cover image They Can't Take Your Name

They Can't Take Your Name

Robert Justice. Crooked Lane, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-64385-842-5

Justice debuts with a sensitive legal drama. Langston Brown, a Black man, has been on death row in Colorado for a decade for a fatal bank robbery he didn't commit. His daughter, Liza, a single mother in her final year of law school in Denver, dedicates herself to exonerating him. She convinces her school to launch an innocence project and focus on Langston's case. Meanwhile, she starts work at Eli Stone's newly renovated club in the predominantly Black Five Points neighborhood. Eli, mourning his wife's death, overheard the detective who arrested Langston confess to framing suspects years before, but has told no one. When the governor, who's up for reelection, announces that Langston will be executed in 30 days, Liza's team files one final motion, and Eli's attempts to bring the truth to light without exposing himself or admitting to Liza he's been keeping information from her has devastating consequences. The countdown to Langston's execution adds a propulsive tension, while the slowly growing tenderness between Eli and Liza balances out the grim story. This is a taut tale of perverted justice. Agent: Andrew D. Wolgemuth, Wolgemuth and Assoc. (Dec.)