The Color of Justice
By Ace Collins
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 10/07/14
My Rating: 5 Stars
In 1964, Coop Lindsay has a thriving law practice in Justice, Mississippi. When an African American maid who once worked for Coop’s family asks him to defend her grandson, Martin Jennings, on charges of rape and murder, the attorney takes the case.
It’s a decision that divides the town, but Coop devotedly digs for facts, faces attempts on his life, fights against all odds and wins. A few weeks later the boy disappears and Coop Lindsay is murdered.
Almost 50 years later, Coop’s grandson, Clark, returns to Justice and to the old family home. Opening his own law practice, his first case is just as controversial as the one that ended his grandfather’s life.
This time the victim is African American and the suspect is white. The tables have turned, but the racial tension is just as high. Clark digs for evidence with the tenacity characteristic of his family.
But even he doesn’t know that this crime will reveal clues to the 1964 Jennings case and may even uncover his grandfather’s killer as well—if only he can stay alive long enough to prove it.
THE COLOR OF JUSTICE by Ace Collins is a riveting, page-turner, and complex story of racial injustice and a small southern town full of dark secrets. Set in 1964, in Justice, Mississippi, where black and whites live separately, and the lines are seldom crossed.
Coop is an attorney with his own small firm, taking over from his dad’s practice, where he now resides with his wife Judy, and children. After Ole Miss and Vanderbilt and six years of working for the Tennessee Supreme Court and fathering a boy and two girls, as only child, he gave up his plan and dreams of staying in Tennessee to come home and help his cancer ridden mother. Sadly no sooner had he moved his family, to Justice, Agnes died.
Three months of living with his wife Judy and children, in the sleepy community where five generations of his family had called home had proven two things to the lanky, dark-haired man. The first was something he liked: Justice was the same quaint town he remember from his youth and also the thing he hated with their narrow minds and thinking.
Since he opened his office not one black person had knocked on his door, until Hattie Ross walks in. She was a former maid for Coop’s dad and family and asks him to defend her grandson, Calvin, accused of murdering Becky (a white girl from a powerful family).
When Coop takes the case, his entire world changes and his wife, and family are threatened and all their lives are at risk. Someone has set up Calvin, and Coop takes it upon himself to find the answers, and the real killer, no matter what. When he finally wins the case; however, they both go missing, after the trial, never to be found again.
I was immediately hooked from page one, as Ace Collins grabs the reader and never let’s go until the ending. The lovable characters were so warm and realistic and I would have been satisfied with the book ending when the trial ended in 1964, as I was so rooting for Coop and Calvin. (I loved this part, as was so engrossed, had forgotten there was a second part, and wanted to cry, as loved these two characters and Hattie).
After the trial, the book advances to 2014, where Coop’s grandson returns to the small town, also an attorney, and this time the roles are reversed. Almost 50 years later, he opens his own practice, at the same office. His first case is just as controversial as the one that ended his grandfather’s life.
This time the victim is African American and the suspect is white. Things have changed for the better in 2014; however, some are stuck back in the sixties, and racial tension is still high even some fifty years later, but Clark is as driven as his grandfather and will not stop until he uncovers his grandfather’s killer, peeling back the layers and the secrets.
The last part of the book is fast paced, revealing clues from the 1964 case relevant to the case in 2014. Some things are not as they seem, and the question – how far will the killer go for revenge. From power, money, revenge, lies, secrets, murder, and racial injustice – it has it all. I happen to grow up in this era in the south, and so loved the mentions of the sixties music, like Rick Nelson, cars, and the styles rang familiar and readers from this time will relate.
Wow, I loved everything about this book! THE COLOR OF JUSTICE, is the kind of book you want to savor and do not want it to end. The front cover is so intriguing, drawing you into this world of controversial issues between races.
With twists and turns you will not see coming for an engrossing and satisfying suspense thriller, THE COLOR OF JUSTICE is a story you will not soon forget, and characters which will live on making you smile long after the book ends.
Am so delighted with this book and author (a master storyteller) -- cannot wait to dive into his previous books. Don’t you love discovering a new-found author? We can only hope for a sequel!
A special thank you to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Citing his Arkansas heritage, Christy Award winning author Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. In that capacity, Ace has authored more than seventy books for 25 different publishers that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children's works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play.
In 2015, Ace released a new novel, Hollywood Lost, a mystery from Abingdon Fiction set against the backdrop of the motion picture business in 1936. Coming in October is The Fruitcake Murders, a comedy/whodunit set in Chicago in the days just after World War II. Elk Lake continues to release new episodes of In The President's Service, a groundbreaking series that first hit the market in 2014.
One of Ace's most talked about books was released in late 2015. The Color of Justice earned the Christy Award winner for Best Suspense Book. This novel is a courtroom drama examining racial prejudice in 1964. Also in 2014, Abingdon released Ace's Man's Best Hero at the Book Explo of America. This nonfiction book earned the IndieFab Book of the Year Winner and Christian Retailing's Gift Book of the Year, as well as generating interest well beyond the dog community.
Ace's first devotional book, Music For Your Heart, was released in late 2013 and earned numerous five star reviews. A fall novel from the same year, The Cutting Edge, mixed suspense, romance and intrigue in a tale of survival and victory. In the summer of 2013, Ace's novel, Darkness Before Dawn, was chosen by several different book clubs and publications as one of the top reads of 2013. This novel also made the most inspiring book list on iTunes in July and Hope For Women's "Top Five Summer Reads."
Ace's publishing history includes the novels Farraday Road, Swope's Ridge and Jefferson Burke and the Secret of the Lost Scroll for Zondervan, The Yellow Packard from Barbour, Reich of Passage for Bay Forest, and The Christmas Star for Abingdon. His fiction writing has covered everything from value-driven plots, to adventures, mysteries, historical stories, sentimental tales and comedy.
In nonfiction, Ace has scored bestsellers with The Cathedrals, Lassie A Dog's Life, Turn Your Radio On, The Stories Behind The Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, Father Does Know Best, and The Stories Behind The Great Traditions of Christmas. His books have been made into two network television specials and a CBS movie. The Stories Behind The Best-Loved Songs of Christmas hit #3 on the Amazon bestselling list for all books and #1 in several other categories and still continues to sell well more than a decade after its release. Ace's books have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German and Indonesia (Mayla).
Beyond books, Ace has penned more than 2000 magazine features, appeared on every network morning television show, as well as CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and Fox. He also does scores of radio interviews each year. His speaking engagements have taken him from churches and corporations to the America's Dog Museum in St. Louis and the National Archives in Washington DC. Beyond normal writing circles, Ace has penned several production shows. He also speaks regularly to college classes on the art of writing.
Ace's hobbies include sports, restoring classic cars and Wurlitzer jukeboxes, and running. He is the play-by-play voice for Ouachita Tiger basketball. Ace is married to the Chair of the Department of Education at Ouachita Baptist University, Dr. Kathy Collins. The couple lives in Arkadelphia, Arkansas and has two sons. Website