Seen by Julie G Delegal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Seen is a legal thriller told primarily from the point of view of the accused. It is also a coming-of-age story, laced with the sour vinegar of prickly race relations and the legacy of unequal justice in the South.
Instead of watching the bad guy get punished, in Seen, we witness the good guy getting manipulated by a far from perfect system. All the legal thriller elements are there: the victimized underdog; the overweening and powerful, yet good-intentioned police; the press, thirsty for scandal; the social impacts of arrest and trial on the family and friends, and, of course, the heroic defense lawyer.
In addition, the book does a good job at analyzing, in an even-handed way, the perspective of each party to the crime, so to speak. How does it feel, to experience an arrest and all that comes after it? How do the police feel, about being forced to justify their actions? How does the black community feel, as yet another insult is added, to all the past injuries at the hands of the police?
Julie Delegal sensitively, but without pulling any punches, portrays what could happen, under the right circumstances, to an innocent. Her fictional account is no less frightening and sobering, for having obtained its skeleton of events from an actual case.
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A review of a book I recently read, Seen by Julie Delegal, which takes the threads of a North Florida police incident and weaves them into a suspenseful fictional narrative.
Seen by Julie G Delegal
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