Sins of Omission: Racism, politics, conspiracy, and justice in Florida
When journalist Alan Rudberg investigates his father’s suspicious death, he encounters a conspiracy of silence. Law officers in the rural North Florida community treat his passing as an accident. When Rudberg learns that his father was investigating a six-decade-old civil rights slaying, the conspiracy deepens, for that probe was also shuttered, and the man responsible is on the president’s short list for the US Supreme Court. Rudberg’s quest to learn the truth uncovers a family secret his father was hiding—a secret that dramatically alters his life. Someone is following his every move, and he suspects a spy is undermining his work. As the community closes ranks to halt his investigation, Rudberg’s marriage, career, even his life are at risk.
When Alan Rudberg travels to Florida to bury his estranged father, he decides that the man’s death was not an accident, as local law enforcement officers insist. His father was investigating a decades-old civil rights slaying. Convinced that the deaths are connected, Rudberg dedicates himself to solving both cases.
He also learns that his father had a secret life, a relationship with a black colleague that produced a child–his half-sister, Aisha. The relationship between the siblings presents a canvas on which today’s racial divide is projected.
Joining forces, Rudberg and Aisha learn that a prosecutor, J. Morris Searcy, shelved an investigation into the civil rights slaying years earlier. In the intervening three decades, Searcy has been promoted into district and federal judgeships.
When a Supreme Court justice dies, the President names Searcy to replace him. As Senate confirmation looms. Rudberg and Aisha expand their investigation with the help of a prominent lawyer.
Personal and professional risks multiply as they race against time. As Rudberg peels apart the layers of Searcy’s dark past and closes in on the conspiracy that led to his father’s death, Rudberg loses his wife and his career. In the process, he forges a new direction and evolves from being a mere observer of life to a passionate advocate.