Swift Justice (Paperback)

Murder & Vengeance In A California Town

By Harry Farrell

St. Martin's Griffin, 9780312089016, 320pp.

Publication Date: December 1, 1992

List Price: 14.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In 1933, a nightmare shook the quiet town of San Jose, California, when a young man named Brooke Hart was abducted while leaving his father's department store. In the days that followed, the Harts, local and state police, and J. Edgar Hoover's FBI scrambled to outwit the kidnappers, whose demands kept them at bay until they--and Brook Hart's murder--were at last discovered.
Then the unthinkable: A band of vigilantes stormed the San Jose jail and hanged the two criminals in the town square as ten thousand watched. The next day the governor hailed the lynching as "a fine lesson."
The San Jose lynching, which divided the nation and haunts the city still, is a chilling tale of fear, fury, and the collapse of justice--of a small American paradise turned inferno.

About the Author

Harry Farrell was fourty-four years a reporter, editor and columnist for the "San Jose Mercury News." Now retired, he still lives in San Jose.

Praise For Swift Justice: Murder & Vengeance In A California Town

"A historical true-crime chronicle of remarkable immediacy and force. Writing in a style that combines polish and punch, Farrell....delves into events that rocked San Jose and the nation nearly sixty years ago...One of the most riveting, and intensely readable true crimes to appear in a long time."--Kirkus Reviews

"Harry Farrell has reached deep into the past--his own and the nation's--for his true crime [story], Swift Justice...The case reveals so much about fundamental forces: greed, political aspirations, mob mentality." --Washington Post

"A riveting accuont of one of the most sensational kidnappings in California history...the work of a professional, a reporter who is good with words...and to his credit, Farrell pulls no punches." --San Francisco Chronicle

"With verve, exhaustive research, and an eye for telling detail, [Farrell] has produced a compelling, fast-paced, and very readable account of real-life California drama that has been waiting to be told for more than half a century." --Robert Lindsey, author of The Falcon and the Snowman