41eLJBCQclLIt’s 1973 in a small college town in Southern Illinois.Author Jay Richards gives us a tale set against a backdrop of the end of the war in Vietnam, Watergate, and student protests. The town is rocked by a rapist targeting Asian women as payment for America’s betrayal in Vietnam.

Nathan “Ribs” Rivers is an African-American philosphy professor who steps in to go bail for the only other black faculty member is arrested for the crime. Though he has his own doubts, Rivers takes out another mortgage on his home to raise get a lawyer, wanting to insure a fair trial for the man. Evidence is slim, but everyone seems sure of his guilt.

Rivers soon finds himself assailed from all sides. His live-in love is hurt that he acted without talking to her. He comes under suspicion of plagiarism and using his position to solicit sex from female students. Someone wants him to resign.

But Rivers is stubborn, even in the face of his man’s escape from jail and the police rudely shoving into his home in the middle of the night to search for the escaped prisoner.

Rivers becomes an ad hoc detective as he starts thinking it through and piecing the truth out of it all.

A most excellent novel.

Author Henry Jay Richards, PhD, is a forensic psychologist who specializes in evaluating and treating violent offenders. he puts that knowledge to good use in his story.