A sleepy town in 1960s South Georgia, where to some residents, segregation is more important than catching a killer.
An ex-homicide detective from Chicago called to honour an old promise.
With a rising body count and a community guarding their secrets more fiercely than their children, asking questions could prove deadly for the outsider…
I started out as an engineer, then an estate agent, followed by senior management roles in cable TV and telecoms. Spent a few years as a management consultant and now work in the language translation industry.
I have played music all my life. Classically trained on the clarinet from the age of eight until fourteen when my world took a quantum leap forward after hearing Jimi Hendrix and Voodoo Child on the radio. I thought, wow, I gotta do that. I dumped the clarinet and I picked up the guitar and have never put it down. I have played alongside topflight musicians, both live and in studios.
From a young age I read books like Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, Black Beauty, Swallows and Amazons, then The Famous Five, Billy Bunter, Jennings and Derbyshire, Biggles, and Tarzan. Agatha Christie had a major impact as did Georges Simenon. I penned short stories at school – mostly adventure, but it wasn’t until I became hooked on American Crime Noir that my urge to write came crashing to the forefront of my mind. Reading Hammett, Chandler, Jim Thompson, Macdonald, and the master, James M. Cain had the same effect on my potential writing career as Hendrix had for my music.
Currently, having been further influenced by the greats of Southern literature, I write crime stories based in the Deep South as well as UK based dark noir crime set in the county of Northamptonshire where I reside. Throw into the pot crime and horror short stories and novellas and you’ll have some idea of what goes on in my head.
My thoughts: this is a tale of cruel men doing dark deeds and getting away with it because of who they are and the colour of their skin. Until a PI from Chicago comes to town and starts looking for a missing girl.
Tom is not afraid of the Klan, of the townsfolk and the men who run things. He’s determined to find out what happened to Alice, and when he realises there’s a pattern of disappearances over the years, those other victims too. The Sheriff is too eager to punish a young black man for the crimes but Tom smells several rats, white ones.
Violence simmers under the surface in segregated Georgia and Tom’s refusal to toe the line brings him close to danger too often but his determination to see justice done properly wins over.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own