The Lynching

Bennie Lee Sinclair, Author Walker & Company $19.95 (209p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3201-9
In this satisfying first novel by short story writer and South Carolina poet laureate Sinclair, a lynching three decades in the past has shadowed the lives of two people who meet by accident on their way to a little Southern town. Justyn Jones, aide to the governor of South Carolina, and California elementary school teacher Tom Levity discover a connection between the tragic deaths of their fathers, both of whom died in Green Hills, S.C. Tom's father, a black man, was lynched for supposedly having murdered Justyn's distant relative, reprobate socialite Stubby Balantyne, a death that Justyn's father outspokenly deplored before he apparently committed suicide. Now determined to investigate the events, Justyn and Tom are thwarted by the townspeople: Tom's life is threatened and Justyn's marriage is strained because of her tenacity in trying to dig up buried facts. Sinclair develops her story well, and she depicts the thinly concealed atmosphere of bigotry and violence in small-town Southern society in the late 1940s. A deft writer, she introduces enough suspicious characters and situations to keep the reader absorbed until the mystery is solved. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
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