The year is 1906 and much of the nation is still getting used to the post-Civil War ideals regarding race relations. Parts of the south have yet to come to grips with these new ideals and lynchings are still a way of life in some of these parts.
Ben Corbett, a young Washington D.C. lawyer well known for taking on underprivileged, oppressed clients, is summoned to the White House by none other than President Theodore Roosevelt himself, who Corbett served under in the Spanish-American War.
Roosevelt is very concerned about the reports of lynchings in the South, and sends Ben to his home town of Eudora, Mississippi, a veritable hotbed of reported lynchings. The only guidance Roosevelt gave was to find a man named Abraham Cross when he got there, and he would help him.
Upon arriving back in Eudora for the first time in many years, Ben goes to the colored part of town where he meets up with Abraham Cross and his beautiful granddaughter, Moody. He still doesn’t want to believe that something like this could happen in the town that he grew up in, but after just a few hours with Abraham and Moody and their awful stories of things that have transpired over the past few months he quickly sees the ugly truth.
Alex Cross’s Trial is a departure from what most James Patterson fans have come to expect in Patterson’s Cross novels. That is largely because aside from the title and the fact that Abraham Cross is Alex’s great-great-grandfather, it is not an Alex Cross novel.
The story of the trial, which involves the case of whether three white men are, or are not guilty of murdering two black men in a raid one fateful night, is a story that is passed down from generation to generation until it reaches Alex Cross. That is where he comes in.
That being said, fans of the extremely popular Cross novels will find this book equally as enjoyable as any Cross book. It contains the same fast pace, true-to-life characters, and great story telling that are hallmarks of virtually everything that Patterson writes.
Alex Cross’s Trial hits stores on August 24th.