When Cicadas Cry

Union Square & Co.

Caroline Cleveland


Dedicated attorney Zach Stander had a growing practice and a nice lifestyle until a bad decision brought him to the edge of ruin. Now Zach and his lover, private investigator Addie Stone live much humbler lives, but Zach is still ambitious. An unexpected avenue opens that could let him to rebuild his career. Vietnam vet Eli Jenkins hires Zach and Addie to help his nephew Sam beat a murder chargeSam maintains his innocence, but he’s a young black man who was found kneeling in a church over the body of Jessie Gadsden, a young white woman, covered in her blood.

Zach and Addie move to the Jenkins’ home town of Walterboro to be at the scene, finding themselves in an increasingly charged atmosphere. The Old South is slowly changing to a more tolerant society, but the murder has polarized opinion on both sides of the racial divide. Zach gains the help of veteran lawyer Colleton Burns, whose local contacts prove invaluable, but Addie feels at a loose end, shut out of the case by Colleton’s powerful presence. Seeking to be useful, she volunteers her services to look through cold cases for the local sheriff. Picking a file that appeals to her, Addie begins researching a decades-old double murder—and finds unexpected links to Sam’s plight. With Sam’s life at risk and tension building, the stakes couldn’t be higher as Addie tracks down the truth of what really happened at the church that night.

When Cicadas Cry is a powerful debut novel. Cleveland weaves her knowledge of her native Lowcountry South Carolina and the legal system to create a gripping story with fully fleshed characters and a twisty plot that’ll satisfy all readers of murder-mysteries and thrillers.