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Time's Witness (Justin and Cuddy #2)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  491 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Street-smart and straightforward police chief Cuddy Mangum and his refined homicide detective Justin Savile V are determined to keep their town’s cultural, political and racial divisions stable…even peaceful. But when a young black activist is murdered while in the process of fighting for his brother’s freedom from death row, the lines keeping Hillston, North Carolin ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published 1989)
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David Carr
An exhausting read, completed for a Let's Talk About It conversation to occur in New Bern on September 12, 2011. There is a 250-page novel somewhere inside these 500+ pages, and it is a sorry thing that Malone did not cut the excess, the smartass dialogue, the Southern flamboyance, and the multiple characters whose contributions to the narrative are negligible clutter. The redemption comes from the women, the fine court scenes, and the persistent (but too often obscured) theme of conscience thro ...more
C.M. Barrett
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as a selection chosen by my book club, although I'd originally read it when it was first published in the late 1980s. Although there was a huge cast of characters, the author made each character distinct.

Without being pedantic or doctrinaire, the author uses the story line to show, rather than tell, his philosophy: that the super-rich use racism to keep poor and working-class whites and African-Americans divided. This is a singularly significant premise at this time, as we note
I've always liked Michael Malone because his writing is tamely eccentric and amusing. This is a departure from his usual madcap adventures. It's a well-written murder mystery with sharp descriptions and even pacing. Michael Malone knows what he's doing. However (not to sound cynical or anything) I've gotten just a little tired of reading another murder mystery about racial inequality that is solved, yet again, by a heroic white guy who battles the odds to bring justice to light. Still, a good ef ...more
Charles Ellenbogen
I always worry about the pace of a long mystery (541 pages) and this one reinforced that concern. A Southern story, so race is involved, the characters are largely cartoons, and everyone is wittier than sitcom characters. I know part of the point was that everyone in this small town had a past with everyone else, but that made the characters hard to track.
Jim Leckband
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Time's Witness" was written in 1989, but for some sad reason it is still relevant today. A man has been seven years on death row for the shooting of a out of uniform cop after a brawl. However, the cop was white, the man was black, the state was North Carolina and this was no brawl. I know, ancient history right?

I have no idea why Malone's work has not been filmed. Not that these books need the validation of Hollywood, they exist perfectly well without Tinseltown. But geez, with the right direc
This is one of Michael Malone's mystery novels - not as funny as Handling Sin (an all time favorite), but good nonetheless
Chris Peterson
Aug 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this one, not just because it was set in Hillsborough (ok, it was "Hillston", but still....). Good story all around - mystery, race issues, southern traditions, a little romance.
May 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book draws you in slowly, but you can't stop reading it. I love the humor and good story writing that is mixed together. I just discovered this author thanks to People magazine.
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, justice
The sequel to Uncivil Seasons. This time, it is Cuddy Mangum, now police chief in Hillston, who is the narrator, and the eccentric scion of North Carolina aristocracy Justin Savile, now married and an expectant father, is relegated to a minor role. In this novel, George Hall, a black man on Death Row for the murder seven years previously of an off-duty white cop in a bar in the black side of town, is given an unexpected reprieve by the governor. The governor is running for reelection against war ...more
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
THIS is the Malone I had been looking for!!
Several years ago I had picked up Handling Sin on a whim from the dollar bin somewhere. I thought it was an extremely well-written and though-out book. So, I looked for more Malone books. Then I found The Four Corners of the Sky and it was a bit of a disappointment.
I still had Time's Witness on my shelf, but I was hesitant to try it because I was so let down by the plane book. There were a few times I picked it up and started, but it didn't click with m
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Michael Malone is the author of ten novels, a collection of short stories, and two works of nonfiction. Educated at Carolina and at Harvard, he is now a professor in Theater Studies at Duke University. Among his prizes are the Edgar, the O. Henry, the Writers Guild Award, and the Emmy. He lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with his wife.
More about Michael Malone...

Other Books in the Series

Justin and Cuddy (3 books)
  • Uncivil Seasons (Justin & Cuddy #1)
  • First Lady (Justin & Cuddy #3)