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A Dangerous Road (Bedford Series in History and Culture)by Kris Nelscott
Synopses & Reviews
It's February 1968, and tense race relations in Memphis are beginning to build into real conflict. The sanitation workers' strike has been going on for almost three weeks, and marches are beginning to turn into riots.
African-American P.I. Smokey Dalton is hired by Laura Hathaway, a young white woman from up north, to look into her mother's reasons for remembering Smokey generously in her will. Smokey reluctantly takes the case, as much to satisfy his own curiosity about these people he never knew as because he needs the work. What he uncovers is a thirty-year-old secret so powerful it will shatter both their lives.
Furthermore, this turning point couldn't come at a worse time for Smokey. As February turns to March, then April, Smokey must watch his city crumble around him and deals with the approaching visit of his childhood friend, now estranged from him, Martin Luther King, Jr. - a visit that turns out to be the very destiny of both men, and the city itself.
This wonderful novel launches a unique and atmospheric series, introducing an appealing character in Smokey Dalton and an equally compelling time period in our history.
"This impressive debut novel is steeped in the turmoil of the civil rights era....Nelscott conveys the feelings of her characters and the anxiety of the times with the vividness of an actual observer....Smokey proves himself a man of conscience able to make tough choices. His return will be cause for celebration." Publishers Weekly
"Nelscott effectively mixes history and fiction in this atmospheric first novel....Smokey Dalton has an obvious antecedent in Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins, but he can stand on his own just fine. This has the makings of an outstanding series." Bill Ott, Booklist
"Plainspoken, tell-it-like-it-is narration, a hard-nosed detective, and an eventful era mark this new series beginning. Recommended." Library Journal
In February, 1968, African-American P.I. Smokey Dalton is hired by white Laura Hathaway to find out why he's in her mother's will. Amid his investigation, riots erupt from a Memphis sanitation workers' strike, and Smokey's childhood friend, Martin Luther King, Jr., is due in town for a march. Martin's Press.
P.I. Smokey Dalton is willing to clean up other people's messes-for a price-but he never lets his cases get personal. So when beautiful, white, patrician Laura Hathaway arrives from Chicago to find out why he's a beneficiary in her mother's will, Smokey reluctantly takes the job. It's February 1968, a Memphis sanitation worker's strike is beginning to erupt into riots, and Smokey's estranged childhood pal, Martin Luther King Jr., is coming to town to march. In an atmosphere charged with the threat of violence and impending disaster, Smokey's investigation will uncover a decades-old secret that could change Laura's life-and his own-forever.
More than a first-rate detective novel, A Dangerous Road introduces a passionate, wary, soul-wounded P.I. with a tragic past, unfulfilled promise, and a future up for grabs. Set against one of the most turbulent decades of the twentieth century, this provocative story combines the politics of race, betrayal, unexpected love, and the terrible cost of trust in a rich, compelling read to be long remembered.
About the Author
Kris Nelscott lives on the Oregon coast, where she's working on the second Smokey Dalton novel.
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