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A Calamity of Souls

Written by: David Baldacci
Narrated by: David Baldacci, MacLeod Andrews, Sisi Aisha Johnson, Kiiri Sandy, Cary Hite
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Publisher's Summary

Set in the tumultuous year of 1968 in southern Virginia, a racially-charged murder case sets a duo of white and Black lawyers against a deeply unfair system as they work to defend their wrongfully-accused Black defendants in this courtroom drama from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci.

Jack Lee is a white lawyer from Freeman County, Virginia, who has never done anything to push back against racism, until he decides to represent Jerome Washington, a Black man charged with brutally killing an elderly and wealthy white couple. Doubting his decision, Lee fears that his legal skills may not be enough to prevail in a case where the odds are already stacked against both him and his client. And he quickly finds himself out of his depth when he realizes that what is at stake is far greater than the outcome of a murder trial.

Desiree DuBose is a Black lawyer from Chicago who has devoted her life to furthering the causes of justice and equality for everyone. She comes to Freeman County and enters a fractious and unwieldy partnership with Lee in a legal battle against the best prosecutor in the Commonwealth. Yet DuBose is also aware that powerful outside forces are at work to blunt the victories achieved by the Civil Rights era.

Lee and DuBose could not be more dissimilar. On their own, neither one can stop the prosecution’s deliberate march towards a guilty verdict and the electric chair. But together, the pair fight for what once seemed impossible: a chance for a fair trial and true justice.

Over a decade in the writing, A Calamity of Souls breathes richly imagined and detailed life into a bygone era, taking the listener through a world that will seem both foreign and familiar.

©2024 David Baldacci (P)2024 Grand Central Publishing

What the critics say

"A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci is the immovable object of history slamming into the irresistible force of truth. An examination of a fractured place and time where the mores of the past were confronted by the implacable ferocious tenacity of justice. A Tour de Force."—S. A. Cosby, bestselling author of ALL THE SINNERS BLEED and RAZORBLADE TEARS

A Calamity of Souls, the story of a murder in southern Virginia in the mid-1960’s, may be the best novel David Baldacci has ever written, which is saying a great deal. It has a gripping plot and a shocking ending, and even better than that, is also a perfect evocation of a difficult time in America’s history, propelled by deep and moving characters and beautiful writing. It captured me completely from the very first page.”—Scott Turow, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

"This is David Baldacci at his best. Using the law and the courtroom as the stage for a searing parable on race and the cost and courage to do the right thing."—Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author

What listeners say about A Calamity of Souls

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Terrible racism

I love the book. I couldn't put it down. I love the characters.I just thought it was well done.And very interesting .

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Great plot!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters were well-developed, their voices were pleasant to listen to & the twists & turns had me glued to it. I highly recommend this book!

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How progress in American Racism is so slow

Excellent book, enjoyable and very thought provoking. Detailed look into the past and highlites what still needs to change.

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Great story

Didn’t expect much but found I didn’t want to put it down. This book should be a mandatory read for everyone.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Certainly not his best

It seemed like he was trying too hard to write in a style that doesn’t suit him. It was forced at times and some of the characters lacked any depth. Ok if nothing else available - otherwise take a pass

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Tough to listen to at times, but worth it

A Calamity of Souls is not always easy to listen to, but it's a must listen. I often thought the author was trying to write somewhat of a "To Kill a Mockingbird" style novel and at times, the book is referenced. It's a great book that deserves attention and time as it gets off to a slow start.

There are also many twists and turns you won't expect!

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Captivating from Chapter 1

From the story to the performances, this book was amazing. The multiple narrators added to the drama and has made me hope this becomes a movie soon!

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Such a disappointment

This book is not up to his usual quality. It has a very predictable storyline. The courtroom drama was not believable (creating eye rolling responses)and the writing simplistic…. So disappointed.

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