THE RAMSDEN CASE by David Chandler


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The publishers introduce this as a ""big very commercial novel about the murder of three Civil Rights workers in a small Mississippi town"" (actually there are four). Or as they say he-uh down they-uh, ""Yo' knows where all yo's at."" In fact we could almost see it on the screen--""not the easy sociology of an old Warner Brothers picture"" but the enlightened sexuality of a Wallace (Irving not Lew) epic where they call a spade a spade (after doing some black and white comparison shopping).... ""This is you. This is your guts spilling out."" Well, that's the way Tom Ramsden feels when he hears about those Civil Rights Workers and even though he's just getting over a massive heart attack in Malibu (with the help of Jessica, his secretary) he goes back to his home town on the Delta, shoots Sheriff Willie Joe who had been his best friend as a boy. The last half of the book is the trial and its aftermath which finds the jury hung, Jessica killed, Ramsden in hiding but waiting to renew the fight.... Even where there may be some validity for the ""big commercial novel"" there's not much excuse for this one--a cast of cliches which walk or talk in four letter words and deNigrating epithets.

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1967
Publisher: Simon & Schuster