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Sometimes you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Such is the position in which Associate Supreme Court Justice Katherine Helena Ross, the first black female on the U.S. Supreme Court, finds herself in "The Fifth Letter," the new political thriller by author Vivian Carpenter. Rooted in the historical treatment of Blacks in the United States, Justice Katherine Ross struggles to do what is right as her mother's 1940s memoir influences her actions and emotions. Once on the Court, Katherine gains the power to ignite an involuntary retirement process to remove conservative Justice John Galt from the bench after the U.S. Constitution is amended to create an involuntary retirement process for incapacitated justices. John Galt, an outspoken egoist, survives an assassination attempt but is severely injured. He appears incapacitated. Pressures for Galt's removal from the bench mount with his prolonged absence from the Court. However, John Galt will not resign is seat. Katherine must decide whether or not to issue the fifth letter for Galt's retirement. While weaving through Katherine's personal challenges, "The Fifth Letter" turns a spotlight on the most important issue currently facing the Court today: who is a person with inalienable legal rights in America? And it asks this question of its main character: What happens when a liberal Black female justice of the Supreme Court is caught between her conscience and the call of political expedience? PRAISE FOR "THE FIFTH LETTER" "Frequently political novels are a genre for truth telling. Dr. Vivian Carpenter's description of inside Washington rings true. 'The Fifth Letter' takes us forward to a United States Supreme Court foreshadowed by the current Court's personalities and political tilt. This novel will engage and educate its readers." ---Former Senator Bob Graham of Florida, Former Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee "'The Fifth Letter' is a remarkable first novel... The past informs the present in this contemplative, sophisticated judicial thriller. The moral/legal conundrum at the center hooked me and never let go. In this court of public appeal... a clear victory." ---Gregory Allen Howard, Screenwriter, "Ali," "Remember The Titans" "'The Fifth Letter' is a fine new addition to the field of legal fiction. But we've never had one like this before, because it's about judges, not lawyers, and not just any judges. 'The Fifth Letter' takes us into the chambers of the Supreme Court and brings to vivid fictional life the men and women who in so many ways determine our national destiny. Vivian Carpenter gives us a fascinating view of how business gets done in the Court and on Capitol Hill while also delivering a novel of big political ideas, a riveting study of race in America, and a tale of buried secrets, lost loves, and page-turning suspense." --- William Martin, New York Times Bestselling Author of "The Lost Constitution" and "The Lincoln Letter"