Study Guide

L.J. Stringer in Alex Cross's Trial

L.J. Stringer

Like Jacob, L.J. is also Ben's childhood friend, but unlike Jacob, L.J. proves himself worthy of the title. When Ben comes to him in a time of need, L.J.'s simple yet profound response is, "I said I'd help you, Ben, and I will" (85.3). With that, he risks his neck to help his pal. Ben notices that L.J. is honorable, trustworthy, and always willing to help, even if it means getting hurt, which indeed it does.

More than anything, though, L.J. is a foil to Jacob. Jacob joins the KKK, embracing racism and violence, while L.J. remains true to himself and holds firm on his principles. Just because L.J.'s from Eudora doesn't mean he's adopted the racist attitudes of many people down there, and in this way, L.J. represents the element of choice that underlies racism: He chooses not to become racist, to think for himself and stick to his guns. Now if only Jacob could do the same.