A Criminal Appeal by D.R. Schanker

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Fresh out of law school, Nora Lumsey - a farm-bred, big-boned woman, recovering bigot, and a compulsive meddler - has just begun her clerkship for Judge Carter Albertson of the Indiana Court of Appeals when she is instructed to draft an opinion affirming the conviction of Dexter Hinton, a deaf black child who has confessed to the murder of an elderly white woman in a drive-by shooting. When Nora discovers a personal connection to Dexter's family, she finds her passion to do justice at odds with her role as a ghostwriter for the judge and "handmaiden to the law," and she is torn between her idealism and her ethical obligations to the court.

Risking disbarment and criminal prosecution, Nora joins Owedia Braxton, Dexter's former teacher at the deaf school, in the cause of winning Dexter's freedom and finding the real killer. Their investigation draws them into a complex web of inner-city politics, gang warfare, and racial hatred. With rival gangs from the inner city and the suburbs hot on their trail, Nora and Owedia pursue an elusive gunman known only as "Mr. E" and find themselves entangled in an underworld of bigotry and violence and on the verge of uncovering a conspiracy of deadly corruption.

At once a page-turning thriller, a chilling look at a city in a crisis of violent crime, and a moving, finely drawn portrait of a fiercely independent young woman, A Criminal Appeal is a moral rollercoaster ride into the heart of American prejudice, and the debut of a bold, exciting new novelist.

 

About D.R. Schanker

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Schanker is an Indianapolis lawyer.
 
Published August 15, 1998 by Minotaur Books. 336 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Beset on every front by inner-city gangstas who want the buck to stop with Dex and by big-city politicos who don’t want a freed Dex to turn into another Willie Horton, Nora ends up risking more than she’d ever imagined when she said hello to Carl Hinton.

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