Silhouette of Virtue
By Jay Richards
Face Rock Press
$15.00; 344 pages
Synopsis of Silhouette of Virtue
It is 1973. A small college town in Southern Illinois is terrorized by a spree of sadistic assaults. The rapist tells the victims — all Asian women — that he is making them pay for America’s betrayal in Vietnam. When the only other black faculty member is accused of the crimes, African American philosophy professor Nathan “Ribs” Rivers struggles to suspend his doubt about his colleague’s innocence. Rivers reluctantly yields to the urgings of his students and takes up leadership of a campus coalition formed to advocate for a fair trial.
In Silhouette of Virtue (Face Rock Press; 2014), Rivers embarks on a vision quest for the truth that is as much about his character as it is about the crimes—a quest that threatens to topple his family and career, ignites a spiritual crisis and plunges him headlong toward lethal unknowns.
Silhouette of Virtue is based, in part, on actual crimes that occurred on a university campus during the mid-1970s, and is also informed by experiences gained by the author while studying and teaching African literature in West Africa later in that decade.
My review of Silhouette of Virtue
This is going to be a little embarrassing to admit, but…this book made me feel somewhat inadequate. Jay Richards is a wonderful writer. He not only knows how to put sentences together, he knows how to put a story together. However, his impressive background translates into a book that is challenging, to say the least. And I was a history major. All we did was read. But this book was a bit overwhelming at times.
That being said, I have to be fair. I’m used to books that, in general, are breezy and effortless reads. There is something to be said for a book that forces you to engage and think. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re going to find it with Silhouette of Virtue, in spades.
This book is an interesting study of a community affected by horrific crimes during a complicated period in America. It examines different aspects of American culture (race relations, the Vietnam War, politics, the student protest movement, just to name a few) that intersect to create a thoughtful novel. So, for that, I do tip my hat to Mr. Richards.
About the Author of Silhouette of Virtue
JAY RICHARDS, Ph.D. is a forensic psychologist whose specialty is the evaluation and treatment of violent offenders, such as homicide perpetrators, mentally ill killers, and sexually violent predators. In the field of criminal psychology, he is known for ground-breaking research, innovative and provocative theoretical papers, and evocative and insightful case studies of psychopaths and other mentally disordered offenders. With more than three decades of experience diagnosing and studying psychopaths and sex offenders, Richards offers an authentic portrayal of complex characters. His exploration of moral dilemmas, choices, and character motivations results in a psychological thriller that weaves together the culture and politics of the era with racial tension, mystery, and suspense.
You can purchase Silhouette of Virtue at Amazon.
I was not compensated for writing this review. BookTrib provided a copy of Silhouette of Virtue for my review. My opinions are 100% honest and 100% mine.