Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

Alex Cross’s TRIAL was pretty amazing. Even though this is considered the 15th book in the Alex Cross series, it only fits because Cross “wrote” this book about his relative (Great 4th Grandfather?) who was pushing for civil rights in 1905. Other than the name Cross on a couple characters and the ‘Foreword’ by Alex Cross, this is a book on one man’s fight to stop racial hatred. I’ve recently been reading several of the Cross novels and I have to say that Alex Cross’s TRIAL is a cut above the rest. The plot has far fewer and smaller holes than normal and it really makes you feel like you’re in Mississippi in the hot explosive summer of 1905.

Ben Corbett, a lawyer in Washington D.C., is white and willing to honestly defend the poor colored folk. He even does quite a bit of Pro bono work. This of course does not make him a rich lawyer by any means, and his wife is getting a little tired of all his long hours and small financial returns. The President (Theodore Roosevelt) calls him to the White House for a special assignment to send Ben back to his home town in Eudora, Mississippi to look into the reports of lynching and the resurgence of the KKK. Since Ben had been one of Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, the President trusts him with this mission. Teddy gives Ben the name of Abraham Cross, an old black man from the poor quarter who is willing to help Ben get the information he’ll be looking for. Ben risks his marriage and his life in his attempt to shine the light of truth into the darkest corners of the south.

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.