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Alex Cross's TRIAL (Hardcover)


Product Description
Separated by time

From his grandmother, Alex Cross has heard the story of his great uncle Abraham and his struggles for survival in the era of the Ku Klux Klan. Now, Alex passes the family tale along to his own children in a novel he's written--a novel called Trial.

Connected by blood

As a lawyer in turn-of-the-century Washington D.C., Ben Corbett represents the toughest cases. Fighting against oppression and racism, he risks his family and his life in the process. When President Roosevelt asks Ben to return to his home town to investigate rumors of the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan there, he cannot refuse.

United by bravery

When he arrives in Eudora, Mississippi, Ben meets the wise Abraham Cross and his beautiful daughter, Moody. Ben enlists their help, and the two Crosses introduce him to the hidden side of the idyllic Southern town. Lynchings have become commonplace and residents of the town's black quarter live in constant fear. Ben aims to break the reign of terror--but the truth of who is really behind it could break his heart. Written in the fearless voice of Detective Alex Cross, Alex Cross's Trial is a gripping story of murder, love, and, above all, bravery.

About the Author
James Patterson is one of the bestselling writers of all time, with more than 160 million copies of his books sold worldwide. He is the author of the two most popular detective series of the past decade, featuring Alex Cross and the Women's Murder Club. He has won an Edgar Award--the mystery world's highest honor--and his novels Kiss the Girls and Along Came aSpider were made into feature films. His lifelong work to promote books and reading is reflected in his new Web site, ReadKiddoRead.com, which helps parents, grandparents, teachers, and librarians find the very best children's books for their kids. He lives in Florida.

Richard DiLallo is a former advertising creative director. He has had numerous articles published in major magazines. He lives in Manhattan with his wife.

Racism fuels the fires of the deep south in 1906., August 24, 2009
By Cla. Cage (aiding cancer research.)


It is hard to find authors as popular as James Patterson, and his Alex Cross books are at the epicenter. Let's remove the Patterson name for a moment and take an in-depth look at this newest novel. In 1906, race relations are being threatened; The war has just ended; Equality is still a foreign concept -- especially in the south. Theodore Roosevelt (the President of the USA) has placed an urgent call to Ben Corbett - a prestigious lawyer - summoning him to The White House. The President instructs Corbett to seek the aid of Abraham Cross in his home town of Mississippi, and together, investigate the outbreak of burning and lynching of minorities.

When he does arrive, it doesn't take him long to find Cross whom is being escorted by a beautiful young woman, Moody. Moody is Cross' grand daughter and together they show Corbett the true extent of the hate-filled assaults in a once peaceful town. While it does take Ben Corbett a while to accept the truth, he does finally come to realize just how dire the situation is. I'll stop there so I don't spoil the story for anyone whom has yet to read this brilliant novel. There are so many twists-and turns (the biggest being Abraham Cross - the grandfather of Alex) The racial overtones are done incredibly well, and while it is graphic at times, they do serve a greater purpose and keep the novel on track.

Now let's put the Patterson name back, and this good novel becomes great. Patterson is the master of suspense, intrigue, and lifellike characters that change and evolve the story to a level that only a very few authors can replicate. Do I really need to mention this? I mean seriously, if you don't know how good Patterson is...then that cave you live in must be nice and cozy. I'm joking. This latest novel to grace the Patterson name is an exciting thrill ride, that moves along at breakneck speeds and gives the reader a reason to place Patterson back on top of the genre. Well done. Well done, indeed.

Southern (Dis)Comfort, August 24, 2009
By Elliott (L.A.)


Alex Cross is a star in James Patterson's fiction universe. This book, co-authored by Richard Dilallo, looks at Alex's great-uncle, Abraham, who was born a slave in 1817. The story begins in 1906, when Abraham was 89, about forty years after slavery's demise. Abraham is poor and lives in the "Quarters," an African-American neighborhood in Eudora, Mississippi.

The central character in the book is Ben Corbett, a young white lawyer in Washington, D.C. He served as a captain in the Spanish-American War (1898) under Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. In 1906 Roosevelt, now President, sends his friend Ben on a secret mission to Eudora (Corbett's hometown) to study the recent epidemic of lynchings in the area. Roosevelt has arranged for Ben to meet the aforementioned Abraham Cross, a wise man who is well-respected in the black community. Abraham gives Ben vital assistance.

Although the authors do not use the term, "Jim Crow" had taken over the South by 1906. Jim Crow was a system of virtually complete segregation designed to humiliate African-Americans and enforce their status as second-class citizens. An integral part of Jim Crow was physical intimidation, including lynching. According to Wikipedia, between 1880 and 1951, 3,437 African-Americans were lynched, mostly in the Deep South.

Graphic descriptions of assaults, mob violence, and lynchings make up a big part of this book.

The novel opens when Ben returns to his hometown after an absence of six years. He finds that many of his former friends and neighbors are upset with his outspoken opposition to Jim Crow and lynching. He does, however, have some loyal friends, including Elizabeth Begley, Ben's first flame. Well, the fire is still there, although both Ben and Elizabeth have married others.

The book explores in depth the tension between Ben and the white residents of Eudora. Many of them come to despise Ben for his support of African-American equality. This group includes Ben's estranged father, a local judge, who ends up presiding at the book's centerpiece, the "trial" of three whites who murdered two people during a raid on Abraham Cross's home.

Ben becomes the subject of obscene taunts and insults. He is placed in grave peril.

This book does not approach the level of, say, To Kill a Mockingbird, a classic work with a similar theme. But Trial is still very interesting; it's a "page turner" of the sort perfected by Patterson, featuring short, fast-paced chapters. It deals with an important topic of which many Americans have limited knowledge. It kept me enthralled; I finished it in about twelve hours.

Several of the characters are painted with a very broad brush; they are either really good or horribly evil. More subtle portrayals would have strengthened the work. And, it seems to me the authors were trying to capture the authentic feel of a memoir by having the central figure, Ben Corbett, narrate the story. This tactic succeeded for the most part, but sometimes the book had an awkward air of melodrama.

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