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When John Kirk and Charles Maguire are assigned to patrol the dangerous Seventeenth District, they never think of the danger it might bring them...

They think only the constant excitement and fulfilment of chasing down criminals.

But the danger of the job is forcibly thrust home when James Robinson is killed on their watch.

Thinking he is protecting his partner, Maguire fires the fatal shot... only to make the horrifying realisation that Robinson is an old, deaf, mute, black man who neither posed a threat nor carried a weapon.

Desperate to hide the deadly mistake, Kirk and Maguire claim they were attacked.

But the longer the charade goes on, the more panicked Maguire becomes - until, burdened by guilt, he confesses all.
Charged with second degree murder, the two men must face the courts.

Already sensationalized due to the victim's disability, the trial takes on added significance due to the city's fraught race relations.

Brother Bondo, the head of the local black power group, seizes on Robinson's death as an excuse to not only rile up fellow black men and women, but also to act decisively and violent.

As one war wages within the courtroom, another wages out on the streets.

As a symbol, James Robinson's death works as a catalyst, fanning the flames of resentment in this Midwestern town and setting alight a desire for justice across the city.

The Grinding Mill is an enlightening thriller that explores cultural divides and contemporary issues in society and will keep you gripped until the very last page.

Praise for William J. Coughlin

"In Charley Sloan ... the author has given us a character we can care about. The verdict here is that Coughlin wins decisively in his final case." - USA Today

"A superb book, rich in the elements that make for a wonderful read. Death Penalty is the best of [Coughlin's] novels ... the most enjoyable book I've read all year." - The Detroit News

"Bravo! Coughlin brilliantly captures the corruption of the legal system by human error and greed. Thought-provoking and timely." - Library Journal

"Will not fail to please connoisseurs of legal fiction" - American Bar Association Journal

William J. Coughlin has combined a career as a United States administrative judge in Detroit with that of a best-selling novelist. His previous, highly acclaimed and successful novels are His Father's Daughter, Her Honor, In the Presence of Enemies and Shadow of a Doubt .


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Used availability for William J Coughlin's Grinding Mill

Hardback Editions

November 1973 : UK Hardback

Title: Grinding Mill
Author(s): William J Coughlin
ISBN: 0-245-52013-9 / 978-0-245-52013-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Harrap
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

January 1976 : UK Paperback

Title: Grinding Mill
Author(s): William J Coughlin
ISBN: 0-450-02418-0 / 978-0-450-02418-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: New English Library Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

December 2016 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: The Grinding Mill
Author(s): William J Coughlin
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA