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Verdict in the Desert Kindle Edition
María and Ben Curry’s tumultuous marriage was well documented by María’s many visits to the ER. The couple was also well-known at local bars, where they often drank to excess. But the killing of a white man by a Mexican woman—even in self-defense—is not permissible in a time when justice is determined by the good-old-boys club. Also unacceptable is the growing relationship between Michael and Toni, who fight to save María against all odds.
In this evocative exploration of class and race in 1950s America, Bobby Darin is on the juke box, Doris Day is on the silver screen and pink flamingos grace front yards. Former crime reporter Patricia Santos Marcantonio crafts a stirring tale of forbidden love in a world where democracy rules but due process and fair treatment aren’t as readily available on the wrong side of the tracks.
From the Back Cover
Maria and Ben Curry's tumultuous marriage was well documented by Maria's many visits to the ER. The couple was also well-known at local bars, where they often drank to excess. But the killing of a white man by a Mexican woman--even in self-defense--is not permissible in a time when justice is determined by the good-old-boys' club. Also unacceptable is the growing relationship between Michael and Toni, who fight to save Maria against all odds.
In this evocative exploration of class and race in 1950s America, Bobby Darin is on the juke box, Doris Day is on the silver screen and pink flamingos grace front yards. Former crime reporter Patricia Santos Marcantonio crafts a stirring tale of forbidden love in a world where democracy rules but due process and fair treatment aren't as readily available on the wrong side of the tracks.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B01HSJ85FW
- Publisher : Arte Público Press (June 29, 2016)
- Publication date : June 29, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 754 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 320 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,128,039 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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I'm a Dive-Right-In-Please reader and for some reason the opening (a killing, of course) and the introduction of the main characters made me impatient, maybe because I was fearing more of that odious name-checking of music, art and food that crime fiction writers use to establish authorial hipness or to pretend they seek a diverse audience. My impatience didn't last.
Once this story moves to the courthouse and the public schoolhouse, the author's firm hold on telling details shone through.
The case moves like real life, not like a television half-hour, and that's satisfying if you don't care for fantasy in your fiction.
In many ways, the heart of this book is immigrant experience, shaped by language, work, family and education. If you're white, you just don't see what you don't know and this story lays out life in the "President Streets" without whacking the reader over the head.
Sympathetic without falling into sappiness, the exposition chapters weave a lot of strands of social anthropology into the plot.
As an old white guy, I'm suspect as an arbiter of authenticity. But having worked and lived in the American West and in the immigrant magnet that is a Metroplex public university, the feelings and fights of inter-racial connection seemed right to me in this book. Good people get it wrong. Bad people can get it right. These characters stumble around just like real humans and that's what makes this book such a good read. As Barbara Kingsolver says, good fiction creates empathy and takes you places you can't otherwise go.
Don't come to this book looking for a satisfying legal plot.The author's experience watching the courts at close range feeds a plot for grown-ups, one in which justice is a process, not a magic trick.
One convention of crime fiction is observed, however.
Plenty of bread-crumbs are strewn to lead readers to a sequel. Toni is a character you want to keep up with.
(Full disclosure: the author and I worked together in 1985 and 1986, became friends and have stayed in touch. That said, if you look at my reviews on Amazon, you'll see I am as hard on friends as I am on anyone else.)
There's a lot more I want to know about these characters; I hope Santos and her publisher and editor know there is an audience for a sequel and hopefully a whole series. A fun beginning to a complex story - lots of plot possibilities!