AN ACT OF ANGER by Bart Spicer


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A criminal case proceeds from the same venue as Twilight of Honor and while it is also a strictly popular performance, there are other comparisons to be made rather than with the pace-setting Anatomy of Murder. In both, a stubbornly single-minded lawyer, assigned by the court, assumes a difficult defense of a readymade victim. In this case it's a pachuco kid whose confession confirms the circumstantial evidence of robbery and murder. Again various pressures are applied (local, legal, political) to see that Arturo Campeon is quickly routed through to the chair. There are differences the ethical problem is less interesting; so is the legal shoptalk; but in this book the reader's sympathies are more easily arraigned for both counsel and his defendant a tangible asset. Homosexuality adds to the charge and the charged situation when lawyer Henson Kellogg elicits that his at first sullen, silent client has been attacked by a prominent industrialist's only son, an invert with a long record of sodomy. And Kellogg builds his case on the contention that ""buggering a boy"" can be a ""killing matter""... The legal infighting and byplay, the practical politics and applied room strategy, the morality which includes pride, loyalty, integrity, all provide a seismic story which has real pace and persuasion. There are a few rough spots, but most Objections will be Overruled. Publisher sponsorship may well assure a wide readership.

Pub Date: Aug. 8th, 1962
Publisher: Atheneum