BOOK REVIEW | A Calamity of Souls

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Two murders. Two suspects.

By David Baldacci


Set in the tumultuous year of 1968 in southern Virginia, a murder case sets a duo of Black and white lawyers against a deeply unfair system as they work to defend their wrongfully-accused Black defendants in this courtroom drama from the number one bestselling author David Baldacci.

Jack Lee is a white lawyer from Freeman County, Virginia, who has never done anything to push back against racism, until he decides to represent Jerome Washington, a Black man charged with killing an elderly and wealthy white couple.

A chance for a fair trial & true justice

Doubting his decision, Lee fears that his legal skills may not be enough to prevail in a case where the odds are already stacked against both him and his client. And he quickly finds himself out of his depth when he realises that what is at stake is far greater than the outcome of a murder trial.

Desiree DuBose is a Black lawyer from Chicago who has devoted her life to furthering the causes of justice and equality for everyone. She comes to Freeman County and enters a fractious and unwieldy partnership with Lee in a legal battle against the best prosecutor in town. Yet DuBose is also aware that powerful outside forces are at work to blunt the victories achieved by the civil rights era.

Lee and DuBose could not be more dissimilar. On their own, neither one can stop the prosecution’s deliberate march towards a guilty verdict and the electric chair. But together, the pair fight for what once seemed impossible: a chance for a fair trial and true justice.

A tale of high tension, false assumptions and stubborn humanity

– Stacey Abrams

About the author

David Baldacci is one of the world’s bestselling and favourite thriller writers. A former trial lawyer with a keen interest in world politics, he has specialist knowledge in the US political system and intelligence services.

His first book, Absolute Power, became an instant international bestseller, with the movie starring Clint Eastwood a major box office hit. He has since written more than forty bestsellers featuring Amos Decker, Aloysius Archer, Atlee Pine and John Puller. David is also the co-founder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across the US.


  • Publisher Pan Macmillan South Africa |
  • ISBN | 9781035035595 |
  • Recommended Retail Price | R365.00 |
  • CLASSIFICATION | Thriller |



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