|About the Book|
When Charlie Dugan, tough but fair-minded sheriff of Blackstone County in western North Carolina, receives a call to investigate a shooting one night, what he finds is a family whose car has been shot up in an apparent case of mistaken identity. WhatMoreWhen Charlie Dugan, tough but fair-minded sheriff of Blackstone County in western North Carolina, receives a call to investigate a shooting one night, what he finds is a family whose car has been shot up in an apparent case of mistaken identity. What he also learns is that the driver of the vehicle from which the shots were fired may have been “Doc” Pemberton, wild but popular surgeon, county commissioner, and member of an old politically powerful family. It was Pemberton who, years before, procured Dugan his first job in the county, as a deputy, and later urged him to run for sheriff. The two have always had a wary respect for each other, as they used each other for their mutual political ends.Dugan is up for election for his third term, an expected shoo-in for the popular sheriff, and because no one was hurt in the shooting, he is strongly urged to simply list the investigation as “pending,” and let it drop. But the outrage of the family whose lives were threatened and car wrecked, their demand for fair treatment, and their courage, forces Dugan to confront his own antipathy to the class structure of the society in which he grew up, as well as the core of his own beliefs about law and human dignity. Against his professional and political instincts, he chooses to pursue the investigation.What follows is a journey through the intricacies of law enforcement and the courts of a rich, passionate culture struggling to channel its own violent proclivities, and to assert the dignity of its parts and their right to exist.The Blackstone Commentaries gets past race and recognizes that the true problem of Southern history is the unequal distribution of power, the unequal application of law, the hangover of the old aristocracy that ran the South for so long. It spotlights the connection between that inequality and the lawlessness and violence that continue to plague the South.