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A life-changing crime story, Mosaic brings to life the compelling story of the 1960s murder of a charismatic woman doctor who courted danger trying to dismantle a racially segregated healthcare system in a large southern city. The search for who ordered the killing takes civil rights lawyer Christopher North to the centers of power, where a government intervention goes deadly wrong. It also forces him to confront the meaning of revenge-she wasn't just a client to him-for a crime that occurs at the intersection of hate and greed.
"Michael Meltsner's hot exploration of a cold murder case is a gripping who-done-it, accompanied by brilliant insights into racial neuroses of all varieties. His nonfiction expertly describes race in the law; here, his fiction deftly probes mysteries of race in the mind and heart. I found Mosaic a fascinating read."
- Randall Kennedy, Professor, Harvard Law School
"Meltsner, one of the most important civil rights lawyers in American history, masterfully blends fact and fiction in this page-turning account of a doctor's courageous quest to expose racism at an Alabama hospital."
- Evan Mandery, Emmy and Peabody Award Winning Author of the Novel Q
"Meltsner, master of fiction, litigation, and memoir, tells a fascinating, disturbing story that takes us deep inside the federal civil rights bureaucracy - not your usual murder scene. Set in a southern city in the 1960s, the murky, haunting tale reaches beyond the customary tropes about race, class, and crime to illuminate an America few of us know about. Compellingly written, it's instructive, searing, complex, and exceptionally relevant to our ongoing encounters with our recent racial past."
- Margaret Burnham, Civil rights scholar and curator of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Archive
"A richly woven tapestry of plot and personality, historical reality and rich imagination, hard-boiled crime story, and scathing cultural critique. Its painting of the landscape of the mid-60s South, North, civil-rights activists, and their legal supporters is flawlessly authentic. Its characters true to life but drawn as only the best of fiction can - iconic in their stature yet complex and idiosyncratic to the core. As his heroine declares: 'All lives are jagged.' But nothing else is jagged in this fast-paced, seamless, exhilarating read. "
- Anthony Amsterdam, University Professor Emeritus, New York University Law School
"I couldn't put this book down, caught by a riveting plot and the echoes of a far-off news story I had been curious about. A brave woman physician is brutally murdered in the South. Meltsner has beautifully captured the mood of lonely melancholy necessary to tell this story."
- Jacqueline Olds, MD, Author of The Lonely American and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School