Seraphim (Paperback)

Seraphim By Joshua Perry Cover Image
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Description


"Seraphim is a thrilling page-turner, as well as a deeply humane investigation into the many forms of justice. It will make you look at the world differently---as much as a book could hope to do.” - Jonathan Safran Foer, author, Everything is Illuminated

From a former New Orleans public defender comes a gritty and thrilling interrogation of crime, violence, and the limits of justice in the chaotic times after Hurricane Katrina…


A 16-year-old confesses to the murder of a local celebrity—a hero of New Orleans’s shaky post-storm recovery... The boy’s father, doing life in prison on the installment plan for a series of minor offenses, will do anything to save him...

Enter Ben Alder, a carpetbagging attorney (and former rabbinical seminary student) who has drifted down to New Orleans. He winds up defending them both. 

Ben and his partner, Boris, are public defenders obsessed with redeeming their case history of failures, and willing to do anything to protect their clients. As Ben tries to disrupt a corrupt and racist criminal justice system that believes an inexplicable crime has been solved, he confronts his own legacy of loss and faith. And as the novel hurtles towards its tragic, redemptive conclusion, Ben finds himself an onlooker and a perpetrator where he thought he was the hero.

A riveting and propulsive story about loyalty and grief, Seraphim is also an unflinching cross-examination of a broken legal system; a heartbreaking portrait of a beautiful, lost city, filled with children who kill and are killed; and a discomforting reflection on privilege, prejudice, and power.

About the Author


Joshua Perry was a public defender in New Orleans for ten years, serving as head of the city’s youth public defender and as General Counsel to the Orleans Public Defenders. Since then, his civil rights cases have included representing immigrant children separated from their parents at the Mexican border and suing the FDA to preserve access to abortion medication. As the State of Connecticut’s Solicitor General, he leads a team representing the state in complex cases in federal and state appellate courts. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut with his wife and three daughters.

Praise For…


“This beautifully written mystery-meditation on a failed justice system is tragic and inspiring.” - Booklist STARRED Review

“(A) promising debut… with often breathtaking prose… Crime fiction fans will be eager to see what Perry does next.” - Publishers Weekly

"Debut novelist Perry, a former New Orleans public defender, has wonderfully distilled a world of hurt onto the page." -- firstCLUE

"Seraphim is a thrilling page-turner, as well as a deeply humane investigation into the many forms of justice. It will make you look at the world differently---as much as a book could hope to do.” - Jonathan Safran Foer, author, Everything is Illuminated

"There are few starker examples of the disparity between America's self-image and the actuality of its streets than New Orleans, where grand mansions bloom alongside abject poverty.  Much the same is true of America's legal system.  Joshua Perry brings both city and system -- accurately, heartbreakingly -- to the pages of Seraphim.” James Sallis, author, Drive

"Seraphim will receive much well-deserved praise for its fearless, page-turning expose of a blind, deaf, and dumb justice system in the often nightmarish cityscape of post-Katrina New Orleans.  But the fierce impact of this marvelous novel could not have been realized without the compelling, big-hearted portraits of the fallen angels whose quixotic efforts attempt to redeem a broken world.” Steve Stern, author, The Village Idiot

"A beautiful, heartfelt lament for the lost and those who must live with loss; an authentic mournful blues for the victims and the perps and everyone caught between; a broken hallelujah that rings true and echoes long after the final, triumphant note.” -- Gregory Galloway, author of Just Thieves

"Joshua Perry’s New Orleans-based novel Seraphim is about many things; social justice and injustice, race and racism, friendship and betrayal, crime and punishment and the realpolitik of judicial compromise.  It is a  ‘lived’ novel; the characters and voices, the intimate details observed, small defeats and even smaller victories feel so true to life that the reader can forget that the story, although well anchored  in a world of experience, is fiction." -- Richard Price, author of Clockers
Product Details
ISBN: 9781685891138
ISBN-10: 1685891136
Publisher: Melville House
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English