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A Fine Dark Lineby Joe R. Lansdale
Synopses & Reviews
It is the summer of 1958 in Dewmont, Texas, a town the great American postwar boom passed by. The kids listen idly to rockabilly on the radio and waste their weekends at the Dairy Queen. And an undetected menace simmers under the heat that clings to the skin like molasses...
A FINE DARK LINE
For thirteen-year-old Stanley Mitchell, the end of innocence comes with his discovery of the mysterious long-ago demise of two very different young women. In his quest to unravel the truth about their tragic fates, Stanley finds a protector in Buster Lighthorse Smith, a black, retired Indian-reservation cop and a sage on the finer points of Sherlock Holmes, the blues, and life's faded dreams. But not every buried thing stays dead. And on one terrifying night of rushing creek water and thundering rain, an arcane, murderous force will rise from the past to threaten the boy in a harrowing rite of passage...
Vintage Lansdale, A Fine Dark Line brims with exquisite suspense, powerful characterizations, and the vibrant evocation of a lost time.
"[A] paean to more innocent times and a toad-strangling thrill ride for lovers of good, suspenseful mysteries." The Denver Post
"Funny, scary, heartwarming, heart-pounding, Tom Sawyer-ish, Huck Finn-ish, provocative, evocative, and sometimes actually wise." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Engagingly creative...inimitable....When he's good, Lansdale is the best." Denver Rocky Mountain News
"Powerful...haunting." Midwest Book Review
"Engaging....Lansdale clearly knows and loves his subject and enlivens his haunting coming-of-age tale with touches of folklore and humor." Publishers Weekly
"Lansdale makes a rich stew of memory and mystery....[R]ace and power, and what people do to each other in the name of desire and religion, coalesce to a mighty climax." Booklist
Firebrand Edgar Award-winning author Joe R. Lansdale is back again with a turn-of-the-century reservation policeman trying to solve a crime with the aid of a young boy — guaranteeing a novel not only of suspense, but of strong character, coming of age, and the feel of a bygone era. For young Stanley Mitchell, Jr., 1958 is quickly becoming a year of newfound joys and thrilling adventure. Beginning with the discovery of hidden love letters, and an uneasy meeting with Buster Lighthorse Smith, the Dewdrop Drive-in's elderly projectionist and former reservation policeman. Through him, Stanley learns about blues music, Sherlock Holmes, racism, and lost dreams. Through the natural course of growing up, he learns the true nature of his father's heart, the love of his mother, sister, and house servant, Rosy, and becomes involved with a forbidden world that exists beneath Dewmont, Texas like dirt and bacteria beneath a beautiful carpet. Stanley enters a forbidden world of secrets filled with death and darkness, jealous lovers and ghostly occurrences — until he discovers the real murderer of the young girl who wrote the love letters he discovered, and becomes the murderer's next target.
- A FINE DARK LINE was published in Mysterious Press hardcover in 1/03 and hit the "Denver Post and "Los Angeles Times bestseller lists.- Lansdale's historical thriller, "The Bottoms (Mysterious Press, 9/00), won the coveted 2001 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel and was named a "New York Times Notable Book of the Year.- The author's Hap Collins and Leonard Pine series continues to be popular. The most recent addition, "Captains Outrageous, was published in Mysterious Press trade paperback in 9/02.
About the Author
Lansdale lives in Nacogdoches, Texas, with his wife, Karen, writer and editor.
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