Read + Review: Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice by Lawrence Goldstone

Unpunished Murder by Lawrence Goldstone is the story of one of the most tragic mass murders in United States history, and how this crime went almost unpunished, despite the best efforts of the many lawyers and attorneys who worked to bring the almost 200 dead justice. This crime was the tragedy at Colfax, where many black men were massacred for no reason at all apart from their skin color. The story not only focuses on this one event but also goes back to the evil roots of slavery in the U.S, and brings to light the dark, underlying theme of racism that that this country was built upon.

Honestly, I really enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it. Even though the book is non-fiction, the author still finds a way to keep the book from becoming too bland. The story is masterfully written, and is well paced, instead of like a lot of these types of books that I have read, where all the information is just thrown at you at once. There is actually character development, entertaining plot lines, and much more, while the author still keeps the book 100% realistic and clearly presents the facts. The only problem I had was that near the end, the book was a little slow, with all of the court cases, but that too was still entertaining. The grim tone of the events in this book are presented in a way that anyone can understand, and I think that is perfect in a book like this, which is trying to inform the everyday person about the awful things that have gone down in history.

The most memorable parts were probably the ones leading up to the tragedy. I thought the small details were quite interesting, and the way the characters interacted were sometimes amusing, but other times completely horrifying and disgusting. This added elements to the story that made it seem more realistic, and I even found myself rooting for the lawyers trying to jail the men who committed the murder.

Reviewed by Aryan A., Glen Allen Library

Click here to place a hold on this book.

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