Half Moon and Empty Stars, (Scribner’s, N.Y., a Lisa Drew book, 2001) Spence’s first novel has already been acclaimed by Publisher’s Weekly with a stared review (their top selection): (Pub date: June 12, 2001)
“This is his first novel, and it’s both a masterful courtroom thriller and a haunting elegy for Native America. Spence’s style is richly evocative…” and the story of an Arapaho warrior “is rendered memorably, with deep feeling and panoramic insight.”
This is the story of twin brothers, half Arapaho, half white set in a small Wyoming town. One goes the way of the Native American, the other the way of the well-heeled investment banker. Murder results and Abner Hill, a country lawyer tries to save Charlie Redtail, the Native American brother from the gas chamber “It is an astonishing book that only a man who has spent his life fighting for justice could have written,” says Tom Schulman, Academy Award winning writer of Dead Poets Society and president of the Writer’s Guild Foundation.
“This richly textured page-turner kept me on the edge of my seat until the dramatic-unexpected-conclusion says Alan Dershowitz, Professor, Harvard Law School, and author of The Genesis of Justice. “More than a courtroom thriller, Half Moon and Empty Stars takes you on a journey into the soul of a lawyer, and the ‘half breed’ client he is trying to save from the gas chamber. It also provides a rare insider’s look into the criminal justice system by one who has seen it up close and is willing to blow the whistle on all its participants.”
With taut, gripping prose, Gerry Spence, the great American trial lawyer, has crafted a compelling family drama centered around the death penalty. No reader will be left unshaken by the devastating ending. Vincent Bugliosi, author of Helter Skelter and Outrage.