Unfortunately, the press release appears to have gotten little attention. It is not easy to even find on the net. I only discovered it a couple of days ago. I believe there were a couple of factors.
First, the ABA Journal did not feature the shortlist and conduct a contest among its readership to help vote for the winner. In fact I cannot find online a single article in the Journal about the 2020 Prize.
Second, the prize was given most years to the winner at the Library of Congress during the National Book Festival in August. This year’s Festival is later this month online in September. Being in the fall instead of the summer and online decreases the attention for the Award. There will be an online presentation to Methos during the Festival.
I find it sad the Award is getting limited attention. I am sure it is also difficult for other book awards to gain recognition in the year of Covid 19.
The news release said Methos “is thrilled to win the award”.
“It is such a privilege to receive this award,” Methods said. “Every criminal lawyer will tell you the same thing: Atticus Fincsh was our earliest inspiration. I first read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ when I was 13, and to this day when the injustices of our legal system discourage me, it is that book I turn to for inspiritment. To think the committee saw something of it in my one work humbesl me, and I will always be grateful.”
The release states:
The committee praised “The Hallows” for being a taut legal thriller with entertaining courtroom scenes. The book tells the story of Tatum Graham, a Miami defense attorney who re-examines his life after a guilty client walks free. Graham moves back home for a simpler life, but he soon joins the county attorney’s office as a prosecutor, where he redeems himself for past wrongs.
“In this tightly focused and masterful thriller, we watch Tatum Graham come to terms with the profound personal failures associated with his professional successes,” Crank said. “His redemption comes in the form of a dogged pursuit of justice, even though it means waging war on the very people and institutions that created him. In “The Hallows”, Victor Methos channels the very best of Harper Lee’s prose.”
I have not read The Hallows but recently obtained a copy and will be reading it shortly. I am hoping that the book does not trash defence counsel for representing the guilty. Every accused person is entitled to a defence. We appear to be becoming a society that only values the defence of the innocent. As Methos, in his non-writing life, has been both a prosecutor and a defence lawyer I hope I am wrong and that “the profound personal failures” are not merely being a successful defence lawyer.
The other books on this year’s shortlist were:
1.) The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey; and,
2.) An Equal Justice by Chad Zunker.
I have already read The Satapur Moonstone and thought it an excellent book. It must have been disappointing for Massey not to win the Prize. For 2019 and 2020 she had a book on the shortlist but was not the winner.
I will also be reading An Equal Justice.
I will be providing reviews on each book on the shortlist and my opinion on which book deserved to be the winning book.