capital punishment, criminal justice, judges, Massachusetts, murder, sentences (criminal procedure), trials
This extraordinary thriller written by Michael Ponsor, a senior judge in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts, offers an unprecedented inside view of a death penalty trial. The novel is based on the experience of the author who presided over the first capital case in Massachusetts in more than fifty years. Massachusetts readers will be rewarded with many references to the towns of Amherst, Holyoke, Northampton as well as Springfield.
The Honorable Michael A. Ponsor will speak at the Weston Public Library on Thursday, November 13 at 7 pm in the Community Room.
“There are plenty of surprises to keep readers turning pages. Ponsor gives readers a unique look into the workings of a courtroom. But more than that, he demonstrates a feel for how ordinary families are affected by the legal system. Ponsor’s debut would make a great movie.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A marvelous entertainment, a page-turning mystery full of romance and humor, which takes us inside the fraught and rather secretive world of a judge’s chambers. In the best way—that is, indirectly—Ponsor informs us about the facts that ought to inform debate on the death penalty. What impressed me most of all was the book’s authority; it has the heft of authenticity.” —Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Mountains Beyond Mountains
“A compelling tale, with a cast of vividly drawn characters and a plot that twists and turns—it entertains, as a good novel should, but even better, it also informs, as only the best ones do.” —Jonathan Harr, author of A Civil Action