They Can’t Take Your Name: A Novel
by Robert Justice
Laced with atmospheric poetry and literature and set in the heart of Denver’s black community, this gripping crime novel pits three characters in a race against time to thwart a gross miscarriage of justice—and a crooked detective who wreaks havoc…with deadly consequences.
What happens to a deferred dream—especially when an innocent man’s life hangs in the balance? Langston Brown is running out of time and options for clearing his name and escaping death row. Wrongfully convicted of the gruesome Mother’s Day Massacre, he prepares to face his death. His final hope for salvation lies with his daughter, Liza, an artist who dreamed of a life of music and song but left the prestigious Juilliard School to pursue a law degree with the intention of clearing her father’s name. Just as she nears success, it’s announced that Langston will be put to death in thirty days.
In a desperate bid to find freedom for her father, Liza enlists the help of Eli Stone, a jazz club owner she met at the classic Five Points venue, The Roz. Devastated by the tragic loss of his wife, Eli is trying to find solace by reviving the club…while also wrestling with the longing to join her in death.
Everyone has a dream that might come true—but as the dark shadows of the past converge, could Langston, Eli, and Liza be facing a danger that could shatter those dreams forever?
Hardcover | 304 pages | Crooked Lane Books | Dec. 2021
Robert Justice is a Denver native. His first novel, They Can’t Take Your Name, was named a runner-up for the 2020 Sisters in Crime Eleanor Taylor Bland Award. He believes that together we can right wrongful convictions. Robert is also the host of the Crime Writers of Color podcast.