|About the Book|
Violence is never a simple matter. Whether it is ever justified is a more thorny question still...In this case, the three men had murdered his wife.There was no doubt in Nathans mind that they had been members of the mob that dragged the fourMoreViolence is never a simple matter. Whether it is ever justified is a more thorny question still...In this case, the three men had murdered his wife.There was no doubt in Nathans mind that they had been members of the mob that dragged the four victims out of the car on that lonely road just outside of town. And there was no hope that Southern justice would ever exact any penalty for the crime. So Nathan packed a suitcase, loaded his Army pistol, and went back to Hainesville.It seemed as simple as that. But this quest for vengeance spread in a complex pattern that enveloped many lives - and blasted the artificial calm of a guilty town.Arthur Gordons vivid and angry novel probes deep beneath the surface of this taut situation to examine its impact on a deftly portrayed variety of characters. REPRISAL moves with the swift pace and sharp suspense of an early Hitchcock movie thriller, yet its main achievement is the portrayal of the inhabitants of Hainesville, men and women far more real and complicated than the thin stereotypes who people most novels that deal with racial barriers.There is Melady, the little writer from a magazine up North, who tried so hard not to become personally involved in his assignment - and failed- Yancey Brown, the proud, dignified undertaker who was the towns Negro leader- Unity, a ministers daughter filled with reforming zeal- and Shep whom she loved, hard and self-willed and immovable. There is Hester, with a scarred face and a secret shame- and Bubber Aycock, whose private lusts had provoked the lynching. Threading together through all their lives is Nathan, frightened but determined, moving through the night on his desperate mission. When a social abscess bursts in terror and violence, and its effect is recounted by a brilliant story-teller, the result must be a novel not to be missed. REPRISAL is just such a book.