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A Cure for Night: A Novel Hardcover – September 2, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (September 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038552580X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385525800
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,238,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A deeply flawed—and endearing—protagonist powers Peacock's impressive debut. Joel Deveraux, once an up-and-coming corporate litigator at one of New York City's most prestigious law firms, resigned in disgrace after a paralegal working on one of his cases died from a heroin overdose. Joel later tries to resurrect himself personally and professionally by becoming a public defender in Brooklyn. But when he's asked to help enigmatic lawyer Myra Goldstein with a high profile case involving the shooting death of a white college student gunned down in the projects, Joel is forced to revisit some of the same issues that almost ruined him years earlier. Peacock's intimate knowledge of the courtroom and carefully crafted prose aside, the gritty realism, intense emotional intimacy and socially relevant subject matter—racism, America's war on drugs, the corporate culture of drug dealers—make this a deeply thought-provoking read in a genre that can be anything but. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Forced to resign from his prestigious Manhattan law firm for drug use, Joel Deveraux becomes a public defender in Brooklyn, handling nothing more than arraignments for minor crimes. But after this dreary apprenticeship, Joel is assigned to assist PD Myra Goldstein in defending a young black man charged with the shooting death of a white college student. In racially volatile Brooklyn, the case is very high profile—and far more meaningful than anything corporate law offered him. A Cure for Night is a truly compelling first novel. It successfully mixes several factors—including a gritty, realistic, and thoughtful look at the criminal justice system; the moral and ethical crevasses of criminal law; and good storytelling—into a taut delight. Joel, Myra, and a host of other characters are fully fleshed, a bit cynical but deeply human. Each character’s voice is his or her own, and the author has a fine ear for dialogue. Peacock even throws in a surprise ending that startles in two very different ways. By any measure, this one’s a winner. --Thomas Gaughan

More About the Author

I am the author of the novels "A Cure for Night" and "Blind Man's Alley." I live in Brooklyn, where I am presently writing my third novel.

Customer Reviews

This legal thriller, from first time author Justin Peacock, is absolutely compelling!
M. C. T. Henry Jr.
Good character development of two main characters; however, the plot was predictable and yielded no surprises.
Maxine S. Gauthier
The plot is well constructed, the story intriguing and the characters reasonably well drawn.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bobbewig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In his first novel, A Cure For Night, Justin Peacock has taken a major step towards becoming a "must read" author of legal and "life-on-the-street" thrillers. Peacock tells the very interesting tale of lawyer, Joel Deveraux, who is forced to resign from his top tier corporate law firm after a drug-related scandal, and takes a much lower-paying job with the Public Defender's Office in Brooklyn. In this position, Deveraux, who narrates the story, feels that he is functioning, albeit in a minor way, as a cog in the slow-moving NYC justice system until he accepts "the second chair" alongside a more experienced female Public Defender in a high-profile murder case. Without going into the details of the story and risk spoiling any of the drama that unfolds, it is from this point on that you won't be able to put the book down. In addition to Peacock's exceptional prose and narrative skills, his strong characterizations, and his ability to maintain an ongoing sense of courtroom tension, he does an excellent job of conveying "life" inside the public defender culture as well as in the housing projects in Brooklyn, where selling drugs too often paves the road to money and prestige. For an experienced author to tell a compelling story in such a way that the reader is willing to delay whatever else has to be done in order to read what happens next is a major accomplishment, and a sure sign of a bestseller. For Peacock to accomplish this so well in his first book makes him an author who, in "my book," deserves a large reader audience and one who has the potential to climb quickly to the top of the list of bestselling authors.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on September 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My perspective on this book is colored by the fact that I am a criminal defense attorney who often takes court appointed clients. I can't speak to the particularities of New York's justice system, but the attitude and dialogue of the lawyers is pretty authentic. Many criminal attorneys end up in our profession because, like the protagonist, they scewed up badly at their first job. The interactions depicted by Peacock reminded me very clearly of moments I've seen as an attorney: the unusual view of criminal attorneys held by corporate types, the fatal attraction of substance abuse for some lawyers, getting too caught up in a case. Peacock does a good job of sharing authentic experiences in the life of a criminal attorney

Peacock's view is far from idealized. He uses different characters to examine the various dominant views of the legal profession by both practitioners and outsiders while advancing the story. He also does a great job of moving through the legal process from start to finish through the context of murder case where the accused is a career criminal. He doesn't romanticize any of the story, but tells it like it is and lets the story sell itself. There are a lot of enlightening bits of information here for someone who isn't a criminal lawyer. The biggest being none of the noirish patter from the dust jacket (the only part of the book that is overdone), but the revelation that what happens in court is not a search for truth but a competition of stories told by professional storytellers.

Peacock also puts the law more front and center than authors like Scott Turow, which was interesting to see and explained well without interrupting the narrative's flow.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DWD's Reviews VINE VOICE on September 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The last two novels I read before this one were from solid "name brand" authors. And...they were disappointing schlock. Justin Peacock is a new author and perhaps because he is new, he has put some care into his work and created a strong book that I can easily recommend.

The title comes from this little exchange between two defense attornies:

"That's what the criminal law is: it's how the day tries to correct the night's mistakes. Most of my cases, people have done something they never would've dreamed of doing in broad daylight."
"What does that make us?" I said. "The night's janitors?"
"We're absolutely that," Myra said, sipping her cosmo. "What else do we do but clean up after it? That's why we'll never run out of work. Not unless someone invents a cure for night."

This gritty, dark book features a New York City Public Defense Attorney, Joel Deveraux, that has his own troubled past (with drugs) that has caused him to fall from the fast track in a big-time, big money law firm. Joel is working himself up through the system and he is tapped to be second-chair on a murder case that involves an inner-city drug dealer, a Jewish college student and a lot more.

On a real positive, Justin Peacock has gone out of his way to include correct-sounding dialects - the people from the projects sound authentic to my ear. Although I am not "in the life", I have taught in urban schools for 8 years and Peacock's a lot more accurate than most of those that even bother to try to catch the dialect.

Fans of Robert K. Tanenbaum (Reckless Endangerment) will like this one.
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