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Blood on the Leaves

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  92 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
A D.A. torn between justice and the law... A professor caught between righteousness and revenge... The legal battle that could rip a city apart... James Reynolds is Mississippi's only black deputy district attorney and his conviction rate is second to none. He firmly believes the law is the only way to true, color-blind justice. But he will soon prosecute the most emotiona ...more
Paperback, 467 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Warner Books (NY) (first published July 27th 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 166)
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Mocha Girl
Set in Jackson, Mississippi, Blood on the Leaves weaves around wonderfully drawn three-dimensional characters amid social injustice and long suppressed memories. The catalyst is in the actions of one charismatic Professor Martin Matheson, a disputatious community leader, who uses his classroom as a medium to resurface 30-40 year old unsolved crimes involving murdered/lynched blacks. He wantonly distributes the names and addresses of whites suspected of carrying out theses deadly deeds and when t ...more
Cynthia Turner-Graham
A real page-turner, couldn't put it down. A sign of true art is the degree to which it stays with you,makes you reflect and question, leaves a kind of restlessness. I loved the multi-layered development of the cast of characters, the unexpected twists and turns, and many unresolved conflicts remaining at the end. Can't wait until the movie is released.
Wayland Smith
Aug 21, 2014 Wayland Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really well done legal thriller. Years ago, white men got away with killing black men just about as often as they wanted to. Decades later, someone is evening the score. Men who were involved in these killings are turning up dead, and killed in the same way as their victims.

There are a lot of twists and turns along the way in this great mystery. I enjoyed it a great deal more than I expected to. It's really excellently written, delving into racism (on both sides), morality, and some
...more
Carol Read
Sep 18, 2014 Carol Read rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A real page turner. I highly recommend this book.
For anyone who has ever thought about revenge, this story details reprisals/retribution upon a group of white men who harassed and terrorized black people before the civil rights era. The book makes you question notions of law, justice, revenge, forgiveness, personal and political morality. I even argued with my brother, who also enjoyed the book, about the ambiguous ending. Thought provoking and would make a good book club selection.
I always crit
...more
Rosemary
Sep 21, 2007 Rosemary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in issues of prejudice and injustice
In summer 2004, I reviewed for Mystery Scene Magazine and wrote a piece on Jeff Stetson's powerful debut novel, which takes its title from the lyrics of a haunting song: "Southern trees bear strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root . . ."

I have never forgotten this vivid book. This morning, reading of racial injustice in Jena, Louisiana, I thought again of BLOOD ON THE LEAVES. If only those schoolboys sitting under their "whites' only" tree, its branches hung with empty nooses,
...more
Smoochys
Racism and hate exist - even if we don't talk about it

it's interesting that I found this book at the time when there is so much public outcry (at least from blacks) about the death blacks are being handed by white cops who will never be punished for their actions.

Justice was served in an eye for an eye format in this book. The book also served as a platform for the author to point out what is wrong with the black community and how hard it is to live in white America.
Trisha
Jan 24, 2016 Trisha rated it it was ok
It was about a kid from Boston who defended his Irish cousin after being killed by Hornsbuckle. He was a brat who was in a dual with his cousin and killed him early before he even got to turn around. He gets sentenced to hang and escapes and ends up in the south with a fellow prisoner who becomes his best friend. They end up joining the confederate army. Kinda dragged out.
Barbara Buxton
Oct 10, 2014 Barbara Buxton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mesmerizing book. Difficult to put down but a the same time so violent that I found it even more difficult to keep reading. I do believe that this book paints a truthful picture of racial hatred in the old South. This story exposes the truth of racism and murder of innocent people and the revenge that took place later.
AlTonya
Jun 06, 2014 AlTonya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I've read such a dynamic legal thriller. I definitely enjoyed this one, although I had expected to be just a little more surprised once the mystery was solved. Still, this was certainly a page turner, with strong gripping characters and a plot with the power to enrage, sadden and humor me. I highly recommend it and look forward to reading more from this author.
M Melick
Nov 17, 2015 M Melick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"An eye for an eye" or "turn the other cheeK" - both have consequences. This book addresses both sides while still managing to be a legal thriller and mystery. May even make you think about yourself. This book is especially interesting considering today's issues. Worth the read.
Debra
Jun 08, 2008 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What else can you expect from a book whose title quotes Billie Holliday's Strange Fruit, and that is dedicated to the children killed in the Birmingham church bombing?

This debut thriller starts off extremely strong, going on to examine revenge vs justice. The last part languishes somewhat. Still, this has been an incredibly powerful book that kept my interest until the last page.

Schedule for movie release in 2009 (starring Jamie Foxx) this book deserves wider reading and discussion.
Bonita
Mar 25, 2013 Bonita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was probably the first book of fiction I read. It has been many years. Great book, crime mystery kept you on the edge. You think you know how is doing the deed, but you don't. There was some talk about a movie and Jamie Foxx playing the lead, that would be a grave mistake.
CKE387
Who is killing off unrepentent killers of civil right activists ? The Professor, a student, someone that was involved in the civil rights movement, or a twisted serial killer ? Thought provoking look at "what is justice?".
Millardswm
Aug 24, 2008 Millardswm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I found it while looking for the song lyrics, Strange Fruit, before introducing To Kill a Mockingbird to my 9th grade class. Jamie Foxx is producing and starring in the movie to be released in 09.
Born True Bethea
I don't usually read books like this, but i have to say, this was a great read. this is one of the top ten books i have ever read. I swear. This is definitely one of the books that everybody should read.
Marilyn
May 25, 2009 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
Previously read in 2004; Black DA must proscecute AA college professor for killing white klansmen in the manner they slaughtered innocent AA's during the civil rights period.
Alissa
Dec 07, 2008 Alissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
not as gripping as I thought it'd be. No real climax. It annoyed me that all the charaters were referred to by their last names. Subject matter was intriguing.
Amy
Aug 03, 2008 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My dad gave me this to read. I'm kind of shocked - it's a bit liberal for him.

So far, the writing is mediocre, but the story is good. Very thought provoking.
Melina
Mar 19, 2009 Melina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book was a page turner. I could not put it down; I wish Jeff Stetson would treat us all to another novel.
Monique Lurry
Excellent! Love the "Native Son" references. Left me excitingly tired from always being on the edge of my seat.
Camille Rogers
Aug 11, 2008 Camille Rogers added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for a novels with strong, intelligent African-American characters
Supposedly they are making a movie out of this...and they better not mess it up!!!!
Jennifer Lynch
Aug 01, 2015 Jennifer Lynch rated it it was amazing
I am currently reading this for class, it is really good so far
Queen Williams
Nov 09, 2013 Queen Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful
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Ronald D. Jones
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Jan 05, 2016
Avery Kirk
Avery Kirk marked it as to-read
Dec 25, 2015
Sara
Sara marked it as to-read
Dec 21, 2015
Judith Rozarie
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Dec 15, 2015
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