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Reviewed by Amanda Rofe for Readers' Favorite
Boll Weevil by James Radford is a fictional novel set in the American South. Michael Drummond is a tenacious black lawyer fighting Darby Tobacco in an important compensation case. If it goes well, it will advance his career and his bank balance. The company is owned by Leon Darby who also holds the position of County Commissioner. However, while he wields a lot of power, he doesn't always work within the law. Michael was born and raised in the area. He and his white school friend, Daniel Riley, sharpened their minds on the school debating team and then went on to become lawyers. The two friends come together again to use their skills to oust the corrupt Leon Darby and install Daniel as the new County Commissioner. Daniel has been away a long time and has to reconnect with the locals but finds the poorer black community rather more of a challenge than he originally thought.
James Radford has written a highly engaging and thoroughly absorbing courtroom drama. Set in the American South, it paints a fascinating portrait of life for the black community and their rather more wealthy white neighbors, the ones who really hold the power. It lays bare the terrifying dominating presence of old white money. The sense of injustice is palpable throughout and the tension increases as the book reaches its climax. Skilfully written, this novel encompasses a compelling storyline, one which includes a passionate tale of two friends who are both professional lawyers but who sit on different sides of the racial divide. Daniel Riley is a great character but Michael Drummond is my Atticus Finch and the hero of the hour for me. I loved Boll Weevil and highly recommend it.