Scorched Earth: A Novel

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From David L. Robbins, bestselling author of The End of War and War of the Rats, comes a novel of searing intensity and uncompromising vision. Part mystery, part legal thriller, it is a story of crime and punishment set in a small southern town during one brutal, hot, and unforgiving summer that lays bare the potential of the human heart to hate–and, ultimately, to heal.

Scorched Earth

The inhabitants of Good Hope, Virginia, haven’t felt the cooling effects of rain in weeks. The crops are withering. The ground is parched. There is no relief in sight. With the town a tinderbox waiting to explode, all it takes is a spark to ignite all the prejudice, the rage, and the secrets that are so carefully kept hidden. And then, in the midst of the terrible heat, a tragedy occurs. A baby is born and dies in her mother’s arms. The child, Nora Carol, is buried quickly and quietly the next day in a church graveyard. It should have ended right there–but it didn’t, for Nora Carol is of mixed race.

The white deacons of Good Hope’s Victory Baptist Church, trying to protect the centuries-old traditions of their cemetery, have the body exhumed. That night the church is set ablaze, and the sole witness is the only suspect–Elijah Waddell, Nora Carol’s father.

Nat Deeds, a former prosecutor and an exile of Good Hope, is pressed into service as Elijah’s attorney. With a politically savvy prosecutor and a vindictive sheriff aligned against him, Nat knows it will be nearly impossible to get Elijah acquitted. But Elijah refuses to accept a plea.

As the evidence mounts, Nat begins to suspect there is something his client isn’t telling him, and the next revelation turns Good Hope into a powder keg: a body is found in the ashes of the church. Now Elijah is accused of murder, and the case is no longer a matter of winning or losing, but of life or death.

The only way Nat can save his client is to scratch and claw for any shred of evidence, even if he has to bend the law to find it. As the summer heat intensifies and passions reach their boiling point, Nat must navigate through the incendiary secrets kept by friends and neighbors, by the guilty and the innocent, to an act of justice that has nothing to do with the law.
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About the author

David L. Robbins is the author of War of the Rats, The End of War, and Souls to Keep. He is a former attorney and a freelance writer who lives in Richmond, Virginia.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bantam
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Published on
Dec 16, 2009
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780307575104
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
Fiction / Thrillers / Legal
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Berlin, January  1945
The war draws to a close, but the fight for a vanquished city--and for history--is just beginning.

On the heels of the critically  acclaimed War of the Rats , the new master of historical suspense, David L. Robbins, turns his compelling vision on the waning months of World War II, when world leaders  engage in a dicey  game of cat  and mouse  to ultimately determine the fate of the second half of the twentieth century.

The End of War
In the final months of the war in Europe, the last act of a five-year conflagration is  about to be played out.  Allied generals  move their war-hardened  armies  around the mortally wounded Nazi military machine.  But strategies  are being  formed on a greater scale  than even generals  can  imagine. While Churchill  fumes helplessly, Roosevelt  makes  crucial decisions  that will cede  Berlin to Stalin and the Russians.

The stakes are no less critical for ordinary men and women, fighting to live another  day. On the ground  are young  Russian soldiers driven by vengeance  into the teeth of the still-deadly Nazi army;  American  forces push forward under  the  political  motives of a canny commander- in- chief; and the British, aloof, at odds with their Yankee  counterparts, see in these last fateful moves  a devastating  betrayal by Washington and Moscow.

The End of War vividly animates the giants who shaped history and breathes life into the heartbreaking struggles of those who merely lived it. From the chaos of the trenches  on the eastern front, to the desperation   of a single  Jewish man  hidden in a Berlin basement by a terrified mother and daughter,  to the burning  ambition of an American photojournalist  determined  to  capture  on film the defining moment  of the war, Robbins ushers us into the sweep of history  and  the  drama  of the  human  face of war.

An epic  novel exploding  with the urgency  of battle  and  history in the  making,  here  is The End of War.
The breathtaking new thriller by suspense master David L. Robbins of a conspiracy so explosive, it could only be told as fiction. You know only half the story. Now the other half will blow you away.

Can one man make history—and can another change it with a single bullet? It was a question that Professor Mikhal Lammeck had devoted his life to answering. An expert on history’s great political assassinations, he’s come to Havana in the spring of 1961 to seek the answer firsthand. For the more he sees of Cuba’s charismatic revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, the more he’s convinced that he’s witnessing that rarest anomaly: the man who can change history…and who therefore must be murdered.

The wild CIA plots, the treacherous double crosses, the near- miraculous escapes, are already legendary, but it seems as if Castro’s number is finally up. With a massive U.S.-backed invasion of the island looming, a trap has been set that not even Castro can escape. The players of this deadly assassination game are as varied as they are lethal—organized-crime figures, CIA agents, the Cuban underground, even a reclusive American billionaire. And now, perhaps most unlikely of all, a distinguished history professor.

Mikhal Lammeck is thrust dead-center between a Cuban secret-police captain and a chillingly amoral American CIA agent. It’s a devil’s bargain, one that Lammeck has no choice but to accept, and it will give him unprecedented access to the secret history of one of the twentieth century’s greatest coups. Lammeck suddenly finds himself no longer only studying history, but making it. He soon becomes the unwilling mentor of a young man who’s arrived in Cuba—a confused marine sharpshooter determined to become the century’s most infamous assassin.

Seamlessly blending history and fiction into an electrifying page-turner, The Betrayal Game is that rarest of all thrillers—a novel so vividly real, it might very well be true.
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