The story starts off with the Sheriff of Julie County answering a knock on the door. He finds out from his deputy, that a lynch mob is forming in Flowery Branch. A young white woman, Katy Barlow, is accusing a young Black boy, Sonny Clack, of rape. Sonny Clark is afraid for his life and does not know what to do. After the accusation,
Sheriff McCurtain, however does not really care where Sonny Clack lives or dies. But he is concerned about the fate of another Black man, Sam Brinson. When several members of the lynch mob raid the jail looking for Sonny Clark and take Brinson captive instead, Sheriff McCurtain goes looking for Sam.
Many of these peoples share one thing in common, they all are afraid of losing something. For example, the Sheriff was scared that if he got involved in the case, he would not be elected for Sheriff next year. Without his elected post, he has no way to support him and his wife. So when something happens, he packs his stuff and heads out of town to a fishing hole, even though he hates fishing. But he could not this time because is friend was kidnapped by the lynch mob.
Two days late, Sonny Clark runs into Harvey Glenn in the woods while hiding. Sonny tells Harvey everything that happened the night he ran into Katy. He said that when he was walking, Miss Katy runs out of the bushes and grabs him and would not let him go. He tried to get away but she would not let him go. Then comes along Mrs. Narcissa. She jumps out of her car and grab Sonny and says that he was trying to rape Miss Katy. Harvey believes that Sonny is innocent but does not know if he should turn Sonny over to the mob. Harvey tells Sonny that this was a white mans land and that he cannot escape from being hanged. Before letting Harvey turn Sonny over to the mob, Sonny asks if he could shoot him first, but Harvey could not.
Later on, the Sheriff finds Sam Brison. The Sheriff asks Sam where he has been.
Sam tells him that he was chased around, tied to a back of a car and drag all over. When they found Sonny they let him go. Sam showed the Sheriff where they found Sonny, but when they got there, Sonny was hanging from a tree. While they were all looking at Sonny, Kathy runs out from the bush that Sonny did not do it. But it was too late. She tells everyone that Sonny did not do it, that Mrs. Narcissa Calhoun told her to say it. The mob then turns on her and they all throw stones at her. The Sheriff try s to stop it but before he got to her, she was dead. He looks at what just happen and hope that this will end the lynching for all time.
After reading this book, I have gotten to know how it was like to live back then. Knowing that you were innocent and everybody you trust does not want anything to do with you, which is got to be hard. This book is very interesting to read and gets you wondering what will happen to Sonny. The ending to this book is a shock to me, because how Sonny decides to turn himself in even though he knows what is going to happen to him.
I really like this book and I consider this a good book to read. It shows the lynching of Sonny Clark through many eyes. Many of the people in this story could have save Sonny s life, but decided to do nothing about it. They were scared of the consequences of helping a Black man. Many of the people did not care whether Sonny was innocent or not, they just want to hang him.
I would really recommend this book to my friends. I think they would like to read about white people did to Black people if they offended any white folks. This book is like a suspense, thriller, mystery and drama all pack into one.