|Ernest J. Gaines|
|Pages/Publication Date:||216 / 1992|
When white plantation owner Candy Marshall finds Cajun farmer Beau Boutan shot dead in a black man's yard, she knows she'll have to think fast to prevent a lynching, in this 1983 novel by the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of A Lesson Before Dying and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Finding 17 men who are willing to take a huge risk, Candy gives them all shotguns and they each pretend to be the culprit, while allowing the real perpetrator to go free. Sheriff Mapes arrives on the scene with his own ideas about the racial tensions that may have caused the altercation—though he may have different reasons for protecting the killer.