Peter Maas Christopher Lehmann-Haupt - Essay

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

It's all so neat the way things work themselves out in Peter Maas's latest book, "Marie: A True Story," about a woman's lonely struggle against the corruption she perceived in the administration of Ray Blanton, Governor of Tennessee from 1974 to 1978. The villains are so contemptible, especially the two figures at the heart of a conspiracy to sell executive clemencies to convicts, T. Edward (Eddie) Sisk, the Governor's legal counsel, and Mr. Sisk's extraditions officer, Charlie Benson, with their utter inability to credit anything but venal behavior. And Governor Blanton himself, in Mr. Maas's handling, is almost a caricature of Snopesian conniving and arrogance.

And the heroine, Marie Ragghianti, is...

(The entire section is 589 words.)