“Another Sun” by Timothy Williams / Tuesday, May 14, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Another Sun by Timothy Williams

I love taking trips to places I’ve never been and I think this is the first novel I’ve read set in Guadeloupe.  It is an underdog tale with a twist.

“Another Son” by Timothy Williams is a gripping story of a judge who takes it upon herself to prove a man innocent whom everyone else thinks is guilty.  The twist is that the accused has no interest in helping his counsel because she is a woman and he is a man. This is a story of an area flavored by old politics, gender bias, and racial prejudices against a backdrop of French colonialism.  The story is set in Guadeloupe in 1980 and Timothy Williams says that he has been working on this novel for 30 years meaning, I guess, that he started it back around the time that the story is set.

In the novel, the elderly Hegesippe Bray has been charged with the murder of a white landowner who was running him off his property.  The landowner had few friends and most were glad to see him die.  Still, justice must be done.  The French view the case as open-and-shut, but not French judge Anne Marie Laveaud.  The big question is whether or not the accused is guilty.  The larger theme, though, is the political and historical structure of this little island within which Laveaud must navigate.  Bray is a grouchy curmudgeon whom one has to eventually like.  Laveaud grows on the reader as she pursues justice in her own objective way; you admire her tenacity.  The feel of the novel is gritty like sand, which – I guess – is how crime novels should probably feel, especially when set on an island.

The UK Observer calls Timothy Williams one of the “Ten Best European Crime Writers.”  The title is well-deserved.  If you would like to spend a little time on an island this spring seeing if you can out-sleuth Williams, this book is up to the challenge.  Few, I think, will predict the outcome before they get there.

– Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker and founder of Killer Nashville. Stafford’s latest projects are the documentary “One of the Miracles” and the music CD “XO”.

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Remember that these books are listed at a discount through Amazon. You also don’t have to purchase the version that is featured here. Many of these books are available in multiple formats: e–book, hardcover, softcover, and audio. Enjoy!