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In 1966 in Pulaski, Tennessee, Bocephus Haynes watched in horror as his father was brutally murdered by ten local members of the Ku Klux Klan. As an African American lawyer practicing in the birthplace of the Klan years later, Bo has spent his life pursuing justice in his father’s name. But when Andy Walton, the man believed to have led the lynch mob forty-five years earli In 1966 in Pulaski, Tennessee, Bocephus Haynes watched in horror as his father was brutally murdered by ten local members of the Ku Klux Klan. As an African American lawyer practicing in the birthplace of the Klan years later, Bo has spent his life pursuing justice in his father’s name. But when Andy Walton, the man believed to have led the lynch mob forty-five years earlier, ends up murdered in the same spot as Bo’s father, Bo becomes the prime suspect. Retired law professor Tom McMurtrie, Bo’s former teacher and friend, is a year removed from returning to the courtroom. Now McMurtrie and his headstrong partner, Rick Drake, must defend Bo on charges of capital murder while hunting for Andy Walton’s true killer. In a courtroom clash that will put their reputations and lives at stake, can McMurtrie and Drake release Bo from a lifetime of despair? Or will justice remain hidden somewhere between black and white?


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In 1966 in Pulaski, Tennessee, Bocephus Haynes watched in horror as his father was brutally murdered by ten local members of the Ku Klux Klan. As an African American lawyer practicing in the birthplace of the Klan years later, Bo has spent his life pursuing justice in his father’s name. But when Andy Walton, the man believed to have led the lynch mob forty-five years earli In 1966 in Pulaski, Tennessee, Bocephus Haynes watched in horror as his father was brutally murdered by ten local members of the Ku Klux Klan. As an African American lawyer practicing in the birthplace of the Klan years later, Bo has spent his life pursuing justice in his father’s name. But when Andy Walton, the man believed to have led the lynch mob forty-five years earlier, ends up murdered in the same spot as Bo’s father, Bo becomes the prime suspect. Retired law professor Tom McMurtrie, Bo’s former teacher and friend, is a year removed from returning to the courtroom. Now McMurtrie and his headstrong partner, Rick Drake, must defend Bo on charges of capital murder while hunting for Andy Walton’s true killer. In a courtroom clash that will put their reputations and lives at stake, can McMurtrie and Drake release Bo from a lifetime of despair? Or will justice remain hidden somewhere between black and white?

30 review for Between Black and White

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sheryl

    On a summer night in 1966 when Bocephus “Bo” Haynes was 5 years old he secretly witnessed the Klu Klux Klan lynch his father. He overheard the leader speaking, it was a voice he had heard many times before, it was that of a prominent businessman who both of his parents worked for. When Bo told his mother who it was and he wanted to go to the sheriff to report the crime, it scared her to death. No one would take the word of a five-year-old child who was already traumatized by what he had witnesse On a summer night in 1966 when Bocephus “Bo” Haynes was 5 years old he secretly witnessed the Klu Klux Klan lynch his father. He overheard the leader speaking, it was a voice he had heard many times before, it was that of a prominent businessman who both of his parents worked for. When Bo told his mother who it was and he wanted to go to the sheriff to report the crime, it scared her to death. No one would take the word of a five-year-old child who was already traumatized by what he had witnessed over this man’s word who was a pillar of society. Plus if it ever got out what Bo saw and heard his life would be in grave danger. He was sent to live with his aunt and uncle in a neighboring town. He excelled on the football field and was recruited by Paul “Bear” Bryant himself to play for the University of Alabama. He had ambitions to play professionally until he was injured on the field and his career was cut short. Bo decided to study Law that’s where he met Tom McMurtrie who became more than just his professor, he also became Bo’s mentor and a very good friend to him. When Bo Haynes graduated law school, he goes back to his old hometown Pulaski, Tennessee the birthplace of the Klu Klux Klan. He turned down many lucrative offers from high profile law firms both in Alabama and Tennessee. He was the only African-American attorney in the town but he worked hard and made a good name for himself. He was still seeking justice for his father’s death. He made no bones about it, he knew exactly who was responsible and Bo was going to bring this man to justice whatever the cost. It had already cost him a great deal, so what did he have to lose? Every year since he’d been back in Pulaski he would go out to the clearing where they had hung his father. He was on his way to his annual pilgrimage when he stopped in at a local tavern and had something to eat and quite a bit to drink. He was sitting at the bar drinking when the man Andy Walker came walking towards the front door with his wife and brother in law. Andy Walker was the man who he held responsible for the death of his father. Bo had a heated exchange with Andy in front of several witnesses. They left the tavern, then Bo left not too long afterwards. He was so drunk, he didn’t remember anything until the next morning when he was awakened by blue flashing lights and loud banging on his office door. He sees muddy tracks and has mud on his clothes but he has no recollection of how they got there. The night before was a total haze, he was arrested for the murder of Mr. Andy Walker. He was stunned, he knew he had a blackout but he would never murder anyone. No matter how much he hated the man. When he’s being questioned, he asks for his attorney, his attorney being Mr. Tom McMurtrie who had just come out of retirement and has never tried a death penalty case before. Tom is the only man Bo would trust with his life. This is a great legal thriller, it has a little bit of everything in it. The characters are very likeable, the setting is fantastic from the description of the old, style courthouse to the beat up old Saturn that Tom’s law partner drives. It’s really held my attention. I was totally taken with this great cast of characters and Mr. Bailey’s writing style. He kept me on pins and needles during the whole trial, there wasn’t a lot of legalizing that some authors bog you down with. It was full of surprises. I realize that I would have understood more regarding the complexities of the relationships between the main characters if I had read the first of the series before hand but I wasn’t fumbling around lost, Mr. Bailey gives the reader enough background so they can’t wait to sink their teeth into the first book of the series, “The Professor”. I’ve already purchased my copy. I would like to thank Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for providing me with an e-galley of this book for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lewis Weinstein

    a great followup to The Professor ... excellent read from start to finish ... many interesting characters, lots of complications and surprises, but all under Bailey's superb control a great followup to The Professor ... excellent read from start to finish ... many interesting characters, lots of complications and surprises, but all under Bailey's superb control

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    I had enjoyed Bailey’s prior book “The Professor” so I could hardly wait for his next book to be published. Bailey is a top notch new author. In this book we have the key characters from “The Professor” back in court. I think the reader will enjoy this book more if they have read “The Professor” first. The aging law professor, Tom McMurtrie, and his former student, Rick Drake, are representing McMurtrie’s longtime friend and fellow attorney, Bocephus Haynes. Bo has been charged with the murder of I had enjoyed Bailey’s prior book “The Professor” so I could hardly wait for his next book to be published. Bailey is a top notch new author. In this book we have the key characters from “The Professor” back in court. I think the reader will enjoy this book more if they have read “The Professor” first. The aging law professor, Tom McMurtrie, and his former student, Rick Drake, are representing McMurtrie’s longtime friend and fellow attorney, Bocephus Haynes. Bo has been charged with the murder of Andrew Davis Walton. Walton was the Imperial Wizard of the Tennessee Knights of the KKK. The story takes place in Pulaski, Tennessee the birthplace of the KKK. Walton and his fellow Klansmen lynched Bo’s father when he was five years old. Bo watched the whole thing and became a lawyer in his lifelong attempt to bring Walton to justice for the killing of his father. Needless to say Bo is black and Walton is white. On the 45th anniversary of the lynching of Bo’s father, Walton was killed. Walton was dying of cancer and had decided to turn himself in for the lynching. Drake and McMurtrie attempt to solve the murder while defending Bo. Bailey has created a classic legal thriller but has also created something different with surprising twists and turns. The ending is a surprise. The book is extremely well written; the pace is fast. There are dramatic courtroom scenes. The book is an edge-of-the-seat story. The characters are well-drawn and likable. Eric G. Dove does an excellent job narrating the book. Dove is an award winning audiobook narrator. He is a southerner and the accent is perfect with the story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Skip

    Another excellent legal thriller by Robert Bailey. After graduating at the top of his University of Alabama law school class, Bocephus Haynes returned to Pulaski, Tennessee to seek justice for his father, who was lynched in 1966 when Bocephus was five. Shortly thereafter, his mother disappeared and he was raised by his aunt and uncle. Drinking heavily at the local bar, the man Bocephus knows is responsible for his father's death shows up and some threatening words are spoken. The man ends up sho Another excellent legal thriller by Robert Bailey. After graduating at the top of his University of Alabama law school class, Bocephus Haynes returned to Pulaski, Tennessee to seek justice for his father, who was lynched in 1966 when Bocephus was five. Shortly thereafter, his mother disappeared and he was raised by his aunt and uncle. Drinking heavily at the local bar, the man Bocephus knows is responsible for his father's death shows up and some threatening words are spoken. The man ends up shot to death, hung on the same tree, and set afire. Bocephus cannot remember a thing after the bar except going to look at the tree, and is arrested the next day and charged with capital murder by a very aggressive prosecutor, who never loses. Bocephus calls his friend, the Professor (Tom McMurtie), who is the only one he trusts to defend him, and Tom comes to town to help in what appears to be an open and shut case. He finds a local attorney, with deep roots in the community, but is not well liked by many, including Bocephus. Together, they organize a defense while an old adversary targets Tom and other members of the defense team for personal and professional reasons. Of course, the black versus white trope brings out the KKK and tensions are high. Several surprising turn of events at the end, starting in the courtroom, moving to the streets, and eventually back to the famous tree. Recommended, but start with the first book in the series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is a gripping and compelling legal thriller. Bo Haynes is in a bad place. When he was 5 years old, he saw his father being murdered by the Ku Klux Klan and recognised one of them as Andy Walton. He grows up and becomes relatively successful, he is a lawyer. He has, however, determinedly pursued Walton in an effort to attain justice but to no avail. His obsession to nail Walton has lost Bo his wife and children after his family were threatened. It is made clear to Bo that Andy Walton has term This is a gripping and compelling legal thriller. Bo Haynes is in a bad place. When he was 5 years old, he saw his father being murdered by the Ku Klux Klan and recognised one of them as Andy Walton. He grows up and becomes relatively successful, he is a lawyer. He has, however, determinedly pursued Walton in an effort to attain justice but to no avail. His obsession to nail Walton has lost Bo his wife and children after his family were threatened. It is made clear to Bo that Andy Walton has terminal cancer and does not have long to live. Bo gets paralytically drunk when he realised that Walton will die having evaded any form of redress. The following morning Bo is arrested for the murder of Walton. Walton was found hanging from a tree and burnt. Tom McMurtie and Rick Drake take on the task of defending Bo whilst at the same time trying to find the real killer. In a story of twists and turns, Tom and Rick risk their lives to exonerate Bo in a complex case. The author has constructed a tale that will enthrall the reader. I very much enjoyed this book and think others will too. Many thanks to the publisher for a copy of the book via netgalley.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    Pulaski, Tennessee has a history that the town can't seem to escape. It has a big scarlet R on it for "racist" because it is the birth place of the Klan. Who will pull down their sheets and hoods to show the awful, naked truth of racism? A gripping thriller that goes back to the lynching of Bo Haynes' father. Bo watched as a 5 year old boy the killing of his father by the Klan and he knew then the voice that carried out the brutal murder and changed his life forever - Andy Walton. Bo took that i Pulaski, Tennessee has a history that the town can't seem to escape. It has a big scarlet R on it for "racist" because it is the birth place of the Klan. Who will pull down their sheets and hoods to show the awful, naked truth of racism? A gripping thriller that goes back to the lynching of Bo Haynes' father. Bo watched as a 5 year old boy the killing of his father by the Klan and he knew then the voice that carried out the brutal murder and changed his life forever - Andy Walton. Bo took that injustice to seek justice and became Tennessee's finest criminal lawyer in hopes to bring justice to those that killed his father. On the anniversary of his father's death, Bo came into contact with Andy Walton who is the Warren Buffet of the South. With the frustration that comes when justice is not served, Bo made death threats to Andy in a bar room of people including Walton's wife. The next day Walton is found dead, hanging from the same tree Bo's father had hung from years before. Bo's old friend and mentor, comes to the defense of Bo to find the real killer and the reason why the cover up. It is complex and compelling and will keep you turning pages. The plot has many characters. Strong characters such as the General- Helen the prosecutor who is determined to keep her town safe and bring new life to the town that has been marked. I like a plot that you can follow along and determine who it is but also has a twist which this one did. A great read on racism and the fight against it. A Special Thank You to Thomas & Mercer and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    ✨Susan✨

    This was a buddy read with my pal Mary Beth and I thought I’d was good but I took off one star because I had part of the ending figured out in the beginning. This was still worth the time but I think book one was better.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    Another great read by the author of The Professor. His writing reminds me of early John Grisham books. There are a few authors that I follow so I can be sure to get their new books as soon as they are published and this is one of them. I would recommend reading his books in order as the main characters remain pretty much the same and other characters tend to reappear. I've recommended these books to lots of friends and all have enjoyed them immensely! Another great read by the author of The Professor. His writing reminds me of early John Grisham books. There are a few authors that I follow so I can be sure to get their new books as soon as they are published and this is one of them. I would recommend reading his books in order as the main characters remain pretty much the same and other characters tend to reappear. I've recommended these books to lots of friends and all have enjoyed them immensely!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dwayne Roberts

    Between Black and White is a story of revenge, being framed, criminal investigation, and trial. It's a story of the Klan, then and now, and also of friendships over the years. I tend to enjoy "legal thrillers" in movies, TV, and books. I certainly did enjoy this one, and I'll be reading The Last Trial, third in the series. Between Black and White is a story of revenge, being framed, criminal investigation, and trial. It's a story of the Klan, then and now, and also of friendships over the years. I tend to enjoy "legal thrillers" in movies, TV, and books. I certainly did enjoy this one, and I'll be reading The Last Trial, third in the series.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tom Swift

    This is a good legal thriller series. The second installment features a trial of a black lawyer in Klan country. Looking forward to more from these characters.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Please see my review on Amazon. com under C. Wong.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frank Hogan

    A real page-turner.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    Good legal thriller. The twist was unexpected!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Another good entry in this series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Soo

    Notes: Continues to be a fun Character Driven Series Flaws in details that bug me but not enough to quit the book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    The second in this series. Still going strong and loving the read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    4 ⭐️ Great read! This book is filled with strong characters, an enjoyable storyline, and surprisingly, some twists and turns! It was a quick and easy read as well!

  18. 5 out of 5

    S. Nichols

    Fast paced book that you don’t want to put down; mystery and court room drama. Love this new author. Read book 1 & 2. Will be reading Book 3 soon!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Margot Peter

    Another thoroughly enjoyable legal thriller. All the elements of a Grisham novel. We will definitely be hearing more from this writer!What is it about studying the law which makes a good writer?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Charlene

    Another Engaging Story {with some dark undertones} with former law professor McMurtrie, who is a wonderful character. The title comes to mind several times in this story, which I will leave for future readers to discover.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Midwest Geek

    Having enjoyed the first in this series, I think this one is even better. The characters are complex and well-developed. It's often hard to separate the good guys from the bad guys. It is less of a courtroom drama than a mystery to be solved outside. Even if you guess the villain, as I did, your enjoyment will not be diminished. The how and why is even more important than the who. The narrator adds much to the pleasure of listening. I look forward to the third in the series. Having enjoyed the first in this series, I think this one is even better. The characters are complex and well-developed. It's often hard to separate the good guys from the bad guys. It is less of a courtroom drama than a mystery to be solved outside. Even if you guess the villain, as I did, your enjoyment will not be diminished. The how and why is even more important than the who. The narrator adds much to the pleasure of listening. I look forward to the third in the series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Itsy Bitsy Book Bits

    Between Black & White by Robert Bailey is the second book in Robert Bailey’s McMurtrie and Drake Legal Thrillers series. Book one is titled ‘The Professor’ and although I have not (yet) read that book, I did not feel as though I was lost or unsure what was happening in book two while reading it which makes it possible to read ‘Between Black & White’ without necessarily having read ‘The Professor’ and I appreciate that! ‘Between Black & White’ begins back in 1966 when the Ku Klux Klan was a big pr Between Black & White by Robert Bailey is the second book in Robert Bailey’s McMurtrie and Drake Legal Thrillers series. Book one is titled ‘The Professor’ and although I have not (yet) read that book, I did not feel as though I was lost or unsure what was happening in book two while reading it which makes it possible to read ‘Between Black & White’ without necessarily having read ‘The Professor’ and I appreciate that! ‘Between Black & White’ begins back in 1966 when the Ku Klux Klan was a big problem down in the south. Bocephus (Bo) Haynes was just a young child when he witnessed his father brutally murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan. The fear and terror in the words that his father shared with him moments before going out to face his fate was almost palpable. He kept telling Bo to NOT look out the window. As you’re reading, you feel yourself wanting to reach into the book to keep Bo from watching what you know is about to happen. Unfortunately, Bo’s curiosity gets the best of him and he sees it all. To top it off, Bo recognizes the voice of the man leading this particular group – Andy Walton. As an adult, Bo becomes a lawyer and vows to bring justice to his father’s name. On the night of his father’s murder, Bo drinks himself into oblivion and can’t remember very many details of what all he did. Next thing he knows, he’s being charged with the murder of Andy Walton who was found murdered in the exact same spot as Bo’s father. Who else besides Bo would have reason to kill Andy? Especially after Bo was overheard by many threatening Andy’s life the night it happened! This story sucks you in and is an absolute page turner as you follow the trial and the town’s reaction to everything that comes to light. I would give this book 5 stars and would absolutely recommend it!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tere Fredericks

    Surprises in Every Chapter We are invited to Google Pulaski, to see what comes up first. Never one not to take a dare, I did. It's true! Well, it didn't come up first (a firefighting tool did and that is fascinating - sidetracked easily). When Tom's best friend, Bo, is arrested, the firm drops everything to aid in his defense. Every single one of them are almus of the University of Alabama, Tom having played for Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant for his most famous team, that of 1961. American football p Surprises in Every Chapter We are invited to Google Pulaski, to see what comes up first. Never one not to take a dare, I did. It's true! Well, it didn't come up first (a firefighting tool did and that is fascinating - sidetracked easily). When Tom's best friend, Bo, is arrested, the firm drops everything to aid in his defense. Every single one of them are almus of the University of Alabama, Tom having played for Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant for his most famous team, that of 1961. American football players are a different breed from other humans. And those who play for a power house such as the Crimson Tide are even more special. They play fairly, but with everything they have. And then some. Plus, they are hard headed, with or without helmets. The prosecutor is up against some of the hardest heads Bear ever coached. Are there such things as coincidences? Mercy. An old acquantence shows up. My, is he vengeful. The drama in this book is spectacular. Both in and out of the courtroom. The prosecutor, oddly called General, puts on a damaging circumstantial case. However, this time it isn't the hard work of the Professor and Rick that completely saves the day. The General notices something that had been staring everyone involved in the face. Before she can do anything about it, an even more startling surprise rocks the small world of Pulaski, TN. Two startling revelations, gunshots, and an author's slight of hand all result in an ending that will rock your off your chair. Among legal thrillers, this shines as a gem of rareness and beauty.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Between Black and White is a sequel to Bailey's first book, The Professor. As in his first book, there are many references to Alabama football. As an Auburn fan, this reader tolerated that. The majority of the action is set in Pulaski, Tennessee. Law Professor Tom McMurtrie risks his life going up against the Klan when his friend Bocephus is accused of murder. The evil JimBone from the first book is also out to get McMurtrie and his law partner Rick. The characters are complex and engaging and Between Black and White is a sequel to Bailey's first book, The Professor. As in his first book, there are many references to Alabama football. As an Auburn fan, this reader tolerated that. The majority of the action is set in Pulaski, Tennessee. Law Professor Tom McMurtrie risks his life going up against the Klan when his friend Bocephus is accused of murder. The evil JimBone from the first book is also out to get McMurtrie and his law partner Rick. The characters are complex and engaging and the plot moves along quickly. I didn't guess whodunit until close to the end, and even then the killer's motive was a surprise.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tulay

    Read this Southern thriller. This is the second book in this series, can be read alone but if you read the first one in this series you'll understand the characters better. Bo's father was hanged by KKK forty five years ago, all he wanted to bring justice to his father. Alabama football and Coach Bryant and his professor's influence made him very successful lawyer. Breathtaking ending, can't wait for the next book. Read this Southern thriller. This is the second book in this series, can be read alone but if you read the first one in this series you'll understand the characters better. Bo's father was hanged by KKK forty five years ago, all he wanted to bring justice to his father. Alabama football and Coach Bryant and his professor's influence made him very successful lawyer. Breathtaking ending, can't wait for the next book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary Dreyer

    This was a disappointing sequel to "The Professor." There were illogical leaps, typos and inconsistencies, and the book ramped up to an unbelievable melodrama. The essence of the book was good and I mostly enjoyed the character developments. However, I would not necessarily recommend this novel - it was merely okay. This was a disappointing sequel to "The Professor." There were illogical leaps, typos and inconsistencies, and the book ramped up to an unbelievable melodrama. The essence of the book was good and I mostly enjoyed the character developments. However, I would not necessarily recommend this novel - it was merely okay.

  27. 4 out of 5

    J M THOMAS

    Hooked from the start Thoroughly good read with engaging characters and an unputdownable quality. You know an author has done a fine job when you don't want a book to end and the characters feel like you know them. So disappointed when the next book would not download due to some glitch. Bravo Mr. Bailey. Hooked from the start Thoroughly good read with engaging characters and an unputdownable quality. You know an author has done a fine job when you don't want a book to end and the characters feel like you know them. So disappointed when the next book would not download due to some glitch. Bravo Mr. Bailey.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chaplain Stanley Chapin

    A interesting twist on race relations The racial complexes in the south were well portrayed n this intriguing story. The characterisation was good and your interest grew page by page

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kacy

    Not quite as good as his 1st book (The Professor), but still really good. If you like John Grisham, you will really like author Robert Bailey.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I loved this book! The author did a awesome job with unfolding the plot and making you want to keep reading. A must read!!!

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