Soho, 2013 (2013)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
French educated judge, 34 year old Anne Marie Laveaud has moved to the tiny island of Guadeloupe with her son and husband Jean Michel, who is a native of the island. When an elderly ex-con is arrested for the murder of a white landowner who has a score of enemies, Ann Marie believes the local authorities are using Hegesippe Bray as a political scapegoat to protect the real culprit. Of course she is right, but the can of worms she opens results in a situation that threatens the very fabric of the island and endangers madame le juge's career and family.
They're all in it – all the rich bekes and mulattos who control this island. Even the president of the Chamber of Commerce ... Giscard's right-hand man in Guadeloupe,
' Anne Marie is told, but she persists in her investigation. What she uncovers is more than just a murder. There are dark family secrets probably better left hidden, an embezzlement scheme worth fifty-three million francs of stolen public money, and domestic terrorist activity that touches her own family.
o say this woman stirs up a hornet's nest is a gross understatement. Impeded by issues of race, gender and colonial politics Anne Marie follows her instincts because she knows it is the correct thing to do. Unfortunately by the novel's conclusion she ends up compromising her own ethics in a manner that will surprise even the most astute reader. You may think you know where this well plotted novel is going but Timothy Williams has some major and even unsettling surprises in store for you.
functions on a number of levels and the issues this story raises will linger long after you finish it. The very nature of justice - as it is presented in this colonial setting and as it touches on the lives of a number of key characters - is the major issue the author raises here.
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