Out on 11 April 2024

A Calamity of Souls

David Baldacci

11 April 2024
9781035035588
512 pages

Synopsis

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'A Tour de Force' S.A. Cosby
'A great American novel.' Alex Michaelides


Set in the tumultuous year of 1968 in southern Virginia, a murder case sets a duo of white and Black lawyers against a deeply unfair system as they work to defend their wrongfully-accused Black defendants in this courtroom drama from the number one bestselling author David Baldacci.

Jack Lee is a white lawyer from Freeman County, Virginia, who has never done anything to push back against racism, until he decides to represent Jerome Washington, a Black man charged with killing an elderly and wealthy white couple. Doubting his decision, Lee fears that his legal skills may not be enough to prevail in a case where the odds are already stacked against both him and his client. And he quickly finds himself out of his depth when he realizes that what is at stake is far greater than the outcome of a murder trial.

Desiree DuBose is a Black lawyer from Chicago who has devoted her life to furthering the causes of justice and equality for everyone. She comes to Freeman County and enters a fractious and unwieldy partnership with Lee in a legal battle against the best prosecutor in town. Yet DuBose is also aware that powerful outside forces are at work to blunt the victories achieved by the Civil Rights era.

Lee and DuBose could not be more dissimilar. On their own, neither one can stop the prosecution’s deliberate march towards a guilty verdict and the electric chair. But together, the pair fight for what once seemed impossible: a chance for a fair trial and true justice.

KILLER TWISTS. HEROES TO BELIEVE IN. TRUST BALDACCI.

A high-octane legal thriller anchored by a family drama that will break your heart. - Ken Follett

Baldacci deftly weaves together legal thriller and historical drama-a tale of high tension, false assumptions and stubborn humanity, where the law is a crucible for who we imagine ourselves to be and how much effort still lies ahead. - Stacey Abrams

David Baldacci vividly recreates Virginia in the throes of the civil rights movement, when the laws had moved forward, but the people had not. A Calamity of Souls is a big-hearted page-turner about fighting for what’s right in a world filled with wrong. - Jeanette Walls

This is the book David Baldacci was meant to write. Of course it’s filled with rich characters and a mystery at its core, but what makes this novel such a standout is the way Baldacci pours his own past into it. Terrifying, dazzling, and a true reckoning, A Calamity of Souls is a time machine that proves the Civil War never ended-and that the only way out is together. - Brad Meltzer

A Calamity of Souls, the story of a murder in southern Virginia in the mid-1960’s, may be the best novel David Baldacci has ever written, which is saying a great deal. It has a gripping plot and a shocking ending, and even better than that, is also a perfect evocation of a difficult time in America’s history, propelled by deep and moving characters and beautiful writing. It captured me completely from the very first page. - Scott Turow

A Calamity of Souls is a modern masterpiece, a court room drama set in 1968 in a divided Virginia, a fraught powder keg in the American south. A young, inexperienced white attorney, Jack Lee, and his client, Jerome Washington, a hardworking black man beloved by his family, is falsely accused of murder. Jerome is in a fight for his life in a courtroom where he has been condemned before the gavel hits. This page turner is resplendent, timely and surprising, written in glorious prose that will captivate and enthrall readers. Nothing in Jerome and Jack's world is what it appears to be. There are secrets, and a shocking buried history among the families trapped in a legal system calcified in racism. In Baldacci's hands, this story is personal and the reader feels its urgency. This lustrous, atmospheric novel takes us back and moves us forward in one riveting read. An instant classic from America's favorite storyteller. - Adriana Trigiani

From its disturbing opening onwards, I couldn’t stop turning the pages, fascinated, moved, horrified. Packed with a richness of detail and prose so evocative it works like a time-machine, effortlessly transporting you to a troubled time in U.S. history; with characters that linger in the mind long after you have finished the book. An instant classic, I will be recommending this to everyone I know. Not just a great American crime story; this is a great American novel. - Alex Michaelides

A high-octane legal thriller anchored by a family drama that will break your heart.
Baldacci deftly weaves together legal thriller and historical drama—a tale of high tension, false assumptions and stubborn humanity, where the law is a crucible for who we imagine ourselves to be and how much effort still lies ahead.
David Baldacci vividly recreates Virginia in the throes of the civil rights movement, when the laws had moved forward, but the people had not. A Calamity of Souls is a big-hearted page-turner about fighting for what’s right in a world filled with wrong.