A Legacy of Vengeance
Carroll & Graf, 1994
From the Publisher:
A Legacy of Vengeance combines the freshness and passion of a deeply felt first novel with the authentic detail and sure plotting of a mature craftsman. John Armistead knows well what he writes about. And in Sheriff Grover Bramlett he has created a character fans will look forward to reading about again and again.
The stillness of the Mississippi hill country is suddenly disturbed by an explosion of madness. Four men – a preacher, a lawyer, a auto mechanic, and an insurance salesman – are killed by someone who drives a 1960-ish white Pontiac. Sheriff Bramlett embarks on an investigation which hurls him backward in time to the long hot summers thirty years before. It was a time of night-riders and church burning, of civil rights workers and Klansmen. Bramlett is convinced that the killings are a vestige of that difficult period but he no idea who is ordering them or carrying them out.
The years of peace between the black and white commuities are at once strained as old wounds gape open. Old Klansmen run for cover and former civil rights workers scramble in their closets for shotguns.
As sheriff Bramlett wades ever deeper into the darkness of the past, he comes to realize that both he and his wife are on the killer's hit list. A vengeance is stalking him which will not rest until the whole state is bathed in blood.
A Legacy of Vengeance comes from the pen of a natural storyteller. John Armistead is a new mystery writer with a big future.