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A Death in Live Oak
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Published:
Harper 2018
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Description

From the 2017 winner of the Harper Lee Prize for legal fiction comes a powerful and timely story of race, politics, injustice, and murder as shocking and incendiary as today's headlines.

When the body of Jamal Cousin, president of the pre-eminent black fraternity at the Florida's flagship university, is discovered hogtied in the Stygian water swamps of the Suwanee River Valley, the death sets off a firestorm that threatens to rage out of control when a fellow student, Mark Towson, the president of a prominent white fraternity, is accused of the crime.

Contending with rising political tensions, racial unrest, and a sensational media, Townson's defense attorney, Jack Swyteck, knows that the stakes could not be higher—inside or outside the old Suwanee County Couthouse. The evidence against his client, which includes a threatening text message referencing "strange fruit" on the river, seems overwhelming. Then Jack gets a break that could turn the case. Jamal's gruesome murder bears disturbing similarities to another lynching that occurred back in the Jim Crow days of 1944. Are the chilling parallels purely coincidental? With a community in chaos and a young man's life in jeopardy, Jack will use every resource to find out.

As he navigates each twist and turn of the search, Jack becomes increasingly convinced that his client may himself be the victim of a criminal plan more sinister than the case presented by the state attorney. Risking his own reputation, this principled man who has devoted his life to the law plunges headfirst into the darkest recesses of the South's past, and its murky present, to uncover answers.

For Jack, it's about the truth. Traversing time, from the days of strict segregation to the present, he'll find it—no matter what the cost—and bring much-needed justice to Suwanee County.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/06/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062657824
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

James Grippando. (2018). A Death in Live Oak. Harper.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

James Grippando. 2018. A Death in Live Oak. Harper.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

James Grippando, A Death in Live Oak. Harper, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

James Grippando. A Death in Live Oak. Harper, 2018.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:11:37
Date Updated:
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Last Metadata Check:
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        James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of suspense and the winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. The Big Lie is his twenty-eighth novel. James lives in South Florida, where he teaches Law and Literature at the University of Miami School of Law.

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shortDescription

From the 2017 winner of the Harper Lee Prize for legal fiction comes a powerful and timely story of race, politics, injustice, and murder as shocking and incendiary as today's headlines.

When the body of Jamal Cousin, president of the pre-eminent black fraternity at the Florida's flagship university, is discovered hogtied in the Stygian water swamps of the Suwanee River Valley, the death sets off a firestorm that threatens to rage out of control when a fellow student, Mark Towson, the president of a prominent white fraternity, is accused of the crime.

Contending with rising political tensions, racial unrest, and a sensational media, Townson's defense attorney, Jack Swyteck, knows that the stakes could not be higher—inside or outside the old Suwanee County Couthouse. The evidence against his client, which includes a threatening text message referencing "strange fruit" on the river, seems overwhelming. Then Jack gets a break...

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title
A Death in Live Oak
fullDescription

From the 2017 winner of the Harper Lee Prize for legal fiction comes a powerful and timely story of race, politics, injustice, and murder as shocking and incendiary as today's headlines.

When the body of Jamal Cousin, president of the pre-eminent black fraternity at the Florida's flagship university, is discovered hogtied in the Stygian water swamps of the Suwanee River Valley, the death sets off a firestorm that threatens to rage out of control when a fellow student, Mark Towson, the president of a prominent white fraternity, is accused of the crime.

Contending with rising political tensions, racial unrest, and a sensational media, Townson's defense attorney, Jack Swyteck, knows that the stakes could not be higher—inside or outside the old Suwanee County Couthouse. The evidence against his client, which includes a threatening text message referencing "strange fruit" on the river, seems overwhelming. Then Jack gets a break that could turn the case. Jamal's gruesome murder bears disturbing similarities to another lynching that occurred back in the Jim Crow days of 1944. Are the chilling parallels purely coincidental? With a community in chaos and a young man's life in jeopardy, Jack will use every resource to find out.

As he navigates each twist and turn of the search, Jack becomes increasingly convinced that his client may himself be the victim of a criminal plan more sinister than the case presented by the state attorney. Risking his own reputation, this principled man who has devoted his life to the law plunges headfirst into the darkest recesses of the South's past, and its murky present, to uncover answers.

For Jack, it's about the truth. Traversing time, from the days of strict segregation to the present, he'll find it—no matter what the cost—and bring much-needed justice to Suwanee County.

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      • premium: False
      • source: South Florida Sun Sentinel
      • content: "Engrossing and unflinching...a timely look at issues of race and hatred...action-packed and involving..."
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 1, 2017

        When the president of a Florida university's top African American fraternity is found hog-tied and drowned in a Suwannee River Valley swamp, his counterpart at a white fraternity is accused of the crime. Defense attorney Jack Swyteck finds uncomfortable parallels to a 1944 lynching and suspects a nasty conspiracy. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        December 11, 2017
        The lynching of University of Florida student Jamal Cousin, the president of a prominent black fraternity, kick-starts bestseller Grippando’s gripping 14th novel about lawyer Jack Swyteck (after 2017’s Most Dangerous Place). When Mark Towson, the head of a white fraternity, and two of his fraternity brothers become suspects, Mark’s father turns for help to his old friend, Jack’s father Harry, who gets his son to take the case. As Jack does his best to defend Mark and determine the truth, Andie, his FBI agent wife, goes undercover to investigate white supremacist terrorists who might be linked to the murder. Meanwhile, the news is reminding at least some locals of a case from 1944, in which a black teen was lynched in a similar manner. Grippando skims over this timely topic, providing no insights, for example, into how the community will deal with the racial fallout, but those looking for a legal thriller heavy on action will be rewarded. Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        December 15, 2017
        Racial tensions come to a murderous boil at the University of Florida, Jack Swyteck's beloved alma mater, in this ripped-from-the-headlines thriller.Soon after Jamal Cousin, the head of the Alpha fraternity, is found hogtied and hanged in a nearby swamp, suspicion falls on Mark Towson, the president of Theta Pi Omega, because of a text message he'd sent Jamal using the N word and concluding: "Strange fruit on the river." Mark swears he never sent the text. He never uses that word, he doesn't know what strange fruit is, and he thinks Billie Holiday, who made the song famous in 1939, is a man. But he can't explain how it was logged in as having originated with his cellphone, and soon the evidence begins to mount that he knew what he was doing and meant to threaten and perhaps kill Jamal. Luckily for Mark, his father, Tucker Towson, is an old friend of Jack Swyteck (Most Dangerous Place, 2017, etc.), who's soon on the case. That's about the only bright spot, though. Mark's mother is stricken by a return of her cancer; he's expelled from the university after a hearing that's mishandled at every turn; and his fraternity buddy Baine Robinson, whose phone sent another message to Jamal, turns against him. As Jack, battling to find out what really happened while keeping Mark from getting railroaded, finds that the burden of proof in a college disciplinary matter is a lot lighter than in a court of law, his wife, FBI agent Andie Henning, is asked to go deep undercover with the Aryan National Alliance in a case that's even more explosive.Tackling racism, white supremacists, and a generations-old lynching, the book is admirably heartfelt and humane. But the forces of evil are cartoons, the subplot feels tacked on, and the conclusion is unsatisfying on every level.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        December 15, 2017
        In Florida, three white university students are accused of lynching an African American student. There is incriminating evidence: a threatening text that was evidently sent from one boy's phone to the victim's shortly before he was murdered. Jack Swyteck, the Florida defense lawyer who's appeared in a string of successful legal thrillers, is asked by his father, the state's former governor, to take the case of the boy who allegedly sent the text. But Jack isn't sure the boy is as innocent as he claims to be. The latest Swyteck novel is as precisely written as its predecessors. Very little time is wasted with unnecessary verbiage; scenes generally get right to the point, and dialogue usually stays on track. This makes for a streamlined, effectively paced story that carries us through to the finale. Those who favor fast-moving legal thrillers will be fine with this one.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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