cover image A Cure for Night

A Cure for Night

Justin Peacock, . . Doubleday, $24.95 (341pp) ISBN 978-0-385-52580-0

A deeply flawed—and endearing—protagonist powers Peacock's impressive debut. Joel Deveraux, once an up-and-coming corporate litigator at one of New York City's most prestigious law firms, resigned in disgrace after a paralegal working on one of his cases died from a heroin overdose. Joel later tries to resurrect himself personally and professionally by becoming a public defender in Brooklyn. But when he's asked to help enigmatic lawyer Myra Goldstein with a high profile case involving the shooting death of a white college student “gunned down in the projects,” Joel is forced to revisit some of the same issues that almost ruined him years earlier. Peacock's intimate knowledge of the courtroom and carefully crafted prose aside, the gritty realism, intense emotional intimacy and socially relevant subject matter—racism, America's war on drugs, the “corporate culture” of drug dealers—make this a deeply thought-provoking read in a genre that can be anything but. (Sept.)