Thanks to Adria Locke Langley’s decision to let Verity Martin tell the story of her charismatic husband’s political career, A Lion Is in the Streets is a political novel that can be enjoyed by folks who don’t like political novels.
As the book opens, Hank Martin is dead, killed by an assassin’s bullet. As Verity listens to a reporter tell the story of Hank’s life, she recalls the events as she saw them.
A Lion Is in the Streets by Adria Locke Langley
Blakiston, 1945. 345 pages. 1945 bestseller #6. My Grade: A-.
A Yankee schoolteacher, Verity fell for a southern peddler with dreams of being governor.
While he was out organizing a political machine, she stayed home in a little share-cropper cottage.
Almost from the first, Verity knew Hank’s sex appeal was a potential threat to her marriage.
It took her years to realize Hank’s lust for power is even more destructive than his sex drive, not only for their family but also for the whole state.
Langley does a superb job of making these people seem real. They are complicated bundles of inexplicable contradictions.
In some ways, each character knows the others better than they know themselves.
Like politics, much of the plot has to be grasped from innuendo. You’ll need to read slowly, picturing the scenes, or you’ll miss the point.
The effort is worth it.
© 2015 Linda Gorton Aragoni