In May of 1977, two workingmen find the body of a murdered woman and her small child who was still alive.
In 1990, defense attorney Deborah Knott sees legal injustice by a judge in his courtroom. His prejudice against blacks was so obvious that Deborah decides to run against the judge in the upcoming elections.
Jed Whitehead was a childhood friend of Deborah's and of her brothers. She and Jed had dated a few times. Now, at a political meeting, he tells Deborah that his daughter, Gayle wants to look into her mother's killing. It was her mother, Janie who was found murdered eighteen years ago and since Gayle is age 18, she has the money from a trust fund so is able to hire an investigator.
Since Deborah is a friend, Gayle pleads with her to run the investigation and mix it in while she is running for office.
The setting of North Carolina is so well detailed that it is as if the reader was seated on a park bench in Colleton County and observing the action as it unfolds before them.
With Deborah running for office, the reader is treated to intimate descriptions of political rallies and Church picnics where Deborah gossips about the life and times, as she looks for voter support.
Deborah is a character to whom we are easily drawn. Her father is a famous bootlegger and with her extended family we learn about the country folk in detail.
A very enjoyable novel, and well deserving of the multiple literary awards it received.