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A Cure for Night

3.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  235 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year

Edgar Nominee–
Best First Novel

Joel Deveraux is a rising star at a white-shoe law firm in Manhattan. But after a drug-related scandal costs him his job and nearly his law license, he slides down the corporate ladder to the Booklyn Defenders office. He arrives just in time for a high profile murder case, where he is assigned to work wit
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published September 2nd 2008)
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Mar 24, 2009 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Joel Deveraux's girlfriend, Beth is found dead in the bathroom of his law office. Beth died after taking heroine and then chocking on her vomit.

Beth's father is an influencial attorney and claims that Joel turned Beth on to the drugs. Joel isn't found guilty of this but admits to taking drugs himself and as a result, he is fired and his license to practice law is suspended for 6 months.

When the suspension is over, a friend gives him a job in the public defender's office where he is appointed s
Sep 03, 2013 Thoraiya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this pretty slow and technical to begin with and the writing not overly inspired (junkies are described repeatedly as "waxy and sallow" - if I saw the word "waxy," I knew "sallow" couldn't be far behind!) but as I went on, it became pretty clear that my resistance to reading was part of my hating on the unsympathetic main character. When I realised that was the whole point, and that the tricksy clever author had not only manipulated me to that position but then enjoyed a giggle by making ...more
Mar 17, 2008 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: (fans of the wire - sort of)
I don't usually read police or in this case, lawyerly, procedurals but the fact that it's the first from a Brooklyn DA and people were comparing it to The Wire got me interested. I'd call it Wire-Lite. The language ranges from the down-to-earth-white-folk to the struggling projects. While the varied characters language rings true to some extent it was cliched and too uniform with respect to race. The story was well paced and big props to Justin that every piece of the puzzle always added up here ...more
Oct 24, 2008 Nette rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This could have been so good -- it was well written and interesting right up until the author introduced the African-American characters. Every one of them spoke in the same horrible, bogus dialect. (Familiar to those who read the Spenser novels and cringe whenever Hawk opens his mouth.) Yo, Peacock, all black people don't be talkin' like pimps from 1970s blaxploitation movies, ya feel me? Dawg, you got to get yourself a new editor, or read a Richard Price novel, or watch just one episode of "Th ...more
Law and Order complete with gangsta language. The law is not black and white, but shades of grey. I finished this book thinking that the end all happened in a drug fuelled rush and that it's not who finds the truth necessarily, but who can tell the best story and the most
believable. This may not have been the best story, but I still wanted to find out what happened...a quick read that was a different story, (for me at least).
Mar 08, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joel's life is nearly destroyed by a drug scandal. He goes from a lawyer in a big firm to a public defender. After a few months paying his dues, his boss assigns him second chair in a murder trial. He is helping to defend a black drug dealer accused of murdering a white college student in the projects. Joel's life and work takes many interesting twists and turns. A good book and I look forward to reading Peacock's next novel.
Jun 08, 2016 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
LANGUAGE!!!!!! What did I expect it was about gangs. The story just made me sad at how uneducated the people were that Justin, the lawyer, were dealing with. The only answer they had was violence and killing. It was the answer to any and all questions. The story itself was good hot shot lawyer shots himself in the foot using drugs, he's suspended and when reinstated goes to work for the public defender's office. But the language was too much for me and I was listening to the book on CDs so no wa ...more
Mar 30, 2014 Vilo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I classified this as a mystery but perhaps it's more of a novel with a mystery element. It is powerful. It is frank and detailed in discussing illegal drugs from production to use. The title comes from a defense attorney who says that most of her cases would never have happened in the daylight. Until we discover a "cure for night" defense attorneys will have plenty to do. Another character describes the courtroom legal procedure we have as "dueling stories," which is very apt. Provocative.
Two books in a row about drugs! This was way, way more compelling than Limitless.

My favorite aspect of the book was the main characters, who each have a variety of interesting problems. Joel's attempt to keep himself together and overcome his addiction, the exhilaration of being in the courtroom after leaving a stifling corporate job, the (admittedly trite, but well handled) office romance. Well done.

However, I thought the conflict between the white attorneys and their black clients was very poo
Mar 12, 2010 CT rated it it was amazing
“That’s what criminal law is: it’s how the day tries to correct the night’s mistakes. Most of my cases, people have done something they never would’ve dreamed of doing in broad daylight.”

“What does that make us? The night’s janitors?”

“We’re absolutely that. What else do we do but clean up after it? That’s why we’ll never run out of work. Not unless someone invents a cure for night.”

This legal thriller, from first time author Justin Peacock, is absolutely compelling! After a scandal costs him h
Perryville Library
This book is a modern version of an old noir mystery complete with a main male character with a tortured past, and a gritty, dystopian view of justice and human nature. Instead of a private detective, our main character is a public defender in Brooklyn, New York. Joel Deveraux, originally a high powered attorney with a major New York law firm, washes up in the public defender's office after the death of female colleague exposes his budding heroin addiction to his employers. Still struggling to s ...more
Steve Dennie
Feb 06, 2012 Steve Dennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-lizard
A Cure for Night, published in 2008 under the Black Lizard imprint, was an intriguing book, and an admirable debut novel by Justin Peacock. It’s a murder mystery told first-person by a public defender named Joel Deveraux, who worked for a high-flying law firm before heroin got him fired. Now he’s defending common criminals in Brooklyn, New York.

He gets assigned to help Myra Goldstein, a tough, street-smart public defender, with a murder case. A black man, a pot dealer, has been accused of shooti
Ce roman policier est intéressant dans la mesure où les deux héros, Joël et Myra, ne sont pas des flics mais des avocats commis d'office. Ils ont un client à défendre, qui n'est pas un ange. Mais peu importe, leur rôle consiste à le défendre du mieux possible et pas forcément en sachant si ce qu'il dit est vrai ou non. Car l'accusé, Lorenzo Tate a en fait deux chefs d'inculpations aux fesses : l'homicide involontaire d'un étudiant blanc, Seth Lipton et la tentative de meurtre sur Devin Wallace, ...more
Patrick Chabannes
Nov 21, 2010 Patrick Chabannes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Je n’étais pas là pour lui raconter que mon client avait un alibi en béton, ni que nous détenions la preuve qu’un témoin mentait. J’étais là pour salir les morts.”

De nombreuses et excellentes critiques outre-Atlantique augmentent l’attente à l’ouverture du premier roman de Justin Peacock, A cure for a night, édité en 2008 et traduit pour les éditions Sonatine par Johan-Frédérik Hel Guedj, fin connaisseur de l’œuvre de John Grisham, sous le titre Verdict en 2010.

Si les premières pages me déçoive
Stuart Nachbar
This is a good first legal thriller in the sense that you get to know what public defenders actually do and the ethical/professional dilemmas that confront them. Being a public defender or prosecutor is considered to be a "do-gooder" position, but Peacock shows that finding proof of innocense can be more difficult than finding proof of guilt.

The writing style seemed much like a Grisham novel, though Grisham makes his characters more interesting. Peacock's main character, Joel Devaraux, is an Ivy
I read this book last summer and really really enjoyed it. The foul language, particularly the author's excessive use of the F-word is what kept me from giving it four stars. I probably should have stopped reading, but I was a good 50 pages into it before he started dropping them and couldn't make myself stop reading. I'm weak. : )

It was a really good story. Public defender is assigned to a murder case. Things seem pretty cut and dry until he starts investigating and talking to witnesses. Lots o
Bonnie Brody
Mar 03, 2012 Bonnie Brody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this debut novel, Justin Peacock offers the reader an intense courtroom thriller. From page one, the reader gets hooked and stays hooked until the very end. As with the best page-turners, you won't want to put this novel down until you find out what happens.

Joel Deveraux is working at a top-notch, white collar law office in New York City when he decides that he wants to date his legal assistant, Beth. Not only is this potentially unethical, but Beth also has the air of something forbidden; sh
Glenda Bixler
Oct 06, 2008 Glenda Bixler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
A Cure for Night
By Justin Peacock
ISBN: 978-0-385-52580-0
341 Pages

“That’s what...criminal law is: it’s how the day tries to correct the night’s mistakes...
“What does that make us? ...night’s janitors?
“We’re absolutely that...a cure for night.” (p. 152)

I think I was most intrigued by the concept of Justin Peacock’s novel, A Cure for Night. Consider that the majority of crime is committed during night/dark hours; you quickly realize that, indeed, criminal lawyers could be called the nation
Sep 27, 2008 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was just strolling through the bookstore and happened to read the jacket of this book where Peacock is compared to Richard Price. Need I look further I thought?
It was a good read, a respectable first novel, but there is definitely room for improvement. The beginning and ending are very strong and intriguing, but I found the middle substance to be lacking in depth and variety. Even though the place was varied, I found that I got a little bored with the mechanics of preparing and going through
Dec 13, 2009 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mediocre for a number of reasons. Worst of all, the way Peacock writes African Americans is absurd to the point of being offensive. It reads as if Peacock watched a couple episodes of the Wire and then came up with a formula for converting normal sentences into "black" sentences...

1. Change the tense of a couple of words in the sentence, like "do" to "did" or "asked" to "ask"

2. Add a "yo" at the end of the sentence or change a "no" to an "ain't"

3. Toss in a "black expression" like "all up in my
Aug 02, 2010 Sera rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Thriller/suspense readers
Recommended to Sera by: EW
I listened to this book kind of on a whim. I've been wanting to work some thriller/suspense books into my genre mix, and this one received a good review in EW so I rented it on CD from the library.

I liked this book because I thought that it had some great insight into law school and the practice of corporate law. I also liked the main character, Joel, a down on his luck former drug user who ends up at the PD's office working on a murder case with one of his colleagues. The characters are likeabl
Aug 29, 2008 Loren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are no heroes in A Cure for Night, which is I guess technically a legal thriller, but mostly about the ambiguities of the criminal justice system, the messy dissection of the fine shades of gray between "not being innocent" and being "legally guilty" (or, more tragically, the reverse). Neither the prosecutors nor the defense attorney protagonists nor the cops--nor even the victims, mostly--are wholly on the side of the angels here, and that makes for a much more complicated, and much less ...more
A CURE FOR NIGHT (Legal Proc-Joel Deveraux-NYC-Cont) – G
Peacock, Justin – 1st book
Doubleday, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780385525800

First Sentence: The day my life fell apart began like any other.

Justin Peacock was an associate in a high-profile law firm until drugs and the overdose of a fellow associate changed his life. He is now clean and trying to rebuild his career as in the Brooklyn Defenders’ office. He is asked to be second chair to attorney Myra Goldstein defending the accused in the m
Jane Anne
Mar 17, 2013 Jane Anne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Um, Peacock? It's time u got over urself. U think it's so 'impressive' that u went to Columbia? That may be (to some, not to me), but when u try to be 'impressive,' it shows u to be a parvenu. I felt embarrassed for u reading this book, as main character seemed to be ur alter-ego. The character tries to wow ppl w his degree (bad - did u read the Steve Jobs bio?), tries to 'intimidate' the lower orders by wearing a suit, and worst of all has 'strategies' when dating a woman. States that he knows ...more
May 22, 2012 Dale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Very Solid First Novel

The last two novels I read before this one were from solid "name brand" authors. And...they were disappointing schlock. Justin Peacock is a new author and perhaps because he is new, he has put some care into his work and created a strong book that I can easily recommend.

The title A Cure for Night comes from this little exchange between two defense attorneys:

"That's what the criminal law is: it's how the day tries to correct the night's mistakes. Most of my cases, people h
Hmmm. . .

Peacock tells an interesting story. I don't read a lot of mysteries so, perhaps they are all like this, but I did find it easy to devour. The timing of the story really did drive me forward, wanting to learn more. And so I read it in a day. . .

Story aside, I can't help but be slightly put off by the substance. The primary characters, both defense attorneys and their clients, are portrayed in an. . .interesting light. Not as though these people are slandered, but rather as if they're wri
Mar 12, 2012 Ice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 17, 2008 Marty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
The novel's first line reminded me of the opening of Colin Harrison's The Havana Room. Hmmm . . . . Having just finished the book, there is some similarity to The Havana Room's plot trajectory, in which the protagonist rebuilds his life after an event trashes the life (and values) he had before. Not much similarity beyond that, though. Cure for Night is an excellent read, Raising the Bar meets The Wire. Largely character driven, with a feel for the law as it's practiced in NYC and a feel for the ...more
Jan 19, 2016 Megan rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting look at criminal justice in Brooklyn. It was a really quick read and the legal processes described seemed pretty spot on from my experience. There was a great twist at the end too. I definitely plan on looking out for more books by this author.
Christopher Giesen
I found this to be an impressive novel, even more so when you consider that this was Mr. Peacock's first published book. A solid legal thriller with a fast paced and gripping plot, this book was a great read. The legal aspects of the story are very realistic, not surprising since the author was previously an accomplished lawyer. My favorite part of the book would have to be the ending, which blew me away. If you have any interest in this subject matter, give this book a shot. I'll definitely be ...more
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I am the author of the novels A Cure for Night and Blind Man's Alley. I received an MFA from Columbia and a law degree from Yale. I live in Brooklyn.
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