A novel with backbone, which may well serve regard for the South and her struggles in the throes of racism, also centers about politics- ambitious and altruistic- in a small town in Mississippi. When Travis Brevard is shot down and dies, he gives his badge temporarily to Duncan Harper, one time football hero who now intends to carry the ball for a much larger team which includes the Negroes. Determined to stand or fall on an anti-liquor, pro-Negro equality platform, he works fast to crack down on illicit bootlegging operated by Jimmy Tallant. When a Negro veteran, Beck, to whom Jimmy is strangely attached by an inherited guilt, is noticed on the scene of Jimmy's shooting, the town refuses to listen to Jimmy's assurances of Beck's innocence and demands his blood. Duncan loses his life to keep Beck safe from the crowd which his own best friend, Kerney Woolbright, in a pathetic default to ambition, has turned against Duncan. Kerney Woolbright is thus assured of his election as state senator, and by other means of marriage to the girl of the right family, but his treachery separates him forever from those who loved Duncan-his wife Tinker and his mistress. The resolution is not wholly bitter for Jimmy Tallant grows to stature as Duncan's successor in love and public spirit. There is also a sense of the family feeling in the relations of contemporaries in an ingrown town from which only one person revolts but returns to play out her role. There is clarity of narrative and characterization here and it is a deserving and rewarding book.