Little does racist attorney Hiram Garbuncle know the danger he’s getting into when he reluctantly defends a black man brutally beaten by two policemen during a traffic stop and charged with resisting arrest. Plot twists and turns take the reader on a suspense-filled roller coaster ride as the attorney’s negligence causes a mistrial. He then discovers incriminating evidence against the cops, and his new challenge becomes how to keep himself and his client alive pending a new trial. Garbuncle is an alcoholic, and his courtroom remarks and outlandish attire startle the judge, whom the attorney brings to his side in arguing a legal conundrum. His miserly ways cause a tug of war with his burly apartment tenant, who ends up helping with the probe of the cops. But when the woman Garbuncle falls in love with is caught up in the investigation, tragedy results.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult and YA audiences
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 2 – PG
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
In 2008, the computer person at an office supplies store came to my home fix my computer, and told me about the police stopping him for a broken tail light, and roughing him up. He was a black immigrant from the Caribbean, and his car had an Obama bumper sticker. Years later, it occurred to me that I could use that incident as the basis for a story incorporating themes from two of my favorite movies, Gran Torino and My Cousin Vinny. In the novel, I had the man brutally beaten by police, which fit into the pattern of police brutality against blacks occurring across the country.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I knew this slovenly, racist attorney, and used him as the character reluctantly defending the black guy from a false charge of resisting arrest with violence. He rented rooms, and one tenant was a burly wrestler and sometime thespian. The attorney had fallen in love with a woman who left him heart-broken when she died, and she became a character in the book. A young man who intimidated me at a Ku Klux Klan rally that I covered as a newspaper reporter was the model for one of the brutal cops.
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