No Truth Left to Tell. Michael McAuliffe. Greenleaf Book Group Press. March 2020. pb, 320 pp.; ISBN: 9781626346970.
Adrien Rush is a federal civil rights prosecutor and is called to investigate and prosecute the criminals responsible for burning crosses on the lawns of private and public citizens in Lynwood, Louisiana. The Ku Klux Klan is responsible and is proud of their actions. However, one elderly lady, Nettie Wynn, suffers a heart attack on the night of the attack on the front lawn of her home. She lives in an area of Lynwood that is home to a predominance of people of color.
Rush and an experienced FBI investigator, Mercer, continue their work and after a local police detective brings in one of the responsible persons, they manage to have the perpetrator judged guilty by a grand jury. Nettie’s nice and Rush hit it off but their relationship is about to become complicated by the crime’s process.
What happens if the means by which evidence is obtained turns out to be tainted? Does that mean the rights of the accused become more important than the commission of a crime? Such is the dilemma posed in this tense, controversial plot.
It will leave readers with many confusing and complex questions about justice’s processes and the results obtained. Who or what is the victim of such civil rights crimes and violations? Who deserves a “fair” trial? How are rights protected and guaranteed? What will it take for prejudice and civil rights crimes to be abolished forever? When does the behavior of police become excusable or inexcusable? How many innocent people are sitting in jail because of a perversion of justice?
Rush is a cop with integrity. It’s because of that sense of fairness that the simple plot becomes so fraught with problems that challenge his relationship with both the people in town and the families of victims. There also seems to be a well-known tension between federal and civil authorities. Everyone wants to be top man on the totem pole and somehow justice and fair play are in danger of being obliterated.
No Truth to Tell is a fascinating read that is sure to please those who love crime novels and the stories therein. Nice writing, Michael McAuliffe! Look forward to more of same!