Justin Peacock

A Cure for Night

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A Cure for Night Summary

SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of A Cure for Night by Justin Peacock.

A legal thriller by Justin Peacock, The Cure for Night is about hotshot lawyer Joel Deveraux whose heroin habit leads him from a white-shoe firm to the bowels of the New York City justice system – a public defenders office. As a public defender, Joel is asked to partner with powerful lawyer Myra Goldstein on a case causing a big public scandal – a black pot dealer has been accused of shooting a young, white college student. Joel and Myra work on the case together in an attempt to find justice.

Joel Deveraux, whose intelligence transports him from a modest family background to Columbia Law School, earns himself a place at a hotshot law firm in New York City, making loads of money and serving only the most elite clientele. Unfortunately, however, Beth, a younger paralegal at the firm, interrupts Joel’s cruise toward legal stardom. Beth is interested in heroin, and soon she has looped Joel into her addiction.

Sooner than he realizes, Joel wins the race toward death – Beth is found in the law firm’s bathroom, dead of an overdose. Joel is connected to her death and expelled from the firm, nearly losing his license. Instead, he only receives a six-month suspension, much to the chagrin of Beth’s angry father. After his suspension, Joel applies for a position at the public defender’s office, at the bottom of the legal ladder.

At the public defender’s office, Joel is surprised when his supervisor asks him to join Myra Goldstein in her work on a high profile murder case – above the normal humdrum of drug busts and vandalism that Joel is used to working. Joel jumps at the opportunity, though initially, Myra is not interested in the help. Joel tries to prove himself to Myra, seeing this case as a chance to redeem himself after months of misery.

The case itself is particularly contentious. A black pot dealer from the projects has been accused of shooting a white college student. The pot dealer has no reason that the police can see for shooting the college student, but the student’s girlfriend insists that she saw him pull the trigger. The public has latched on to the case as an example of racial profiling and discrimination – Myra and Joel have to tread carefully.

As Myra and Joel investigate further into the case, however, they discover a number of fishy leads. The dead student’s girlfriend is not as trustworthy as she initially appears, and the police seem to be hiding something, though Joel and Myra aren’t sure why. As they work toward solving the case, the two lawyers begin to connect with each other, finding a bond in their practice and in their excitement over the need to find justice.

Ultimately, despite a number of plot twists, Joel and Myra manage to find justice for the deceased victim, doing work that the police refused or neglected to do in the process, and becoming citizen detectives.

Justin Peacock is a lawyer-turned-writer. Born in Detroit, he received his MFA from Columbia, before working toward a JD from Yale Law School. His debut novel, The Cure for Night received a nomination for an Edgar Award. His second novel, Blind Man’s Alley, follows lawyer Duncan Riley as he tries to manage the mess left behind after three workers in Soho are killed during a roof collapse.