The Final Case

David Guterson. Knopf, $27 (272p) ISBN 978-0-525-52132-7
The death from hypothermia of an adopted Ethiopian girl, Abeba "Abigail" Addisu, while in the care of her Christian fundamentalist parents, Betsy and Delvin Harvey, drives this outstanding literary thriller from PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction winner Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars). Betsy and Delvin, who live in rural Skagit Country north of Seattle, are arrested on homicide charges, and Betsy is put on trial for murder. On a break from fiction writing, the unnamed narrator accompanies his elderly criminal attorney father, Royal, who has agreed to defend Betsy, for the pretrial interview of Betsy. When Royal dies before the final verdict, his son picks up the loose ends of his father's life while continuing to follow the case, which exposes the cruel conditions in which Abeba suffered. The narration is the novel's main draw. Equal parts philosophical, humane, and self-deprecating, it powerfully speaks to the ineffable contradiction of living a meaningful life. Guterson sensitively explores religion, white privilege, and justice while examining with realism and empathy the bond between parents and their children. With its simple message of hope, this novel will linger with readers long after the final page. Agent: Georges Borchardt, Georges Borchardt, Inc. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/12/2021
Release date: 01/11/2022
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-525-52133-4
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