The Seventh Royale

Donald A. Stanwood, Author Atheneum Books $19.95 (438p) ISBN 978-0-689-11449-6
Engrossing and moving, this novel by the editor-in-chief of Oxmoor House has for its protagonist a highly recognizable contemporary man who wins the reader's sympathy. Jack Harris had reported the news from Alabama during the time of Martin Luther King Jr. Promoted to Washington, his career there is cut short when he insists on running an expose that embarrasses the Southern president. Now back in Montgomery and news editor of the Courant, he reencounters old cronies, including terminally ill Gov. Jesse Stuart. As Harris accompanies Stuart in his last days, he recalls the better times of a decade before and reclaims his journalist's soul while sniffing out old secrets of Montgomery politics. A subplot concerns plans to bury the body of a black serviceman in a whites-only cemetery. The two stories come together in the family of a black undertaker whose son will conduct the serviceman's funeral and whose wife had long-ago connections with the governor. Bush-league baseball in the `30s, murder, blackmail, a house bombing and a corrupt financial scheme are futher elements in this heavily atmospheric, densely Southern novel, in which Harris finds hope and redemption in reestablishing contact with his roots. (January 20)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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