If I were to compile a list of my all-time favorite mysteries, this would surely be high on the list. When Cuddy Mangum was just a patrol man, back from fighting in the jungles of Vietnam, he was first on the scene of a fatal shooting of a police officer by a black man. George Hall was sitting by the gun, not attempting to flee. Sensing a lot of publicity, higher-ups took over and that was the last of Cuddy’s involvement until now. The passage of time took George Hall to death row and Cuddy became Chief of Police. Hall’s charismatic brother, Cooper Hall, is leading protests trying to save his brother’s life as the execution date grows near. A race for Governor has the politicos testing the wind on the issue. And secrets about the cop are coming to light. Cuddy is an interesting character; born of a poor family in a mill town, brilliant, he is studying for a PHD in his spare time, yet able to talk trash with the best of them. Malone crafted a story that is humorous, unsparing in its look at justice, and possessed of an intricate mystery. Excellent reading!— Deon Stonehouse
Street-smart and straightforward police chief Cuddy Mangum and his refined homicide detective Justin Savile V are determined to keep their town's cultural, political and racial divisions stable...even peaceful. But when a young black activist is murdered while in the process of fighting for his brother's freedom from death row, the lines keeping Hillston, North Carolina, in balance start to crumble.
Thrust into a dirty political campaign and torn between his morals and his love for the wealthy and beautiful wife of an up-and-coming politician, Cuddy must uncover the secrets that lie in his own backyard.
From high-powered and elegant country club ballrooms to dark and dangerous bar room corners, Malone weaves a mystery of plot and place where the difference between good and evil and right and wrong sometimes become indistinct.
About the Author
Michael Malone is the literate and compassionate voice of the new American South. Critically acclaimed as one of the country's finest writers, his great gift for crafting remarkable and enduring comedies, as he did in Handling Sin, Dingley Falls and Foolscap, is matched only by his ability to deliver riveting suspense and mystery. Now, after a long absence, Michael Malone has returned to the scene of the crime. He has also come home to the South. He now lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with his wife, Maureen Quilligan, chair of the English department at Duke University.