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Joan's picks: The Borrowed Hills and A Calamity of Souls

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 14 Apr 2024, 1:21pm

Joan's picks: The Borrowed Hills and A Calamity of Souls

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 14 Apr 2024, 1:21pm

The Borrowed Hills by Scott Preston. Set amidst the foot and mouth scare in Cumbria in 2001, this is the story of two men, William and Steve, who have neighbouring sheep farms and are forced to destroy all their stock. They attempt to hide the remnants of one of their flocks from the authorities, and then when William falls in with a criminal shyster, Steve is roped into their plans to travel south to rustle a pedigree flock from a faraway farm to give them something to go on with. William’s new friend brings chaos and destruction close to home. Whilst this is set against a somewhat brutal background. the author’s craft lifts it to another level entirely. 

A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci. In southern Virginia in 1968, a black man and his wife are charged with the murder of an elderly white couple. Jack Lee takes on their case and is joined by a young black lawyer who’s a crusader for justice and civil rights. Everything is stacked against them and the relentless march towards Death Row for their defendants looks inevitable. This took David Baldacci ten years to write and is his most deeply personal story yet – and even for those of us who have read a lot of legal thrillers set in similar circumstances, the degree to which racism was entrenched in the State at that time is truly shocking and makes for a highly charged novel. 

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