Review: One Night in Mississippi by Craig Shreve
"One Night in Mississippi" is the story of a young activist named Graden Williams who is brutally murdered in Mississippi during the sixties. After the perpetrators are charged but quickly released, Graden's brother, Warren, drifts aimlessly for decades, estranged from the rest of his family and struggling with the guilt that he feels over his brother's death. But when the U.S. Justice Department begins re-opening similar cases more than forty years later, he dedicates himself to bringing Graden's killers back to justice.
A phoned tip after a television appearance leads him to a remote town in northern Ontario, where he meets Earl Olsen, the only murderer who is still at large, and a man who turns out to be very different from what Warren had expected.
I received this book via NetGalley.
This was a really good book far better than I expected it to be.
This is a short book filled with sadness.
We started off the book with some white men picking up a young African-american who we learn is named Graden, And as the story progresses we learn that Graden was murdered and the people accused walk away free. But Graden's brother Warren can not let his death go with out justice. The Williams lived in the sixties and knew what horrors awaited African-american's so when Graden's death came about you know it tore this family up. Warren is not close to his family as he blames himself for the death of his brother and we later on find out why he does. We watch as Warren drifts along getting justice for his brother and he catches the last man who is living and not behind bars. But this man's account is different and one I was not expecting we learn what happened that night of Graden's death and I don't think Warren was expecting it either. We go back and forth between times from the sixties and when Warren is looking for justice, and I enjoyed that as it was not confusing at all. It gave us back story on the William's.
This was a very touching book and I could feel for the characters in some way.
The only problems I had with the story is 1. how were the white men caught? I know it may not have been something major but I felt as though the story could have elaborated on it.
2. Towards the end when we meet Earl I would have liked to have known it was Earl's point of view we were being told about. It was like we were in Warren's P.O.V. and bam in Earl's or well under his "hiding" name and I had to go back and re-read it. And anyone who has read my reviews knows I do not like to have to go back and re-read to make sure I did not miss something.
Other than those two things the book was a great read and touched a subject that can pull on your heart strings of how people were treated back in the day.
My name is Craig Shreve. I was born and raised in North Buxton, Ontario, a small town that has been recognized by the Canadian government as a National Historic Site due to its former status as a popular terminus on the Underground Railroad, the system of routes and safe houses that assisted slaves escaping from the southern states.
From a young age I wanted to be a writer, but over the years pragmatism won out and I instead studied Computer Science at the University of Guelph. After graduating, I continued to write as a hobby, but I felt that I did not have enough life experiences. I set out to rectify that, which led me to a passion for extreme activities – skydiving, hang-gliding, bungy-jumping, rock-climbing, caving, rapelling, Running with the Bulls in Pamplona, tobogganing down the side of a volcano, and sand-boarding in the Atacama desert. Along the way I met people who were involved with humanitarian travel, and they infected me with the volunteering bug. I helped build homes in Honduras, Kenya, Guatemala, Paraguay, Nicaragua, and Chile, and I have been touched by the families that I have been able to work with.
Throughout this, I wrote. I managed to get some small pieces published in Confluence and Reflections, before enrolling in Humber College’s Creative Writing program in 2008. In 2010, my first novel-length manuscript was a semi-finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award. My debut novel, One Night in Mississippi will be released in February 2015 from Dundurn Press and Thomas Allen Publishing.
I currently live in Chatham, Ontario.