Pride v. Prejudice

July 21, 2016 - Pride v. Prejudice (Joan Hess). In this entry in the author's Claire Malloy series, Claire is a prospective juror at a high profile murder trial. When she's humiliated by the prosecutor, Claire sets out to get revenge by proving that the defendant is innocent.

The defendant in question is Sarah Swift, an older woman accused of murdering her husband, Tuck, a year ago in the barn of their farmhouse near Farberville. Sarah insists she's innocent, and the evidence against her is flimsy. But, so is her alibi. She claims to have not heard the gunshot from her nearby bedroom even though people from miles away said they heard it.

If Claire is going to help Sarah, she's going to have to do it quickly. The trial is set to start in just a few days, right after Labor Day weekend. Claire should be preparing for a visit from her wealthy new mother-in-law. Instead, she's running around half-naked, using a riding mower to avoid the police, and putting a lot of trust in a child who says he saw zombies the night of the murder.

The book had a lot of entertaining moments. A subplot featuring Claire's daughter, Caron and her friend, Inez, basically happened "off screen" and didn't get much play. Instead, we were treated to scenes featuring Claire talking and riding her way out of situation after situation. In contrast to previous books in this series, this entry contained several references to Maggody, the community featured in Hess's other Arkansas-based series, and I enjoyed them.

My only complaint here is that, at more than 300 pages, the book still had an ending that felt rushed.