When the news broke about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Caswell "Cash" Harrison was all set to drop out of law school and join the army... Read more...
When the news broke about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Caswell "Cash" Harrison was all set to drop out of law school and join the army... until he flunked the physical. Instead, he's given the opportunity to serve as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. He and another clerk stumble onto a potentially huge conspiracy aimed at guiding the court's interests, and the cases dealing with the constitutionality of the prison camps created to detain Japanese-Americans seem to play a key part. Then Cash's colleague dies under mysterious circumstances, and the young, idealistic lawyer is determined to get at the truth. His investigation will take him from the office of J. Edgar Hoover to an internment camp in California, where he directly confronts the consequences of America's wartime policies. Kermit Roosevelt combines the momentum of a top-notch legal thriller with a thoughtful examination of one of the worst civil rights violations in US history in this long-awaited follow-up to In the Shadow of the Law.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-09-21
- Reviewer: Staff
This sophisticated, multi-textured novel from Roosevelt (In the Shadow of the Law) works both as a thriller to rival the best of Stephen Carter and as an insightful look at one of America's darkest historical moments. After the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, law student Caswell "Cash" Harrison attempts to enlist, but his flat feet disqualify him. Fortunately for Cash, Supreme Court justice Hugo Black has an opening for a law clerk. At first, Cash finds it dull to decide which petitions the justices should consider accepting for appeal, but then a colleague suggests that someone is manipulating what ends up on the docket, and Cash is placed under surveillance. Cash also gets involved in the internal court debate on the military's decision to relocate Japanese Americans on the West Coast, a move that swept up citizens who were clearly loyal to the country but was justified on national security grounds. The plot twists are both genuinely surprising and logical, and Roosevelt is subtle in illustrating how the liberty vs. security tensions of the 1940s foreshadow those of the post-9/11 era. Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (Aug.)