Simon & Schuster, Oct 2001, 25.00, 487 pp.
By 1951 Thebes, Mississippi is a ghost town converted to a penal colony for Negro criminals. Once in you never leave as the only egress is by boat in a casket. The warden and guards run a tight operation making life miserable for the prisoners because the standard operating norm is whipping and torture. The men in charge use all sorts of diabolical devices to keep the prisoners in line and cowed.
Attorney Sam Vincent travels to Thebes to meet a client, but is illegally detained by the law enforcement officials running the facility. Earl Swagger knows Sam is inside Thebes and sets out to free his friend. Earl frees Sam, but is caught instead. Big Boy, who runs the prison, periodically tortures Earl, who with a bit of luck escapes vowing to return to burn this little corner of hell to the ground.
PALE HORSE COMING is a juicy thriller that shows how little freedom blacks had in the 1951 south. The novel shocks, excites, and enthralls the audience. The plot serves as a testament to the unknown heroes fighting injustice to make things right for everyone. Stephen Hunter is a fantastic writer who knows how to entertain and educate his fans.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner