed to go off on different information that pertained to the people in the book but was not needed in the story. Seems to just be what I call "fill page fluff." Once the book got back on track it was excellent. I would recommend but if you like not wandering off the main story it will be a long read. ( )
1 stem tamarack804 | May 6, 2024 |
Set in 1968 Freeman County, Virginia A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci revolves around a racially charged murder case and the lawyers representing the young Black man, a Vietnam War veteran, accused of murdering the affluent white couple who were his employers.

Representing Jerome Washington is criminal defense attorney, thirty-three-year-old John Robert “Jack” Lee, a White man and resident of Freeman County. Jack, despite being brought up to be respectful of everyone irrespective of the color of their skin or social class, has never done anything to raise his voice against racial discrimination and believes that this would be his chance to do the right thing – not an easy decision given the instant backlash he faces from his own community- both on the professional and personal front- and the threats directed toward him and his family members. Despite having Jerome’s best interests at heart, he is clearly out of his depth. He is approached by Desiree DuBose, an experienced Black lawyer from Chicago whose reputation precedes her. Desiree provides Jack with a much-needed reality check, helping him navigate the machinations of the prosecution who resort to every trick in the book to prevent Jerome from getting a fair trial. The narrative follows Jack and Desiree as they fight for justice for Jerome in the face of much adversity including personal threats from a racially divided community, political bigwigs who want to send a strong message to further their own agenda, and a corrupt criminal justice system that would readily convict an innocent Black man instead of searching for the real killer.

A long time in the making and a departure from his fast-paced action-packed thrillers, A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci is a brilliantly crafted, deeply thought-provoking novel that combines elements of literary fiction, legal and family drama, historical fiction and suspense. Though the premise might not strike you as completely new or original, the strength of this novel lies in its execution – the rich historical context, realistic characters, and intriguing murder mystery with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the final reveal. The author does a commendable job of establishing the setting – the racial tension in years after the passing of the Civil Rights Act, the volatile socio-political landscape and a legal system conveniently manipulated by those wielding political and judicial power. Several sub-plots featuring Jack and his family members are seamlessly woven into the narrative, allowing us to get to know Jack as a person and follow his personal journey throughout the events described in this novel. Both Jack and Desiree are well-defined characters, as are the supporting characters, each of whom has a significant role to play. Jack and Desiree’s partnership isn’t necessarily an easy one. They are from diverse backgrounds and despite being motivated to do the right thing it is expected that they would be wary of one another initially and I loved how the author addresses the differences in their convictions and life experiences and as they gradually grow to respect the other’s perspective even though they might not always agree with one another.

Please note that this is not light reading. The author captures a time and place where racial tensions are high and needless to say, which features several nasty characters, racially motivated violence and upsetting dialogue, heavy with racial slurs. Some moments will break your heart and some will leave you seething with anger. Despite the length of the novel and the large cast of characters, at no point does the narrative become repetitive or difficult to follow. Relatively slower paced but intense and immersive, this is an exceptionally well-written novel.

David Baldacci is a master storyteller and this novel will definitely be considered among his best works - the kind of story that stays with you long after you turn the last page. I promptly ordered a personal copy for my collection as soon as I finished reading the ARC.

Do read the Author’s Note where he discusses his inspiration for this novel and the autobiographical elements that he incorporated into the narrative.

Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing for the gifted ARC via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. ( )
  srms.reads | Apr 24, 2024 |
This book is nothing like any of the others that I have read by this author. It is a standalone that deals heavily with desegregation in the South during the late '60s. As we all know, this was a difficult time for America, especially in the southern part of the country. I find it interesting that Mr. Baldacci would publish this novel now when America is yet again having racial issues and an election is on the near horizon. But as someone else said, this is a "cause" book, and it shines as such.

It is a difficult book to read at times and not just because of the politics, bigotry, and bias - it is also difficult to read because it has been done before, although with a tad more subtlety. This book just pounds you over the head with hatred -aggressively.

It did have an interesting little twist at the end that I didn't see coming.

This book is very predictable, and I felt that the characters lacked something; some emotion, and I couldn't 'feel' for them.

For comparison, try the classic book To Kill a Mockingbird

*ARC was supplied by the publisher Grand Central Publishing | Hachette Book Group, the author, and NetGalley. ( )
1 stem Cats57 | Apr 10, 2024 |
A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci is a courtroom drama/mystery set in southern Virginia in 1968 during the desegregation of the South. It is an exceptional, very highly recommended novel.

Jack Lee is a white lawyer from Freeman County, Virginia, who agrees to defend Black Vietnam veteran Jerome Washington who has been charged with murdering his employers, Leslie and Anne Randolph. Even though it is clear considering obvious evidence that Jerome is innocent, it soon becomes apparent that local prejudices and outside forces are all working against Jack and Jerome to ensure a guilty verdict and they won't hesitate to use physical violence. Then Desiree DuBose, a Black lawyer from Chicago sent by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, arrives in Freeman County. She has devoted her life to furthering the causes of justice and equality for everyone and enters into a partnership with Jack to defend Jerome. The two work together to fight against a system that doesn't want to accept change of their prejudicial beliefs.

In the author's notes at the opening of the novel Baldacci explains that this novel has been in the works for over a decade and contains autobiographical elements in the story. This was a tumultuous time in history when George Wallace was running for president and vehemently opposed desegregation and Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy had been murdered. The historical context is an important element to the whole narrative.

The characters are all wonderfully, fully realized and come to life in A Calamity of Souls. The well-developed characters help set this one apart. The actual narrative is a subject that has been told before in several other excellent novels and this is a welcomed edition to that group. Baldacci's experience as a lawyer help make the preparations for the defense and the trial come to life. There are plenty of twists and evidence revealed to surprise you and make this an exceptional novel that should resonate with most readers.

Once you start reading you will not be able to put A Calamity of Souls aside. It will hold your complete attention and the pages will just fly by. In fact, I was so engrossed in the narrative that after I finished it I was surprised to see the length of the novel. Thanks to Grand Central for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2024/04/a-calamity-of-souls.html ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Apr 6, 2024 |
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Fiction. Mystery. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:Set in the tumultuous year of 1968 in southern Virginia, a racially-charged murder case sets a duo of white and Black lawyers against a deeply unfair system as they work to defend their wrongfully-accused Black defendants in this courtroom drama from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci.  
 

Jack Lee is a white lawyer from Freeman County, Virginia, who has never done anything to push back against racism, until he decides to represent Jerome Washington, a Black man charged with brutally killing an elderly and wealthy white couple. Doubting his decision, Lee fears that his legal skills may not be enough to prevail in a case where the odds are already stacked against both him and his client. And he quickly finds himself out of his depth when he realizes that what is at stake is far greater than the outcome of a murder trial. 

Desiree DuBose is a Black lawyer from Chicago who has devoted her life to furthering the causes of justice and equality for everyone. She comes to Freeman County and enters a fractious and unwieldy partnership with Lee in a legal battle against the best prosecutor in the Commonwealth. Yet DuBose is also aware that powerful outside forces are at work to blunt the victories achieved by the Civil Rights era.

Lee and DuBose could not be more dissimilar. On their own, neither one can stop the prosecutions deliberate march towards a guilty verdict and the electric chair.  But together, the pair fight for what once seemed impossible: a chance for a fair trial and true justice. 
Over a decade in the writing, A Calamity of Souls breathes richly imagined and detailed life into a bygone era, taking the reader through a world that will seem both foreign and familiar.

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