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Mitchell Zimmerman

BOOL REVIEW REQUEST: Mississippi Reckoning by Mitchell Zimmerman

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I am a veteran of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi), and a California attorney who, after a 22-year legal struggle, got a condemned black inmate off San Quentin's death row. My novel is about an attorney who did not. SNCC leader Mary King called the book "compelling," and federal judge and civil rights pioneer Thelton E. Henderson says it's “a heart-pounding, soul-wrenching narrative," " a story of the struggle for equal justice and civil rights.”


Author: Mitchell Zimmerman

Title:     Mississippi Reckoning

ISBN:   978-0-9600107-0-7

Publication Date:  March 15, 2019   Available in paperback and ebooks on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and by ordering from bookstores.


Synopsis:  After watching his client die in the gas chamber, attorney Gideon Roth is shattered. His career, marriage and life collapse as he is overcome with guilt and despair. But soon he finds new purpose in life: he will drive to Mississippi to revisit the scenes of his youth—and to slay the Klavern members who got away with murdering civil rights workers 30 years earlier.


During the road trip to Mississippi, flashbacks reveal the personal histories that set Gideon on his path of vengeance:

  • Gideon’s days as a young civil rights worker, and his journey from idealistic youth to cynical lawyer
  • The story of the murder of three young civil rights workers in 1964
  • The killer’s family saga of oppression and resistance, and the horrors of a childhood that turned a vulnerable child into a brutal killer
  • The struggle to fend off a legal system skewed toward death.

More information at  http://www.mississippi-reckoning.com


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On 8/11/2019 at 6:09 AM, everyfebruary said:

@Troy, I figured it was a season too late to review it as a new release on this site.

Hi, Every Feb,

I'm the author. While the book is no longer just-released, it has not has a vast amount of attention (though some valued accolades*). I think a review of it here would still be of value to readers, no?


* 1960s civil rights leader and hero Diane Nash called the novel “enthralling” and wrote: “Family saga, freedom song and cry
for justice come together in Mississippi Reckoning.”

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The lives of five Mississippians are in the hands of a corporate attorney from Silicon Valley. Gideon is that attorney.

The execution of Kareem Jackson, his pro bono client of 14 years, disillusions Gideon over the criminal justice system. A former student volunteer with the Freedom Summer School, Gideon returns to the Mississippi Delta for the first time in three decades. Only this time, he'll administer his own brand of justice for the slain Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner.

Mississippi Reckoning (Mitchell Zimmerman) set a standard for me to be attentive to every viewpoint of the protagonist. Gideon is a good guy, fighting the good fight, but loved ones challenge his actions and perspectives. His wife, for instance, questions his compassion for Kareem versus his platitudes for Kareem's victims. In another instance, he and an old friend go back-and-forth over his desire to avenge Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner. However lethal his stance, Gideon justifies it in his own mind.

The novel is for the avid reader. It includes personal letters, court transcripts, drafts of letters to the editor, and more. There were even a few graphics -- i.e. screenshot of search engines. That said, Gideon's reiteration of his intentions in Mississippi became redundant by the Third Act.

All in all, I highly Mississippi Reckoning -- and even more so for opponents of the death penalty, fans of courtroom and legal dramas, and the students, children, and veterans of the Civil Rights Movement.

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