Boll Weevil

Fiction - Drama
298 Pages
Reviewed on 08/08/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

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.

K.C. Finn

Boll Weevil is a dramatic work of courtroom drama written for adults and penned by author James Radford. Set in the American South, this thrilling, intense and often eye-opening work deals with themes of racial injustice, political power plays and attempts to understand a misrepresented culture and people. We follow the journey of a young lawyer turned politician who seeks radical change and wishes to buck the established system, but to do so he must learn newfound respect for the South Georgia home he left behind so long ago. This results in a tense political battle with darkness and corruption behind the scenes.

This is a tale of homecoming which is masterfully deep, both in its self-contained emotional journey of the central hero and the thought-provoking resonance that stays with readers long after the final pages have been turned. Author James Radford captures the parlance, culture, and personality of the South effortlessly through stellar usage of dialogue, descriptions and the narration of his characters, which adds powerful realism to the tale of racial justice – and injustice – which Boll Weevil unveils for its readers to explore. This is coupled with a dark and intelligently woven plot of political ruthlessness, highly believable despite its sensational undertakings, and a coming together of differing and sometimes volatile decisions which put a lot of difficulty in the path of justice and real representation and understanding. Overall, Boll Weevil is a literary and effective work of fiction sure to please any reader seeking deeper, more meaningful connections to the story they’re engaged with.

Rabia Tanveer

In Boll Weevil by James Radford, Daniel is a young lawyer who enjoys his career, but he is looking for something more. He gets the opportunity when he learns that the position of the long-standing County Commissioner of his rural hometown is looking a little shaky. With a plan to gain political power, he moves back home, only to realize that things have changed drastically since he left the place. He knows that if he wants to succeed and actually do well for his people, he will have to understand the people and the place he calls home. While he is trying to do just that, his political opponents are trying to shake him and make him rethink his decision. What will Daniel do? Will he change his outlook and can he survive the pressure?

Boll Weevil by James Radford is a political drama that takes a look at the South, the way of life there, the politics and how the people cope there. The novel follows a young lawyer who is thinking about trying his luck in the political scene down south. I enjoyed how detailed it was. From the opening scene where the reader witnesses a major courtroom case until the very end, the author ensured that readers would have something to keep them interested and invested. For me, it was the story itself. More than a thriller or a suspense novel, it was a call for self-reflection and how a young man truly tried and tested himself before he took a step that could affect the lives of many people. Daniel decided to get into politics on a whim, but he changed his perspective the moment he realized how much was at stake. His growth was phenomenal, he took his time, he changed his outlook and the moment he took this new career seriously, he was in it to win it. I loved his attitude after a couple of chapters because that is when I could see the change in him. This is a solid novel, especially for readers who love courtroom dramas and thrillers. Entertaining and thrilling!