"Ms. McCrumb writes with quiet fire and maybe a little mountain magic. . . . She plucks the mysteries from people's lives and works these dark narrative threads into Appalachian legends older than the hills. Like every true storyteller, she has the Sight."—The New York Times Book Review
In 1935, a beautiful young schoolteacher is accused of murdering her coal-miner father in
a Virginia mountain community.
National journalists descend on Wise County, intent upon exonerating the defendant, and on stereotyping the mountain community to satisfy their Depression-era readers.
But local cub reporter Carl Jennings writes what he sees: an ordinary town and a defendant who is probably guilty.
The novel resonates with the present: an economic depression; a deadly Japanese earthquake; the rise of political fanatics; and a media culture turning news stories into soap operas for the diversion of the masses.
A literary tour de force, The Devil Amongst the Lawyers continues the Ballard saga by examining social issues that go well beyond the fate of one defendant. It is a testament to Sharyn McCrumb's lyrical and poetic writing about the mountain South.