TROY professor’s first legal thriller novel is released

Dr. Allen Mendenhall's new novel was published in November. (TROY photo)

Dr. Allen Mendenhall's new novel was published in November. (TROY photo)

Johnson Center for Political Economy Director Dr. Allen Mendenhall has recently released his first novel, “A Glooming Peace this Morning” through Livingston Press.

The Southern fiction novel is a journey through the tumultuous 1970’s, where an illicit romance collides with a breathtaking legal drama.

Set in the fictional Southern town of Andalusia, the book unveils the unforgettable story of Tommy Cox, a young man with an intellectual disability, and Sarah Warren, the charming belle of high society. Their fateful encounter is anything but ordinary: a mysterious illness draws them together, sparking an illicit romance that will set an entire town ablaze. As their love flourishes in the shadows, a heated trial ensues, forcing the community to confront its prejudices and biases. 

At its core, the case hinges on one critical question: could Tommy have formed the intent required by law to be found guilty of the charges against him? Amid this legal battle, Cephas, the narrator recalling these childhood events, and his friends—Lump, Brett, and Michael—are faced with the daunting task of reconciling their knowledge of Tommy and Sarah’s intimate relationship with their own beliefs about justice, truth, lust, and love. Only a few know what really happened — but the truth can never truly be buried. 

“Mendenhall’s masterful storytelling not only captivates readers but also compels them to confront fundamental questions about love, justice, and morality,” said Marissa DeCuir, president of Books Forward. “This novel is more than just a work of fiction; it is a thought-provoking exploration of the human condition and society’s complex relationship both with the law, and with those we think of as ‘other’.”

Mendenhall, a lawyer, is also the Grady Rosier Professor in the Sorrell College and has edited the Southern Literary Review more than a decade.

The book is available for retail purchase through Amazon, B&, and