So this is the last book of the Joe Dillard series. I’m torn about it, because it covers two very important topics. It tackles race in the South, including false accusations against black men, the Klan, and racism by police. I feel like this topic is covered well, but I’m white, live in the North, and have never had to deal with racism directed at myself (due to being white). The other topic is sexual assault. Here’s where things get sticky. I know that every time there’s a false accusation of rape (or someone falsely accused of rape), it makes people question every person who reports sexual assault. They have that case to point to “remember when Joyce accused Jim of rape, but it never happened?”, or “remember when Joyce accused Jim of rape, but it was really Joe?” This scares me, because I usually choose to believe anyone who reports a sexual assault.
I’m just going to go ahead and spoil this story for you all so that you can understand what I’m talking to. A woman convinces a stripper to go to a party and basically fake a rape. She accuses three football players, all black, who are then railroaded by a racist cop. Things go wrong, Joe figures out what’s up, and there’s nearly a race war. The racist cop gets found out and loses his job, the girl who falsely accused the players of rape is killed, and the three black football players are set free. Justice prevails in that the innocent men are found innocent, but I’m still uncomfortable with the way it all went down. Everyone who did bad got their comeuppance, which as hokey as it is pleases me. However, I still don’t like that there’s a story about a false rape.
3.5 stars – I took a half star away because of the icky feeling I got with regards to the rape story.