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Alex Cross's Trial
Alex Cross's Trial

Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316070629
$27.99/U.S.
400 pages
Little, Brown And Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446561800
$14.99/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Alex Cross tells the incredible story—passed down through the generations—of an ancestor's courageous fight for freedom.

SEPARATED BY TIME
From his grandmother, Alex Cross heard the story of his great-uncle Abraham and his struggles for survival in the era of the Ku Klux Klan. Now, Alex passes the family tale along to his own children in a book he's written—a novel called Trial.

CONNECTED BY BLOOD
A lawyer in early-1900s Washington, D.C., Ben Corbett fights against oppression and racism—and risks his family and his life in the process. When President Theodore Roosevelt asks Ben to return to his hometown to investigate rumors of the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan there, he cannot refuse.

UNITED BY BRAVERY
In Eudora, Mississippi, Ben meets the wise Abraham Cross and his beautiful daughter, Moody. With their help, Ben discovers that lynchings have become commonplace. Ben vows to break the reign of terror—but the truth of who is really behind it may break his heart. Written in the fearless voice of Detective Alex Cross, ALEX CROSS'S TRIAL is a gripping story of murder, love, and unparalleled bravery.

Alex Cross's Trial

Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316070629
$27.99/U.S.
400 pages
Little, Brown And Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446561800
$14.99/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Part One | A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND

Chapter 3

THE TWO-HOUR DINEER BREAK before Carter Ames and I gave our closing arguments seemed to last at least twice that long. I never had much appetite during a case, so I spent the interval pacing the block around the courthouse square, mopping my face and neck with a handkerchief.

Washington was in the grip of a torturous heat wave, and it was only June. The air was as thick and swampy as any summer afternoon back home in Mississippi. Carriage horses were collapsing. Society ladies called off their afternoon teas and spent their leisure time soaking in cool tubs.

Back home in eudora I rarely had to wear the full lawyer suit with high stiff-starched collar and all the snaps and suspenders. Down south, folks knew how to survive the heat: move slowly, and wear light clothing.

It must have been ninety-five degrees when we finally returned to the courtroom. The newfangled electric fans barely stirred a breeze. Gracie's face streamed with perspiration.

The judge entered. "Are you ready, gentlemen?"

Carter Ames sauntered toward the jury box. He put on a big friendly smile and leaned in close to the jury foreman.

Ames was justly famous for the high drama and fancy oratory of his closing arguments in murder cases.

"Gentlemen, I want you to join me on an important journey," he said, in his orotund voice. "I'll let you in on our destination before we commence—the Kingdom of Truth. Few who set out on the journey toward the Kingdom of Truth ever reach their destination. But today, gentlemen, I can promise you, that is where we shall arrive."

The smoke from Judge Warren's after-dinner cigar wafted blue through the air around the dandyish little city attorney. He slowly paced the length of the jury box, turned, and paced the other way.

"We are not going to make this journey by ourselves, gentlemen. our companions on this journey are not of the fancy kind. They don't wear fine clothes and they don't ride first class. our companions, gentlemen, are the facts of this case."

As metaphors go, it seemed fairly simpleminded to me, but the jurors were apparently lapping it up. I made a mental note to lay on an even thicker layer of corn pone than I had originally intended. it was the least I could do for grace and her chances.

"What do the facts of this murder case tell us?" Ames asked. His voice dropped a few notes on the scale. "The first fact is this: grace Johnson has all but confessed to the crime of murder, right here in front of you today. You heard her admit to a most powerful motive, the hateful emotions and vitriolic resentments she bore toward her employer."

It was all I could do to keep from jumping up and shouting "objection!" Judge Warren's earlier warning served to keep me in my seat.

"The second fact speaks even more loudly. grace claims that lydia Davenport shouted at her. let me repeat that shocking claim, gentlemen. lydia Davenport dared to shout at the woman who was a willing employee in her household. in other words, Mrs. Davenport deserved to die because she shouted at a maid!"

Ames was not just a skillful actor; when it came to the facts, he was also quite the juggler.

"Now let another fact speak to you, friends. The fact is, the court has appointed one of the capital's finest young attorneys to represent grace Johnson. Now mind you, this is as it should be. let the least among us have the best defense money can buy—your tax money, that is. But don't let the young gentleman fool you. Don't let his pretty words bamboozle you. let me tell you what he's going to try to do."

He waved his hand indifferently in my direction, as if I were a fly buzzing around his head.

"Mr. Corbett will try to cast doubt upon these obvious facts. He will tell you that the Davenport house was bursting with employees who might have murdered lydia Davenport."

Ames spun on his tiny heel and pointed a crooked finger at my client.

"But the fact is this: only one person in that house admits out loud, in a clear voice, to having a motive for the murder. And that person is seated right there! grace Johnson!"

He strode to the prosecution table and lifted a worn brown Bible. He opened it to a page he seemed to know by heart and began to read aloud.

"If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

He snapped the Bible closed with a flourish and held it high in the air.

"Gentlemen, we have arrived. our journey is done. Welcome to the Kingdom of Truth. The only possible verdict is guilty."

Son of a bitch! Carter Ames had just destroyed my closing argument.

Copyright © 2009 by James Patterson

Alex Cross's Trial
Fiction/General
Audiobook (unabridged CD)
ISBN: 9781600248535
$39.98/U.S.
Hachette Audio
Read by Dylan Baker

Dylan Baker is an actor and director who has been nominated for a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, and an Obie. Some of his feature film credits include Happiness, Kinsey, Road to Perdition, Along Came a Spider, and Random Hearts. On television he has appeared in From the Earth to the Moon, Murder One, and The Laramie Project, among many others. Baker resides in New York.

Alex Cross's Trial

Fiction/General
Hardcover
ISBN: 0316070629
$27.99/U.S.
400 pages
Little, Brown And Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446561800
$14.99/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

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